Innovate UK Microbials (Microbiome, Biofilms & Phage) Accelerator Programme

Innovate UK Microbials (Microbiome, Biofilms & Phage) Accelerator Programme

Virtual and face to face Accelerator programme
1st May to 31st October 2023

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The Programme

Funded by Innovate UK as part of the Biomedical Catalyst the Accelerator is co-led by LYVA Labs and Bionow, in collaboration with CPI, iiCON, The Innovation Agency and the University of Liverpool, the programme consists of a unique package of business support and access to clinical/technical advice at no cost to the company. 

Applications to the programme close at midday on 6th June 2023. The programme will include a 'pre-accelerator' for ~20 entrepreneurs who will receive all pre-accelerator modules via online sessions. At application stage 8-10 of these will also be selected for the full Accelerator programme and receive an additional bespoke programme of support including to draft a 'mock' Biomedical Catalyst grant application to prepare them to apply to a closed Biomedical Catalyst Feasibility call in November/December 2023. 

To be eligible applicants must meet the following criteria:
  • Be a UK-based SME, according to Innovate UK definitions, or an academic in the early stages of forming an SME. Note the company must be incorporated with a bank account by the end of the Accelerator which is 31st October 2023.
  • Have an innovative idea to develop a novel product, technology, or process which is in scope of the “Microbials” area (as defined below) and that directly impacts upon a clear evidenced and sizeable healthcare challenge.
  • Be developing a technology, product, process or service with a clear and obvious route to market that will lead to a commercial opportunity.
  • Have a technology, product, process or service which could form the basis of an application to an Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst Feasibility Award call. As a result, this Accelerator programme is designed for projects that have developed an innovative concept or carried out experimental proof of concept (TRL 3-5) but have not validated the technology.
Microbials scope: Technologies, products, processes, and services which have the potential to impact on microbial communities or biofilms related to health, including new technologies to protect beneficial microbiomes or to control harmful microbial communities or biofilms. Across Health and Life Sciences, Microbial technologies are relevant to a broad range of health sectors and allow prevention or proactive management of health and chronic conditions. Novel products could:
  • Be intended for delivery through Primary/Secondary care, the Tertiary Health Service, through supply to global healthcare companies or via the consumer market.
  • Establish tailored treatments that change an underlying disease or condition.
  • Be implemented at the level of the individual, organisation or community.
These technologies, products, processes, or services may relate, but are not limited, to microbiomes, biofilms, new non-traditional modalities for prevention, reduction of transmission or treatment of microbial infections or contaminants, phage-based interventions or live biotherapeutic products.

Please note that the development of "new antibiotics to combat AMR" and "microbial diagnostics" are out of scope of this programme.

If you would like to check whether your technology, product, process or service meets the criteria please contact 

Notes for applicants:
The application form is available here.  Any information provided in this application must be non-confidential. By completing and submitting the application you agree to the Terms and Conditions as detailed on the application form. All applications must be sent to with the subject line of ‘Innovate UK Microbials Accelerator Application’. The deadline for submission is midday on 6th June 2023.

All information provided will be treated in confidence and only distributed for use in the programme. The process will be competitive, and the decision of the panel will be by majority and is final. 

The competition is now closed

The process:

Following the closing date, applications received will be assessed by a small panel of assessors with relevant technical and commercial expertise. The panel will select 20 applications that will receive the pre-Accelerator training plus 8-10 who will also receive the bespoke Accelerator support.

Applicants will be contacted by 20th June 2023 to inform them whether they have been selected.
  • The 20 successful applicants selected for the pre-accelerator modules must be available to attend 5 days of compulsory pre-Accelerator training taking place on consecutive Mondays between Monday 26th June and Monday 24th July (inclusive).
  • The timing of the elements of bespoke Accelerator support will be agreed between the successful applicant and the partners but will take place during the period 26th June to 31st October 2023.
  • Companies not selected for the bespoke elements will receive an action-planning session with Bionow receiving suggestions and, where relevant, referrals to experts within their network who can support further growth and address key challenges identified.
What successful applicants will receive:
All 20 companies selected for the programme will receive significant support, including the following:
  • Market Research, Competitive Position & Commercial Analysis.
  • Product design, development & prototyping.
  • Exploitation plan.
  • Building your business.
  • Clinical trials, evaluation and partnering with the NHS.
  • Early stage financing, grant & equity.
  • Action planning/business diagnostic.
The 8-10 companies selected to received the additional bespoke Accelerator support will also receive tailored 1:1 support specific to individual company needs. We have technical, clinical, scientific and commercial expertise within the accelerator partners who will work closely with individuals to explore, consider all aspects of exploitation and guide each of them through a bespoke development roadmap. Alongside this, industry mentors will be matched to the cohort and support them through their accelerator journey.

Throughout the programme innovators will be supported to draft a 'mock' Biomedical Catalyst grant application. This will be assessed and feedback provided by experienced grant writers and assessors from within the partner organisations. Alongside the core and bespoke elements this will prepare them to apply to the closed Biomedical Catalyst Feasibility call in November/December 2023. The programme will end with a final pitch session to a panel of early-stage investors and the companies within the cohort will receive a personalised information pack to take away with them; including collated information/expert advice and guidance collated from across the programme.

Programme Funder


Funded by Innovate UK as part of the Biomedical Catalyst


Project Partners



Access to this programme is by application only using the application form detailed above. Further information is available by contacting