Where social care innovators unite

Care Innovation Challenge 2024 welcoming applications ahead of innovation weekend in June

The National Care Forum (NCF) – the leading association for not-for-profit social care is looking for budding innovators to apply for the 2024 Care Innovation Challenge, a creative competition which seeks to develop new solutions to the biggest challenges facing the care sector. 

The Innovation Weekend will again return to the Technocentre at Coventry University, a space dedicated to nurturing the start-up and development of innovation-led, high-growth, knowledge-based businesses, and will take place on 29th and 30th June. Applicants will take part in a creative weekend of idea generation and prototype trialling and receive mentoring from industry experts. Five finalists will secure funding and further mentoring to prepare for the final and then the winning team will receive £1,000 in prize money and further mentoring to develop a viable business. 

Professor Vic Rayner, CEO of NCF said: “As the challenges within social care continue to evolve and change, so does the scope of opportunity and discovery for our participants and mentors.  This year we are encouraging those taking part to think about the power of community action in affecting change, to consider our changing demography and the challenges that creates for social care, the increasing number of dementia sufferers particularly among BME communities, and the possibilities for advancement in AI and environmental sustainability.  

“As usual we’re looking forward to welcoming a new group of innovators and can’t wait to spend time with them during the exciting Innovation Weekend where we’ll meet them in person at Coventry University’s amazing Technocentre to work through solutions together. I’m confident we will attract an inspiring group of individuals to match up and work with our expert mentors who bring with them an enormous range of experience.” 

Joining the challenge this year as a new partner and mentor is Colligo Labs which was founded by Hina Choksy Evans and Paul Hainsworth to support providers, local governments and NHS to enhance the delivery of care and support through data, analytics and solutions.   A particular focus of Colligo Labs is building the strength and resilience of communities to develop their local health and social care capacity especially in terms of recruitment and retention.  Colligo Labs also works with care providers to help them on their journeys to Net Zero through the use of holistic digital tools. Other customers of Colligo Labs are local authorities and Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) keen to optimise efficiency and meet localised service demands. 

Paul commented: “We are privileged and excited to support NCF’s Care Innovation Challenge.   Colligo Labs has been established to bring together people, data, systems and solutions to improve outcomes across the health and social care sector.  We are particularly committed to building the capacity of communities to own and develop local solutions for local need.  The Care Innovation Challenge is a great opportunity to see the remarkable ingenuity of the sector in action. It also enables the nurturing of new talent coming into the care space as applicants will bring their own experiences, perspectives and innovative ideas which together we can turn into sustainable solutions for the future.”  

Applications are now open and either individuals or teams can enter by visiting https://careinnovationhub.org.uk/challenge/ by the closing date of 24th May 2024. 

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