Essex Care Tech Campus

Assessing the Outcomes from the inaugural Challenge Fund

The Care Tech Campus Challenge Fund, launched in May 2023, serves as an early demonstration project for the core principles and benefits of the Care Technology Campus in Essex. These core principles and benefits include codesign and development with users, providers and the workforce to enable technology solutions that are more user-friendly, whilst increasing the awareness of Care Technology innovation across Essex and beyond. The Challenge fund is also intended to provide increased practical support for Commissioners in their decision-making. This approach is vital in making the necessary significant strides in advancing innovations in care across Essex as illustrated by the assessed need for a predicted 27% rise in the social care workforce by 2035 if advances in care technology are not applied.


The challenge fund is a collaboration between Essex County Council, Health Innovation East, Suffolk & North East Essex ICB, University of Essex, and Care Providers across Essex. The fund has fostered strong cooperation between the system, industry, and users. The challenge fund has provided innovators with access to commissioners, clinicians, academics, providers, and users, creating a focused ecosystem and pathway to co-production, and showing strong buy-in from the place partners.


The criteria for submissions were innovations designed to empower individuals in need of care and support, while easing the burden on their caregivers through embracing cutting-edge solutions that enable greater independence. This approach was reflected in the following 5 priorities for Health and Care in Essex:


  1. Reducing Health inequalities
  2. Supporting the care workforce
  3. Supporting greater independence for care users
  4. Encouraging instances of health and social care interoperability
  5. Prevention of needs developing


26 excellent submissions were received, and after careful review the judges awarded an £8,000 stipend to three finalists. These finalists then worked in collaboration with care users across Essex to develop their products, with the overall winner receiving £25,000 and a second-place finalist receiving £10,000, to further develop their product.


To read the full report and to download a copy of the pdf please click on the link below.

Report Authors

Jonathan Holley

Joel Rennie

Nic Werran