Reducing drug deaths innovation challenge open

Small businesses across the West of Scotland are being asked to come forward with innovative solutions to help reduce drug deaths across the country.

Applications are now open for a £5million challenge, which is focused on the detection of, response to and intervention in potentially fatal drug overdose episodes.

Drug-related deaths have been on an upward trend for the past decade across the UK, with Scotland seeing drug misuse deaths increase by 4.5 times since 2000.

Supported by the UK Office for Life Sciences (OLS) and the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office, through the Scottish Health Industry Partnership (SHIP), funding is being provided to support innovators to accelerate the development and deployment of disruptive solutions to prevent drug related deaths and harm from overdoses.

Applications are now open and will close on Friday 21st April, with the challenge running in close consultation with the Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive, with a view of increasing uptake and use of innovations across the UK.

Professor Julie Brittenden, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Director for Innovation said: “This challenge presents an exciting opportunity for small businesses across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the West of Scotland to change and save many lives.

“I would encourage anyone with an innovative idea to submit an application ahead of the deadline. Through this funding, and our collaborative working model, we can explore ways to reduce the number of drug related deaths and improve the health of people across NHSGGC, the West of Scotland and beyond.”

Professor David Lowe, Clinical Director for Health Innovation CSO, Scottish Government, said: “This £5million investment will see a combined effort to respond to an significant worldwide challenge and a key priority area for innovation in Scotland.

“We are encouraging those with innovative digital solutions to come forward before the application deadline to support this national mission on reducing the number of drug deaths. Solutions to this challenge will focus on the detection of, response to, and intervention in potentially fatal drug overdose episodes.

“We look forward to working together with health care partners in the NHS, businesses and academia to address the harms caused by drug misuse and to help change and save lives.”

For more information and to submit an application visit: SBRI Open Innovation Competition on Reducing Drug Related Deaths - Scotland Innovates (