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Small Business Research Initiative

What is Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)?

SBRI is a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) programme which provides innovative solutions to current challenges faced by the public sector. SBRI leads to better public services and an opportunity for local enterprises to develop new products for the market.  SBRI is a phased competitive process with solution design and testing typically happening over a 2 or 3 phased programme.

How does SBRI work?

SBRI competitions are open to all organisations that can demonstrate a route to market for their solution and comprise various phases:

All competitions are advertised on eTendersNI –

Information on SBRI from InvestNI –

Information on SBRI from InnovateUK and UK Research and Innovation –


Name Job Title  Email 
Rachael McKibbin SBRI Head of Services
Gillian Best SBRI Project Lead
Steven Cinnamond SBRI Support
Sharon McDowell SBRI Support
Jonathan Patterson SBRI Support


What do suppliers think of SBRI?

“SBRI has been instrumental in getting us off the ground. As a young start-up, having a SBRI contract has been beneficial not only financially but also in getting a foot into Health Trusts who would otherwise not entertain small businesses who may have untested yet promising solutions” – SBRI Phase 1 Supplier.


To date Business Services Organisation (BSO) has undertaken 9 SBRI/ PCP projects:

Current projects:

1.MAGIC (Mobile Assistance for Groups & Individuals within the Community – Post stroke rehabilitation)

MAGIC is a large PCP co-funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.  The MAGIC Consortium is led and co-ordinated by Business Services Organisation with partners from across the EU. MAGIC is focused upon creating innovative technology; transforming services for patients post stroke to improve physical function and personal independence: empower patients post-stroke, optimise recovery & new cost effective solutions. Magic is now in Phase 3, which started on 01:10:18 and ends on 30:04:20.  Feasibility studies are being conducted in this phase.  Each Study has One Zone in Northern Ireland & One Zone in Italy.  Feasibility Studies have full Research Governance & Ethics Approval.

Up to 150 participants per Zone – Potential for up to 900 patients to benefit with clinician involvement and co-creation.

All 5 of the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Trusts are equally involved.

  • South Eastern Trust & Belfast Trust – Corehab
  • Northern Trust – Camlin
  • Southern & Western Trusts – Tech-4-Care

For further information on MAGIC please view the website at or on Twitter @MagicPcp

To view the latest MAGIC leaflet and poster view

2. Guaranteeing prescription continuity while people move between care providers

The project is seeking to source new innovative technology solutions to:​

  • Improve the medication pathway for people entering custody;
  • Innovate communication in the committal process through the use of real-time information sharing across stakeholder organisations – South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust (SEHSCT), Belfast Trust, Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS), Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) including Forensic Medical Service, Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service (NICTS) and Youth Justice;
  • Enhance the person in custody’s experience and their well-being;
  • Support the reduction of incidents on prison landings related to delayed medication;
  • Work with key strategic partners to ensure safety and governance.

Phase 1 will have a duration of 5 months.  Phase 2 will have a duration of 12 months. For more information see:


Home Medication Management for the Elderly to Support Domiciliary Care Services.

HOME aims to address the daily challenges associated with the management of medication in the domiciliary care setting. The competition sought technology solutions to benefit domiciliary care users and providers, help adherence, safer working practice, and management of demand in the system. Two suppliers are currently in Phase 2 which involves a feasibility trial; this phase commenced on September 2017 and will end on 28.02.19.


Project ‘DETECT’ is for Detecting Emerging Traits of psychosis in Educational and Community CohorTs. DETECT will develop technology enabled solutions addressing early identification of and intervention for the prodromal or pre-psychotic phase of schizophrenia.  Two suppliers are currently in Phase 1, which will last 6 months, ending 31.03.19.


Project ‘CHAT’ is for Optimising Provision of Speech and Language Therapy to meet the NICE guidelines following a stroke. CHAT will radically reengineer systems & pathways of care with novel innovative technology solutions to more effectively rehabilitate patients after stoke who have identified Speech and Language Therapy needs.  Two suppliers are currently in Phase 1, which will last 6 months, ending 31.03.19.


Project ‘Mario’ is for Meaningful Analytics in clinical Registries for Investigating Outcomes. Mario will develop technology enabled solutions addressing the issue of real-time analytics for healthcare delivery as well as retrospective analysis and prospective modelling. Clinical source data sets include clinical records, laboratory, imaging repository, coding and prescription etc. Three suppliers are currently in Phase 1, which will last 6 months, ending 31.03.19.

Past Projects


‘FAST’ Automated Staff Deployment aimed to address the challenge of matching the needs of patients with appropriately skilled pharmacy staff in real time in a busy hospital setting. The solutions developed under this SBRI competition will help to ensure that the most appropriate members of the clinical pharmacy team can be deployed in a timely manner throughout the day, making best use of their skills and meeting the needs of the patients regarding their medicines.  Two suppliers commenced Phase 2 in October 2017 which included a feasibility trial and concluded in September 2018.

2. Medicines Optimisation

‘Medicines Optimisation’, aimed to address the widespread challenge of poor adherence to medication. Six companies successfully applied to design prototype solutions in Phase 1 and two companies, AppAttic and Smartair progressed to Phase 2 for product development and testing. Phase 2 was successfully completed by the two suppliers on 31:03:17.


Gestational, Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Empowering Mothers through Mobile Technologies.   GEMS is the latest SBRI in health seeking technology solutions that improve the health of women with gestational diabetes, enable diabetic pregnant women to take better control of their health increase the effectiveness of interventions, reduce pressure on health care services, (maternity, neonatal and endocrinology services), support an on-going care programme and improve the lives, wellbeing and outcomes for maternal and infant health.

Ideas Being Considered and Developed


Using technology to support people living with persistent pain, provide information to aid self-management and create a data source on the profile of patients living with persistent pain in Northern Ireland to provide opportunities for research to improve services for patients with persistent pain.


Dysphagia is a condition where an individual has difficulty with some or all of the swallowing process; this can be either a long term or short term issue.  We hope to find technologies that can aid individuals who are suffering from or interact with individuals who suffer from dysphagia. This will be done by looking for technology that can increase awareness of health and social care staff working in settings providing care with swallowing difficulties, Improve confidence and competence of staff to recognise and identify when someone has a swallowing difficulty. The technology should also be used for the management of e-learning to provide remote expert advice/assessment/review of clients identified swallowing difficulties.

3. Urban Healthy Living

SBRI has been assisting this project which uses satellite technology to analyse and map air pollution levels of both Bicester and 3 different points in Belfast City Centre. This has been done to inform the public of air pollution links to traffic and to display that satellite technologies can be used to combat global health issues. A prototype app is currently being developed by which will inform users of air pollution levels by car, bus or walking on routes they plan to travel. Consideration is being given to a new SBRI collaboration between Belfast City Council and the Health Sector to enable data analytics to triangulate air pollution, morbidity and location data.


BRIK, Building Resilience IKids, is potentially one of the biggest public crises and the health service, justice system and social services have no way of measuring existing data. We have identified the importance of attempting to tackle ACE whether in the short term or long term basis.

5. Domiciliary Care Worker Training

The concept of a virtual supervisor or coach is being considered to assist domiciliary care workers.

Contact us for further information:


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