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The NHS AI Lab Skunkworks tests promising ideas for artificial intelligence within health and social care

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Image: Tim Umphreys/Unsplash

The NHS AI Lab Skunkworks has been developed to identify and test promising artificial intelligence (AI) ideas in order to assess their potential for further development and use in the NHS.

One of the programme's routes for selecting projects is a problem-pitching initiative that encourages colleagues from the health and social care sector to apply to have their AI idea turned into a short term, rapid innovation project.

Pitch your problem to the team

We run problem-sourcing events 3 times a year, where we ask colleagues across the UK public healthcare system to bring us their problems, along with the data that might solve them. We invite the best applicants to pitch their idea and will fund and resource the most promising opportunities, providing a team of data scientists and engineers to carry out a 12-week proof of concept project. If this data-driven concept demonstrates good potential, this could be further developed.

We are looking for problems where there is potential for an AI-driven solution that has an application in the wider health and care sector.

Who can apply

We invite applications from health and care colleagues across the Department of Health and Social Care, in arm’s length bodies (ALBs), public sector healthcare organisations and NHS and HSC Trusts.

How to apply

For information about submitting a proposal, and dates for each problem-sourcing event, please become a member of our AI Virtual Hub and visit the Skunkworks community page.

If you have any questions about the initiative or the AI Skunkworks, get in touch by emailing:

The NHS AI Lab is working with the Home Office programme, Accelerated Capability Environment (ACE) to develop some of its skunkworks projects, providing access to a large pool of talented and experienced private sector suppliers who pitch their own vision for the project. ACE is a Home Office unit providing access to more than 250 organisations from across industry, academia and the third sector who collaborate to bring the right blend of capabilities to a given challenge. Most of these are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) offering cutting-edge specialist expertise.