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The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme supports the development of innovative medical technologies for patient benefit. The i4i product development stream involves collaborative projects between at least two partners from academia, the NHS and industry. Medical technology innovators apply for funding for one to three years, through a peer review-based process that includes presentation to a selection panel. The funding and business advice provided by i4i support the development of early-stage innovations, generally at proof of concept and prototype stages. Since its inception the product development stream has identified and supported 170 projects, led by 146 principal investigators (PIs). RAND Europe evaluated the programme, with the aim of identifying its outputs and impacts and examining the factors influencing performance. The evaluation findings should help inform the future of the programme. The evaluation used a multi-method approach, including a focused review of background information from i4i, scoping interviews with key informants, a survey of programme participants and case studies of projects representing diverse technologies and health needs.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two


  • Chapter Three

    Results: insights from the survey and key informant interviews

  • Chapter Four

    Case studies

  • Chapter Five

    Discussion and recommendations

  • Appendix A

    Key informant interviews protocol

  • Appendix B


  • Appendix C

    Case studies interview protocol

Research conducted by

The research described in this report commissioned and funded by the Policy Research Programme in the Department of Health and conducted by RAND Europe.

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