Accelerate Your Research

Do you have a game-changing idea or an innovative technology that can transform the lives of cancer patients?

Applications open!

A programme in partnership with

What we are looking for 

We want to work with researchers, at any stage, with a novel idea or technology to improve the lives of cancer patients including imaging, diagnostics, medical devices or using a new data-driven approach. You do not need to be a recipient of any previous funding to apply.

You can unlock the potential in your research!

The Cancer Tech Accelerator supports innovative technologies that can advance the early detection, diagnosis, monitoring or treatment of cancer.

Created by a consortium of the UK’s leading cancer charities, the accelerator supports you to spin original research into a commercially viable startup. We will give you a platform to test your idea with world-leading experts, ranging from deep AI all the way to clinical oncology.

Through the accelerator, you will be supported to compete for funding, develop your commercial proposition, form a startup, and gain all of the tools to successfully bring your innovations to market.


The 9- month programme features:

5-Day Virtual Bootcamp

Delve into the ‘Deep Tech Playbook’ with industry insiders, oncology experts and tech entrepreneurs about challenges specific to the field of oncology

Phase 1

Over three months you will gain the skills required to develop a truly innovative medical technology. We’ll help you create a robust business and development plan to move your concept towards investor readiness and expose you to our expert network to pressure test this plan.

Phase 2

Six months to develop your technology and £70k non-dilutive grant funding to develop and experimentally validate your approach.  You will then form a start-up primed for onward development, high growth, and future investment

How it Works

Five-day Bootcamp: hear from sector experts as you learn what makes a great health-tech start-up. Sessions include how to define the problem, and how to critically evaluate, pitch and develop your idea. You are then asked to apply your learnings to a piece of work, and the top 25 are selected for Phase I.

Phase I: you’ll join a cohort of like-minded ambitious entrepreneurs ready to be inspired by oncology experts, successful tech founders, our investment network and an extensive mentor pool. You’ll be part of: 

  • Three months of workshops, interactive sessions and concentrated learning (~8 hours per week, with offline tasks specific to your company to complete based on skills acquired in those sessions). Topics will cover: understanding the market, customer needs, development challenges specific to health-tech, how to run, fund and build an agile and lean early-stage start-up.

Towards the end of Phase I, we’ll help you build a detailed technical development and business plan to map out your next steps towards bringing a product to market. You’ll pitch to an expert panel with a chance to win up to £70k non-dilutive grant funding to perform crucial proof of concept experiments to test, validate and develop your concept towards start-up readiness. 

Phase II: six funded teams will use the funding to enact their development plans with intensive mentoring and support from CRUK and Capital Enterprise together with other partners supporting the programme. Teams might build a collaboration with academic experts to experimentally validate a key aspect of the technology, or may generate new datasets or analyses to strengthen their proof of concept. We’ll help you to build collaborations with our partners’ scientific networks to enable rapid development of technologies. As part of a winning team, you would receive a £2k per month salary stipend to commit full time for six months to concentrate on de-risking your approach. Roche UK may also provide additional support-in-kind access to infrastructure and technical capabilities to teams.

As development proceeds, we will move each team from concept to company and will work with you to in-license any relevant background intellectual property from your university. We will not take any equity or charge any incubation fee for running the Accelerator (see FAQs for more information).

If successful, at the end of the 9-month accelerator programme, you will leave as a founder of your own startup, ready to secure future investment and solve one of the world’s biggest problems!

Please click here read the FAQs, notices, and grant funding criteria.