Call for Digital Specialists for Cancer Innovation Challenge

  • Less than two weeks left (registration closes 15 May) to apply to funding competition to help improve cancer patient care
  • Share of £325,000 available to fund innovative tech solutions

 (L to R) Steph Wright – Project Development Manager,  Cancer Innovation Challenge, Catherine Calderwood – Chief Medical Officer, Gillian Docherty – CEO, The Data Lab 

Scotland’s digitally skilled workforce is being invited to apply their skills and expertise to help Scotland become a world leader in cancer care.

The Cancer Innovation Challenge, launched in March, is seeking novel data and tech proposals to help cancer care in Scotland. There are just two weeks left for anyone interested in contributing and to apply for a share of £325,000 from the Challenge’s first funding competition to find new ways of recording and integrating patient data to develop leading-edge care solutions, with registration closing on 15 May.

Data is gathered at every stage of a patient’s cancer journey. Insights derived from this data have the potential to improve services, treatments and outcomes.

The Cancer Innovation Challenge is funded by the Scottish Funding Council and is being delivered by three Scottish Innovation Centres – led by The Data Lab and supported by the Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI) and Stratified Medicine Scotland (SMS).

[easy-tweet tweet=”The Cancer Innovation Challenge is seeking data and tech proposals to help cancer care in Scotland” hashtags=”Health,Data”]

Gillian Docherty, CEO at The Data Lab, said: “It is critical we harness the skills of a digitally literate workforce in Scotland whether they have experience in the health sector or not. There have been phenomenal advances in cancer care in Scotland over the last decade and, while we understand the outcomes of patient care, time and funding constraints sometimes limit our ability to analyse how cancer services could be improved. We’re keen to encourage learnings from other sectors so are calling on anyone with data and digital skills who wants to make an impact on cancer care to get involved.”

The funding competition is split into two phases with the first lasting for three months with a focus on technical feasibility and the second lasting for six months with a focus on development and evaluation.

A second funding competition will be launched later in the year focussing on innovative data science solutions using cancer data. Additionally, anyone with experience of working with large complex data sets in secure environments is invited to respond to the consultation process to help shape the second phase of the competition and ensure that the outcomes from the project have the maximum potential to effect real world impact on cancer patient care. The consultation is now live and the deadline for response is 5 June.

Another way to be part of the Cancer Innovation Challenge is to participate in the Cancer Data Dive taking place in Edinburgh on 15-18 June in partnership with Product Forge. Entrepreneurially minded data scientists, analysts, clinicians, designers and software engineers are invited to come along and spend three days and nights developing data focused projects to improve cancer care in the NHS in Scotland.

To find out more about the Cancer Innovation Challenge’s current funding opportunities, the Cancer Data Dive, and the cancer data consultation, please visit


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