Call for AMR solutions

Call launched to find innovative solutions to tackle antimicrobial resistance

Expert support and funding are available to innovators who can help tackle the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) crisis through development of innovative solutions and technologies.

Increasing rates of AMR is one of the major threats to human health. Failure to address the issue could result in an estimated 10 million deaths each year globally by 2050.

The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement, has launched a search to find solutions which can help prevent infections and reduce antimicrobial resistance.

Key Challenges

The AHSN NENC is calling on innovators from all sectors across the country to submit potential solutions which address the following key challenges of AMR. The focus areas of the funding call are detailed below:

  • Training and education:
    • of health and social care workers including advice and guidance, antimicrobial stewardship programmes, hand hygiene, checklists and education messages on AMR to prevent the spread of infection and reduce the need for antibiotics
    • of the general public on inappropriate antibiotic use and the dangers of misuse and self-care advice including good hygiene practices such as hand washing
  • Diagnostic tests including at point of care across the pathway that meet national and international standards:
    • a need for rapid diagnostic tools to help health professionals identify an infection within minutes
    • evidence of the benefit to patients and value to health and care systems.
  • Encouraging responsible antibiotic prescribing:
    • there is a need to improve effective prescribing to help GPs, pharmacists and hospital prescribers to reduce antibiotic prescribing
  • Encouraging adequate hydration:
    • ensure hydration in patient groups at high risk such as those with a urinary tract infection and in the elderly population
  • Surveillance programme and improved data systems:
    • the linking of data to be able to understand the existing challenge and pathways of AMR including patient access points and prescribing habits to more effectively target interventions.
  • Other

    If your innovative solution does not fit within the five challenges highlighted above, please use this section to tell us about your solution(s). Other examples could include solutions around:

    • Hand hygiene

    • Environmental cleaning

    • Decontamination of surgical instruments, equipment and other medical devices

Applications are welcomed from innovators from all areas, whether businesses, individuals, universities, NHS teams or charities – who are interested in forming collaborations to develop solutions to the challenges posed AMR. The solutions can be new innovations or existing technologies which can be applied to a different setting.

Dr Sharon Saint Lamont, Head of Antimicrobial Resistance at NHS England and NHS Improvement said:

“This call is addressing very real challenges faced by the NHS and social care today. The situation is becoming critical. If we don’t act now, in 30 years’ time people will die from everyday infections that are no longer treatable and surgery may be too great a risk without effective antibiotics.

“We’re hopeful that the solutions exist, whether they’re new innovations or existing technologies applied to different settings but with the potential to be modified and adapted into a healthcare setting. If the solutions don’t exist yet, we’re also open to supporting the co-creation of solutions between the NHS, social care and partners.

“We’d like to hear from innovators across all sectors, in any location, if they have a device or an idea which can help provide a solution to antimicrobial resistance.”

Christine Jordan, Health Network North Manager – an AHSN NENC initiative that focuses upon unmet needs, said:

“The threat of AMR is a very real problem which needs to be tackled now. This challenge seeks to facilitate swift progress on cross-sector collaborative projects that benefit patients by improving health outcomes and efficiencies, as well as accelerating the adoption of evidence-based innovation.

“It’s a big challenge but we’re confident that the solutions we need to make a real difference in the fight against AMR are out there – whether these are already developed innovations or ideas with potential. The AHSN NENC and our Innovation Pathway partners will provide expert support to the successful applicants to develop these solutions.”

Submission details

The deadline for applications is 31st January 2020. After the closing date, applications will be reviewed and those shortlisted will be invited to present to a panel of industry experts.

For further information on each of the five challenges and to submit an application, click here