Future of PainIn partnership with GSK Consumer Healthcare Cohort Four Challenge led programme

Applications Closed

Applications Closed for our Challenge led accelerator programme


The Challenge

Pain can be acute, chronic or intermittent but most importantly it is one of the most common health conditions that people seek medical treatment for. Yet the causes of and treatment for pain is not well understood, difficult to measure and a deeply personal experience. Partnering with GSK Consumer Healthcare Next/Beyond teams we are looking for technologies that innovate in this space; offering novel solutions, experimental and alternative ways of addressing how science, medicine and society understands, diagnoses and measures pain.

Focusing on novel solutions that address Pain our Challenge Accelerator Programme offers a salary replacement to take six-months (full-time) away from the lab to develop a medical technology into a business venture. The programme offers entrepreneurship masterclasses, specialist advice, access to co-working space and an allowance for travel and consumables (up to £45,000).

How technologies may innovate or address the challenge;
  • Understanding– New and novel ways to understand and objectively measure pain
    • Objective measures of pain, and condition triggers
    • New clinical endpoints
    • Novel biomarkers to monitor disease state
    • New diagnostic tools to help people understand their condition
    • Approaches to increase empathy for the human experience of pain
  • Pre-emption and prevention– Early interventions and preventative tools to reduce risk factors associated with pain
    • Self-Management and self-care tools and support including lifestyle-based support
    • Diagnostic and remote monitoring tools to gauge disease progression
    • Transition models from Acute to Chronic pain
    • Genetic risk factors for pain
    • Prediction tools and simulation models
  • Visualisation and interpretation -Tools and approaches to support clinicians and individuals with the interpretation of data and alternative explanatory methods
    • Data and disease visualisation tools and methods for clinicians and patients
    • Visualisation of the impact and benefits of lifestyle behaviours to one’s health
    • Interpretation through the use of audio, touch/haptic and other sensory means
    • Visualisation of effect of drug interactions and function of medication inside the body
  • Management and treatment -New and novel ways to improve quality of life suffered by pain patients
    • Holistic approaches that accounting for the bio, psycho, social needs presented by chronic pain sufferers
    • Increasingaccessibility to pain treatments and self-management support outside of a clinical environment
    • New and novel non-medicinal approaches to treat and manage pain, including sensorial approaches
    • New and novel medicinal approaches to treat and manage pain
    • Tailored and timely interventions including lifestyle-based approaches
    • Neurorehabilitation techniques

These are suggested themes or areas of interest and are not by any means exhaustive or the only subarea your technology or venture may fit. We actively welcome new and novel ways of thinking about the challenge.

The programme is open to all early career researchers, postdocs and PhD candidates with a medtech innovation in the lab at one of our partner institutions* who want to realise the commercial potential of their technology and develop entrepreneurial skills.

COVID-19 remaining agile and responsive to the changing circumstances is our number one priority and we aim to continue to deliver all aspects of the programme to the same high standard. We are monitoring the situation closely and will be carrying out all recruitment activity digitally along with the learning the portion of the programme for the foreseeable future.

How to Apply
  • Step 1: Submit a completed application (DEADLINE EXTENDED closing date 17th May 2020 11:59pm)
  • Step 2: Panel Interview (week of 8th June 2020)
  • Step 3: Invitation to join the programme (week of 15th June 2020)
  • Step 4: Start the accelerator programme (week of 13th July 2020)
Early Career Researchers will receive
  • Consumable & travel allowance (up to £45,000)
  • Entrepreneurship training
  • Business mentoring
  • Access to incubator / accelerator facilities
  • Access to industry networks
  • Salary replacement (amount to be confirmed at offer stage)
Principal Investigators will receive
  • Opportunity to demonstrate the impact of research
  • Fast-track commercialisation
  • More commercially aware postdocs and students
  • Consumables allowance for prototype development(up to £45,000)
  • Salary replacement for ECRs released onto the programme (amount to be confirmed at offer stage)
  • Open to ECRs currently in the lab from partner institutions (Postdocs & PhD candidates)
  • You will already be working on a medical device, diagnostic or eHealth solution or idea you wish to commercially develop
  • The technology must address the theme of the challenge, pain
  • You must have support from your P.I. to be on the programme

*MTSC partner institutions include Imperial College London, Queen Mary University of London, Bucks New University, Francis Crick Institute, Royal College of Art, Royal College of Music, Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Veterinary College.

Find out more about the programme and hear from the first cohort