£30m Global Cardiovascular Challenge to Tackle the World’s Biggest Killer

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is calling for world-leading researchers and innovators to enter the Big Beat Challenge, to identify and solve any of the biggest problems in heart and circulatory disease and potentially transform lives across the globe.

The single £30 million (around $40m) research funding award will be one of the largest and most ambitious of its kind. It aims to inspire the international research community - including scientists, clinicians, technology experts and entrepreneurs from any country - to collaborate to solve a significant challenge in heart and circulatory disease.

The single funding grant is intended to accelerate breakthroughs that could transform lives across the globe. The call for outline applications will open towards the end of 2018.

Heart and circulatory diseases are the world’s biggest killers. In the United States alone, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds, and every minute more than one person in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event.[1] The British Heart Foundation’s Big Beat Challenge is calling for solution-focused, transformative ideas, on a scale above and beyond traditional research schemes. Proposals will demonstrate a clear route to patient benefit and be delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of experts, potentially spanning science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the BHF, commented: We’re confident that a £30 million award for a single research initiative has the power to accelerate major progress towards real patient benefit. Applications to the Big Beat Challenge could cover anything; gene editing to cure inherited diseases, immunising people against atherosclerosis, using artificial intelligence to aid predictive medicine and personalised treatment, or something completely different.

“The most exciting thing is that we have absolutely no idea what applications will come through. The ideas can tackle any heart or circulatory condition using any approach. All we ask is that you think big.”

Please visit bhf.org.uk/bigbeatchallenge to view the full criteria and to register your interest to ensure you don’t miss key dates.

The British Heart Foundation will be at the annual AHA Congress #AHA18 from November 10-12 in Chicago and on hand to answer questions about the Big Beat Challenge.


For press queries or to arrange interviews, please contact Emma Pickup (emma@sciad.com) or Greg Jones (jonesg@bhf.org.uk) on +447764 290381

Notes to editors
The Big Beat Challenge was announced at the ESC Congress in Munich earlier this year, with the call for outline applications opening in late 2018. The window for applications will be open for around 6 months.

British Heart Foundation
The BHF is the UK’s largest independent funder of cardiovascular research, and one of the largest in the world. For almost 60 years, the BHF has pioneered life-saving research that has helped halve the number of deaths from heart and circulatory disease in the UK. The BHF also helps provide vital support and care for the 7million people in the UK living with cardiovascular disease, along with information to help others reduce their risk and improve their heart health.

For more information, visit bhf.org.uk

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_heart_disease.htm

Back to news