CAN DO Innovation Challenge Fund

The CAN DO Innovation Challenge Fund is a national fund which aims to provide an easy to access, low risk approach to encourgaing more innovation in Scotland.

Launched on 7 November 2017, the Fund connects Scotland’s public sector organisations with companies and SMEs to develop innovative solutions to societal challenges.  The fund assists companies and SMEs to increase their business innovation and explore new revenue streams, helping make Scottish businesses more productive and competitive.

Scottish public sector organisations work with innovative organisations to develop solutions to operational service and policy delivery challenges.


NHS Highland is looking to work with innovative companies to develop an improved cleaning solution for reusable surgical instruments. 

This opportunity will be of relevance to innovative companies and collaborations who have capabilities and experience developing cleaning systems in this environment but also to those with wider capabilities in areas such as engineering and process design, systems integration, automation, and manufacturing.

The Pre-Cleaning of Surgical Instruments Challenge is being funded by the CAN DO Innovation Challenge Fund. The challenge will be administered through Innovate UK’s Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). The SBRI initiative provides successful companies with 100% funding for R&D costs and the ability to retain and exploit intellectual property developed.

Sign up to an information event being held in Inverness on the 18th April, where you will hear directly from the challenge sponsors. Places are limited.

The aims of the fund are to:

  • Find solutions for service and policy delivery issues faced by the public sector
  • Improve public services
  • Support innovative businesses and boost Scotland’s economic development

An innovation challenge is a current service or policy delivery issue which:

  • There is no currently available market ready solution
  • If solved, will bring better services and reduced costs
  • There are customers and markets for the solution out with the public sector organisation

The fund addresses a wide variety and scale of Research & Development (R&D) projects; anything from digital challenges to physical product-based challenges.The fund can support up to 100% of the public sector organisation costs to develop, test and implement creative solutions from the supply chain and will have two competitive calls per year. Once expressions of interest have been received the fund team evaluate and find the most appropriate support route.

The Fund is currently supporting these challenges:

  • City of Edinburgh Council: Smart electric vehicle charging solutions
  • Glasgow City Council: Technology enabled Glasgow, innovative solutions to providing monitoring and support services for vulnerable citizens
  • NHS Highland: Automation and sustainability of pre-cleaning reusable surgical instruments, innovative process and monitoring solutions
  • Scottish Water: Effective and reliable point-of-use water treatment for organic rich surface waters
  • South Ayrshire Council: Agile and self-powered public space CCTV camera systems

If you are a public sector organisation looking to find out more about how this fund can help to address your current challenges then please click here.

The deadline for public sector organisations to submit an Expression of Interest for funding to become a challenge sponsor is 19 January 2018.

If you are an innovative company the fund can provide you with:

  • Up to 100% funding to develop, test and demonstrate your solution and you retain the IP
  • A stepping stone to new, larger and potentially international markets

Click here to see the current challenges.


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