Call for collaboration: impulse for smart measurement technology

Smartwatch smart technology

Problem

The number of patients living with (the consequences of) cancer as well as the population identified with a high-risk of developing cancer is increasing and at the same time different types of smart measurement technologies with potential opportunities for these patient groups are being developed. Smart measurement technologies include liquid biopsies, biosensors, wearables and (smart) eHealth. Unlike data collected at a single clinic visit, smart measurement technologies can collect an abundance of real-time data that can be utilized for various purposes in oncologic care. Moreover, minimal invasive measurements require less visits to the hospital, which affects quality of life, but also has logistical and societal impact.

Now is the time to connect the world of technological possibilities to the challenges that are identified in clinical practice. To achieve this, multidisciplinary teams are required to advance validation and implementation in practice. We need to transgress from technology driven projects to impact driven projects. Clinicians describe/identify the unmet clinical need for their patients, but lack the expertise of advanced technologies, whereas technical developers have the expertise, but often lack the knowledge to translate it to a clinical application in the field of oncology. This call aims to build a bridge between these two worlds and expertise.

Aim

The aim of this call is to stimulate further development and clinical implementation of smart measurement technology to provide diagnosis and monitoring of oncological patients in a minimal invasive manner.

Ambition 

The Dutch cancer society (KWF) wants to give an impulse to this field with high potential- smart measurement technology. To do so, KWF stimulates the collaboration of an interdisciplinary team of (technological, societal, or biomedical) researchers, healthcare professionals, patients, and potential industry to initiate a kickstart for the further development of smart measurement technologies in oncological care. As such, the focus of this call is the utilization of smart measurement technology to aid screening and diagnosis of high-risk population/groups, and monitoring of patients living with (the consequences of) cancer. We envision multidisciplinary teams with nationwide representation , that fulfil the unmet clinical needs and reach the next developmental phase on its way to daily practice. To ignite collaboration across disciplines we have organized a match-making event prior to the opening of the call.

Requirements:

  • Research type: research project, consortia (a project manager must be appointed)
  • Research phase: credentialing – clinical (starting from TRL 2)
  • Participating parties: all required expertise including at least 1 technical researcher (demonstrated scientific technological background) and at least 1 (bio) medical researcher. Public/Private collaborations are possible, for profit private partners can participate as co-funder (participating center) or service provider.
  • At least 3 participating partners
  • Clear developmental and sustainability plan applicable especially for oncological care. The development plan clearly describes the route to implement the finding into clinical practice. In the sustainability plan it is described how this idea can fit into the current care setting and can be scaled up nationally.

Recommendations and considerations for applicants and reviewers

  • Involvement of (psycho)social researchers are encouraged
  • Including patient participation throughout the project is a pre

Within scope:

  • Examples of smart measurement technology; smartwatch, dipstick, patches, minimal invasive blood test, tabletop devices
  • Repurposing of existing (validated) techniques for clinical questions
  • Development of new technology for unmet clinical needs
  • (Early) diagnosis of (recurrent) disease and monitoring during therapeutic interventions and/or patient selection for therapeutic interventions

Out of scope:

  • Purely technology driven projects
  • Explorative projects with no connection to a clinical question
  • Single center initiatives

Additional conditions (in addition to the standard KWF funding conditions)

If the for-profit private partner has an active role within the project, this party is considered a participating party and to this end must make a financial contribution: this is 10% co-financing of the total project budget (in kind/in cash), of which at least € 10,000 in cash for large companies and € 5,000 in cash for SMEs (<250 FTE). This does not apply to start-ups (i.e. companies younger than 5 years, <20 FTE).

When a start-up does not have sufficient resources, in exceptional cases, a compensation for materials at the purchase price or by a rental construction can be included in the project budget. This must be substantiated in the budget description and will be assessed per individual application.

Timeline

There is no preproposal phase in this call. However, we organized a match making event, which took place the 14th of June.

Call opens: 4th of July
Call closes: 31th of August 2022 (12.00 noon)
Funding decision: December 2022

Submitting

Please submit your project proposal via KWF Grant Management System.

Indicative budget and duration:

The indicative budget is 3 – 5 million euro. (budget indication per proposal: €800k-€2M)

Project duration indicative: 2 – 5 year

More information:

Specific guidelines on the process, characteristics and eligibility terms for the Thematic Call will be based on the current KWF Guidelines and Funding conditions (here for download).

Guidelines will include specific information on application requirements, preferences and recommendations, review procedure and timelines.