Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Award is run by the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) in partnership with NHSX and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). It will make £140 million available over four years to accelerate the testing and evaluation of the most promising AI technologies which meet the strategic aims set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

The Award will support technologies across the spectrum of development: from initial feasibility to evaluation within the NHS. The first award has focused on four key areas: screening, diagnosis, decision support and improving system efficiency.

The AI Award is part of the £250 million funding given by the Department for Health and Social Care to NHSX to establish an AI Lab aimed at improving the health and lives of patients

The Award forms a key part of the AAC’s ambition to establish a globally leading testing infrastructure for innovation in the UK.

Calls for applications for the Award will run at least twice a year through an open competition to identify appropriate AI technologies for support into the NHS.

AI Award competition update

Round 3 applications

We will be inviting applications for the next competition from w/c 28 June, with a submission deadline of w/c 6 September 2021. Please note these dates are subject to change and this competition will not be open to Phase 1 applications. There are more details about the application timeline on the NIHR website.

Round 2 applications

The second competition closed on 8 December 2020. We received 366 applications and 71 have been invited to submit a second-stage application. The winning technologies will be announced in May 2021.

Round 1 winners

The winners of the first award were announced by Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health, on September 8, 2020. A total of 42 awards were made across the four Phases. Find out more about the 10 Phase 4 winners here.

The winners for Phases 1 to 3 are available on the NIHR website.

Following the announcement, we are now working with the winners to finalise:

  • Site selection: matching appropriate NHS healthcare services to support the testing for each product.
  • Evaluation: ensuring appropriate evidence is collected to enable faster roll-out of the AI innovations into the NHS.

This map shows the NHS sites where the Phase 4 winners in Round 1 of the AI Award will be implementing their AI technologies through the award:

Invitation to apply for the AI Award Evaluation Partner Group

The Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) in partnership with NHSX is looking for prospective technology-specific evaluation teams to join its AI Award Evaluation Partner Group.

Applicants must demonstrate their experience of using mixed methods research to evaluate AI technologies to inform local and national decision makers. The application form and further information about the selection process are available on the NHS AI Virtual Hub. To access the hub, first register on the Future NHS platform, then request access to the hub workspace.

The application form should be downloaded, completed and sent to  by 6 June 2021.

Please email if you have any queries.

NHS AI Virtual Hub

This new community of practice is the central place to find information and connect with others about the award. The hub is hosted on the FutureNHS platform.

We encourage anyone considering applying to the award to join the AI Virtual Hub for details about who it is aimed at and why you should apply, an outline of the application and assessment process, and resources available to help.

AI Award innovations

AI technologies may have a variety of applications in health and social care. Below are some examples:

Health Promotion and Prevention:

  • Digital epidemiology and disease surveillance
  • National screening programs
  • Preventative advice
  • Self-management

Diagnosis and Treatment:

  • Symptoms checkers and decision support for differential diagnosis
  • Risk stratification
  • Prediction of deterioration
  • Personalised treatments

System Efficiency:

  • Optimisation of care pathways
  • Identification of resource requirements
  • Electronic roster system
  • Natural Language Processing for administrative tasks

The Award supports AI innovators and technologies across the spectrum of development: from concept through to initial NHS adoption and testing of the AI technology within clinical pathways. Below is an explanation of the four support phases available:

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Development stage


Development and clinical evaluation

Real-world testing

Initial health system adoption

Location of lead organisation Within the UK Worldwide (provided you have a UK-registered office or a UK health or social care organisation as a co-lead)
Location of partners Can be outside the UK, provided there is reasonable justification and a clear trajectory to NHS benefit
Eligible organisation types Higher education institutions (HEIs)

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

NHS and social care organisations


Local authorities

Higher education institutions (HEIs)

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

NHS and social care organisations


Local authorities

Large enterprises

Collaborators Not required but encouraged Minimum of two different organisations types Minimum of two different organisation types, one must be NHS or social care Three or more NHS or social care adoption sites
Funding limit Up to £150,000 Uncapped, but typically range £500k-£1.5m Uncapped, but typically range £500k-1.5m Uncapped, but typically range £1-7m
Project duration 6-12 months 12-36 months 12-36 months 12-36 months

Full details of the phases, requirements and how to apply are available on the NIHR website.

For further information and enquiries please contact or take a look at our frequently asked questions.