UCL Centre for Digital Innovation


Impact Accelerator

Applications are open for all digital solutions directed at solving real world problems in healthcare and education. UCL and AWS will support successful applicants to develop cloud-based solutions that have a meaningful impact on clinical and learning outcomes.

Programme description

The UCL Centre for Digital Innovation Impact Accelerator is a joint initiative between UCL Faculty of Engineering, the UCL Centre for Advanced Research Computing and AWS UK Public Sector. The Programme builds on UCL’s innovation activities and AWS innovation methodologies and cloud technologies. It aims to combine the strengths of both organisations to accelerate innovations in Healthcare and Education. The expected outcome will be the development of evidence based, commercially sustainable innovative technologies implemented and demonstrating benefit in a real-world setting.

The Impact Accelerator will accept applications from healthcare and educational organisations, academic research groups, start-ups, spinouts and other commercial organisations. The successful applicants will be provided with UCL research expertise, AWS domain and technical support and credits for the AWS cloud technologies. Using Amazon’s Working Backwards methodology, the accelerator will help project teams envision their solution and elaborate the impact that they want to have to the benefit of society. The teams will then receive support to help them then develop their solution into a reality.

The final aim is to see the solution deployed in a real world setting and demonstrate measurable benefits to citizens, patients, and students.

How to engage

Applications for the Impact Accelerator programme are supported with advice and assistance from our centre management wherever possible. Please contact us at cdi-accelerate@ucl.ac.uk or cdi-info@ucl.ac.uk to receive support for your application. Applications for our 2nd Cohort are now open! The application deadline for our 2nd Cohort has been extended to Wednesday, 28 September 2022. 

Qualification criteria and process

Applications are open for all digital solutions directed at tackling real-world problems in healthcare and education. Please visit the our community page to find out more about CDI’s governance and management.  

The qualification process is made up of 3 steps.  

  1. Does the project meet critical qualification criteria? 
  2. Is the project viable? 
  3. Does the project need further development after working backwards and PRFAQs?   

The application will be reviewed by the CDI Management team to ensure a basic fit with the critical qualification criteria. If in the view of the CDI Management team these criteria are not met, then the team will refer the project to a more fitting AWS or UCL program/accelerator, wherever this is possible.  

After this stage, projects will be passed on to the experts committee.  

The Experts Committee then reviews and validates the projects. The role of the Experts Committee is to assess the projects against the qualification criteria and make a recommendation to the Steering Committee on the most suitable projects for the Centre to support. Selected projects will be invited for a Working Backwards Workshop, if appropriate, and PRFAQs will be developed between the CDI and the project team.   

The results of the PRFAQ process will be assessed and validated by the steering committee.  

If the commitment from customer and project team is established, the applicants will go through a legal review for IP considerations and MoU, and finally successful applicants will be invited for onboarding. 



Application feedback and offers 

Feedback will be provided to all applicants within one month of application. Invitation to an informal interview with the selection panel will be made by email to the top performing candidates and studentship offers will be made within 1 week of interview. Unsuccessful candidates will be emailed within 1 month of the interview

Impact Accelerator application form

The deadline for the second cohort is Wednesday, 28 September 2022. Please feel free to apply after this date to be considered for the upcoming cohorts as we evaluate applications on a rolling basis. Please send your completed application form in a PDF format to cdi-accelerate@ucl.ac.uk

Download the form

Frequently asked questions

We have already a proof-of-concept, but it has not been built on AWS yet. Will you provide help to migrate? 

Yes – we will provide all the guidance you need to map your current proof-of-concept to AWS services through a modernisation approach based upon the AWS Well Architected pillars.

I am already using AWS to run my project - what benefit will I have from working with the CDI? 

That is great news – we will explore your current architecture through activities such as a Well Architected review and give you access to domain specialists to make the best of what AWS has to offer

My project team has very limited IT and software development skills. Will the CDI provide software engineering support? 

The CDI will work with you on a technical needs assessment and provide recommendations for skills development and direct you to training programmes and potential partners you can choose to work with, including UCL’s own Advanced Research Computing team.

How long does the CDI support run for? 

The duration of support provided by the Centre will depend on the individual needs of each project. This could range from between 3 to 9 months and the precise requirements of each project will be assessed during the application process.