Advanced Wellbeing Accelerator

Advanced Wellbeing Accelerator

Improving quality of life through innovation

The Advanced Wellbeing Accelerator is an R&D-focused programme that supports pre-revenue and early-stage companies* developing products or services with applications that support people to live healthier lives. The programme is accessed via a competitive application process and provides the accepted cohort with a range of valuable support to help them to get their innovation closer to market, gain new customers (if at market) and/or enter new markets. 

Based in Sheffield Hallam’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), participants are supported to build a project team alongside our academics and carry out a bespoke R&D project to help the participating company overcome a technical challenge. We are fortunate to have access to world-class R&D facilities to carry out design and rapid prototyping, through to precision engineering of prototype components.

The centre also houses a range of laboratories for technology validation, and a clinical research floor with hosted NHS services covering areas such as cancer, weight management, MSK and stroke for demonstrations with target population. Beyond these we utilise our regional and national links to deliver pilots in community and workplace settings where more appropriate.

Beyond the R&D offer, the AWRC also leverages its ecosystem of supportive individuals and organisations to help startup founders to grow their networks; improve their knowledge; forge new collaborations; and help to secure private investment through investment readiness support and public investment through grant assessments with feedback from our innovation funding managers.

The programme is intended to help build new relationships and following the defined accelerator programme, the programme team will work with the alumni to develop collaborative grant funding applications - decided on a case by case basis following our assessment of the fit to the specific call criteria. Successes here have ranged from £50k Innovate UK fast grants, through to £1million+ UKRI Design for Ageing awards.

*will also consider small, more established SMEs, academics close to spinning out a company, and social enterprises are welcome to apply too.

All enquiries to be directed to


Programme benefits

  • Support to develop a collaborative R&D project brief with the University for internal funding consideration and/or submission for external funding (all participants).
  • For projects selected to be funded internally, up to £25,000 of direct R&D support which covers our academic’s time; access to facilities; equipment and related consumables (numbers selected driven by actual project cost to deliver vs overall programme budget).
  • Over 25 workshops and events on topics such as medical device regulations; NHS procurement; and writing successful grant applications (all participants).
  • Dedicated support from our MBA student cohort (all participants).
  • Review of a previous grant application with our funding manager (all participants).
  • Support to develop a collaborative grant application with the AWRC (based on specific suitability to the funding call).
  • An in-depth NHS market assessment undertaken on your behalf by a healthcare consultancy (x1 participant)
  • Introductions to our mentor network, from leading industry figures across investment, academia, healthcare, and industry (founders through to C-suite) (all participants).
  • Comprehensive pitch deck development and investment readiness support with materials and 1:1 coaching provided (all participants).
  • Event and profile raising through our in-person demo day and virtual networking opportunities (all participants).
  • Access to partner products and services including;
    • AWS credits (all participants)
    • SeedLegals plus package (all participants)
    • Free local hot desk access in commercial space on the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park during the programme (all participants)
    • ORCHA baseline assessments (up to x4 participants)
  • A travel stipend for the demo day in Sheffield, UK (depending on an individual founders travel costs).

All benefits are provided at the full discretion of the programme team and the amount of support will vary by company. All participants will join the programme on equal footing.

As an added bonus that we are trialling this year, we wish to support companies that are willing to engage with our student population as part of the programme. We will be looking to create opportunities for our students to support you on short term project work as part of the programme, be that around market research, design, or wider challenges you might be facing as a business. Indeed it could be something you need to do but don't currently have the capacity, expertise or perhaps funding to undertake right now. The process would look like you setting a brief for the student team to work on semi-independently and present back. The team would have touch points with you but also have their own University-based academic advisor support too.

This is about supporting the next generation mix with entrepreneurs like yourselves and ignite a passion which might see them start their own company or work in a startup post-university.



Applications open - 19th October

Applications close - 30th November (23:30 UK time)

Shortlist and interviews - 4th December to 20th December

Decisions communicated - 22nd December (at the latest)

Onboarding - between the 2nd and 12th January

Programme starts - WC 15th January

Demo Day - May 2024 at the AWRC in Sheffield, UK (exact date TBC shortly)



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