Altum Wins Grants Contract with UK’s NETSCC

Recently Altum was awarded its second UK-based biomedical grants management contract, this time for the UK Government’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) via the NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC). Altum was implementing a new grants management system for Cancer Research UK at the time of the NETSCC award.

“This is a significant win for us, and not just because of its size,” said Michael Swartz, Altum Vice-President of Business Development. “It again affirms Altum’s capabilities with regard to biomedical grantmaking solutions and services, and further advances our goal of growing our international business.”

Altum’s solution includes its critically acclaimed Easygrants software, Infor’s Infor PM, and Collexis’ Review Finder. Reviewer Finder will allow NIHR to match grant applications against the 1.8 million research profiles in to determine the best experts in the life science domain to review the application.

“The goal for us is the correct, integrated solution for each client,” says Swartz. “We don’t start with the product—we start with the customer. NIHR needed enhanced performance management and reviewer finding capabilities that not every client does.”

NETSCC manages a growing number of biomedical research programs on behalf of the National Institute for Health Research, the UK’s equivalent of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. All told, NETSCC manages approximately £100 million of the NIHR budget annually for a wide range of primary and secondary research. Key goals in letting the contract were to significantly improve cross-program and portfolio management and to more adequately support a growing number of on- and off-site users

Altum is providing the above and more. Through the use of a modern, workflow-driven, web-based software architecture capable of integrating with performance enhancing point solutions, Altum will deliver the property and process capabilities required for the new system, including:

Property Capabilities

  • Provides a fully integrated solution that interfaces with other NIHR systems
  • Offers an ‘end-to-end’ solution to support the various programmes managed by NETSCC in their core business functions
  • Assigns unique identifiers to topics, vignettes and research proposals so they can be tracked
  • Is flexible to support new NETSCC Programmes as they come on-stream in the future where they differ from the basic business processes
  • Is scalable to adapt to a significant increase in users reflecting NETSCC’s plans for expansion
  • Supports the panel review processes.


  • Provides for document repository, records management, and document archiving
  • Supplies CRM functionality
  • Support the funding and tracking of financed, commissioned research through its lifecycle
  • Support the analysis of non-funded research proposals and other non-selected items, including topics and vignettes
  • Supports the NETSCC Communications function
  • Supplies information about Researchers
  • Supports DH reporting requirements
  • Supports advanced searching, which can search both plain text and metadata, with the scope of the search limited to particular areas of the work of NETSCC or expanded across multiple programs, with results presented in multiple ways.

Ryan Rosiek