Volunteers needed for Cornish health tech innovation award committee

Volunteers needed for Cornish health tech innovation award committee

Help us to award funding for new health technology innovation in Cornwall.


Do you have experience of health technology as an innovator, investor, commissioner or practitioner, or have you been a recipient of health technology innovation in a care setting? Are you looking to contribute your time and experience on a voluntary basis, in aid of developing and sustaining a thriving health technology ecosystem in Cornwall? 

The South West Academic Health Science Network (South West AHSN) is looking for two volunteers to sit on the Award Committee for its EPIC2 Challenge Fund, a £375,000 grant scheme offering the opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) registered in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to apply for grants of up to £27,000 to support them to bring new eHealth innovations to market.

Who we are looking for 

We are seeking representatives based in Cornwall with experience in the commercial and healthcare sectors to volunteer as advisors to help us make funding decisions on the grants we distribute to health-focused SMEs in Cornwall.  

The ideal volunteer will have experience of health technology, either as a health or social care commissioner, a frontline clinical practitioner, a health technology innovator or a health technology investor.  

You will be willing to volunteer your time periodically to review and assess applications to the Challenge Fund, voice your opinion on their appropriateness for funding, and to provide support and guidance for the development of projects and the utilisation of funds awarded. 

Requirements of the role

As an Award Committee Volunteer you will work alongside existing Awards Committee members to assess applications to the EPIC2 Challenge Fund to make joint decisions on award funding.  

You will be required to attend online committee meetings approximately once every six weeks. Each committee meeting is approximately 1.5-2 hours in length and typically reviews three to five applicants. Committee members typically receive the applications to the Challenge Fund five working days before the meetings. You will be required to review these applications before the meeting. Please see an example of an EPIC2 Challenge Fund Award Committee meeting agenda below. 

Committee members will be asked to declare any conflicts of interest ahead of each meeting, and to stand down from those meetings where they have one. 

How to apply  

If you are interested in contributing your time as an EPIC2 Challenge Fund Award Committee Volunteer please contact innovation@swahsn.com to express your interest in the role.  
Please include in your application: 

  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae 
  • A summary of your background and relevant experience   
  • Why you wish to volunteer with the EPIC2 Challenge Fund Award Committee  
  • Your available start date  

Please note this position is unremunerated and has no formal contract.  

For more information about the role or if you have any questions, please contact Ben Hugill, South West AHSN Project Manager – Innovation Funding & Enterprise Support, at ben.hugill@swahsn.com. 

Closing date for applications 30 November 2021.

Example EPIC2 Challenge Fund Award Committee meeting agenda   
  • Welcome and introduction from Chair 
  • Conflicts of interest, review of previous minutes and matters arising
  • EPIC Challenge Fund update – overview of updates and successes from current portfolio, plus risks and mitigations of EPIC2 Challenge Fund-ed projects 
  • Introduction of first application, discussion and decision 
  • Introduction of second application, discussion and decision
  • Introduction of third application, discussion and decision 
  • AOB  

About EPIC and EPIC2 

eHealth Productivity and Innovation in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (EPICis a collaborative project led by the University of Plymouth and delivered in partnership with the South West AHSN, Kernow Health CIC and Software Cornwall with the goal to develop and sustain a thriving eHealth ecosystem in the county. Initially funded in 2017 by a grant of £2.7 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), it has now received a further £4m to extend the project until 2023.  

EPIC2 is enlisting the assistance of experts from across the health and care sector to allocate funding to Cornish SMEs in aid of the development and implementation of novel eHealth innovations, as part of EPIC’s wider work to build a sustainable eHealth ecosystem in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. A key part of this work is the EPIC2 Challenge Fund. 

EPIC2 is awarding grants of various sizes on a sliding scale, with smaller grants of around £4,000 to be used for small feasibility testing, and larger grants of up to £27,000 for more substantial development projects. The smaller grants can be up to 100% funded, with larger grants requiring an increasing proportion of match funding. 

We are welcoming applications that address issues of rurality, social isolation and are attempting to make technology more accessible to all. These solutions could integrate with existing systems to improve user experience, address difficulties of providing care in remote locations or even develop new robotics and devices, to be used in peoples own homes and health environments. 

Learn more about EPIC by visiting the University of Plymouth website. 

About the South West AHSN  

The South West Academic Health Science Network (South West AHSN) is one of 15 AHSNs set up across the country by NHS England in 2013. We were established to transform lives through the adoption and spread of innovation in health and care, and to generate economic growth as part of the national AHSN Network. 

Our Innovation Exchange is designed to help innovators implement solutions to meet the challenges faced by the health and care system in South West England. Funded by the UK Office for Life Sciences, we work with individuals and organisations who have innovative solutions – such as services, products or new processes – that can be used to improve the NHS and the care system. 

Learn more about our Innovation Exchange, including our work on the EPIC2 Challenge Fund, by visiting our webpage.  

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