£30m research grant to revolutionise patient care launched

The BHF is launching a groundbreaking £30m research grant that will transform care for patients, and is asking for your innovative ideas

30 August 2018, by Siobhan Chan

Pipette and test tubes

Do you have a radical idea that has the potential to transform the lives of people with heart and circulatory conditions?

Are you part of an ambitious multidisciplinary team that can identify and solve the biggest problems in cardiovascular disease?

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is launching the Big Beat Challenge, a £30m award that will accelerate breakthroughs that could transform lives across the globe, and wants to hear from you.

Applications will open for healthcare professionals, scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs from any country, sector or discipline later this year.

Innovative research

The award will be one of the largest and most ambitious of its kind.

For more than half a century, BHF-funded researchers have pioneered world-leading efforts to understand the causes of heart and circulatory diseases and develop new methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Despite huge progress, the burden of heart and circulatory diseases continues to rise. Around the world, 18 million people die from heart and circulatory diseases each year. The WHO expects this to rise to 23 million by 2030.

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the BHF, said: “The time is right for a radical approach. With recent advances in areas all the way from genome editing to artificial intelligence, we have an unprecedented opportunity to exploit new ways of doing research that moves beyond incremental gains and accelerates breakthroughs.”

How will it work?

  • August 2018 - Big Beat Challenge launches
  • Late 2018 - Applications open. Applicants will be invited to submit a short summary of their idea
  • Mid 2019 - Applications close. Our international, multi-disciplinary, expert advisory panel will review the submissions and create a shortlist of the most promising ideas
  • Mid to late 2019 - Shortlisted applicants will receive seed funding to fully develop their concepts and work on their final proposals
  • 2020 – The full applications will then be peer-reviewed and our expert panel will choose the final winner

Real-world challenge

The Big Beat Challenge will push the international research community to identify a real-world challenge, significant unmet need or opportunity for game-changing innovation in heart and circulatory science or medicine that would mean major progress towards real patient benefit.

The views of people affected by heart and circulatory diseases should be reflected in the proposals. The BHF will ask teams to show how patients have been involved in the conception and design phase of their projects. A patient panel will also be feeding back on applications and making recommendations for shortlisting and awards.

Proposals must be transformative, clinically relevant and with a multi-disciplinary approach that couldn’t be done without funding on this scale. Ideas could transform the lives of a few, or provide a smaller but important change for many.

“The ideas can tackle any heart or circulatory condition using any approach. All we ask is that you think big,” Professor Samani said.

What are the next steps?

Read more details