Stress Awareness Month: How can innovation improve wellbeing?

Date: April 25, 2023

When a person becomes overwhelmed by too much mental or emotional pressure, it is described as feeling stressed.

Life is demanding; from work to relationships and financial issues, there are a multitude of causes of stress – which is why it’s important that everyone takes care of their overall wellbeing to minimise the chances of it taking over when things get tough.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) statistics for February 2023 revealed the severity of how financial pressures, in particular, are affecting people’s wellbeing in Great Britain, resulting in higher levels of anxiety, lower happiness and lower life satisfaction.

The research showed that just under 50% of adults that were behind on their energy bills also reported high levels of anxiety, whilst a fifth of adults that borrowed more money or used more credit were twice as likely to report low happiness than those who hadn’t relied on borrowing or credit.

Long-term financial security has a major influence on financial wellbeing

There is a strong correlation between financial pressures and stress. To highlight Stress Awareness Month, we’re taking a look at the role innovation plays in managing stress, with a recent success story from one of our clients that we supported to win an Innovate UK grant of more than £200,000 for its smart app for life-long financial wellbeing.

Case study:

The Business

Our client was a start-up company in the fintech industry.

The Innovation

Sitting at the intersection of HR tech and fintech, the company wanted to transform the financial wellbeing market through employers. The workplace is an ideal place to provide financial health support and minimise stress levels of employees, whilst resulting in consistent productivity and business success.

The complete financial wellbeing solution is an interactive platform accessed via a smartphone or desktop that provides employees with bespoke financial wellbeing insights and simple tools to improve their financial position.

The Result

Catax (a Ryan company) helped the company to win an Innovate UK grant of over £200,000.


“Catax provided a personal service, simplifying the grant process and guiding us through it at every step of the way.”

Managing stress in the workplace

Whilst the case study above highlights the positive role the workplace can play in improving wellbeing, Health & Safety Executive (HSE) statistics published in November 2022 showed that 52% of working Britons feel stressed at work, and 66% of those people spend a considerable amount of time thinking about their job outside working hours. What’s more, millions of working days are lost per year because of stress-related illnesses – with stress, depression or anxiety accounting for 17 million days off in 2021/22.

How technology innovation can combat stress

In August 2022, a company called BIOStress worked with the University of Bath to develop a new technology that tackles workplace stress. Using biometric data, their wearable devices measure stress and provide solutions to reduce stress for employers and employees.

How grant funding supports innovation

The two companies mentioned above secured grant funding from Innovate UK, which enabled them to move forward with their innovative ideas – and, ultimately, help to manage and minimise stress whilst simultaneously improving wellbeing.

Any business that is investing time and resources into innovative research and development (R&D) in the UK can apply for and access UK/EU grant funding. Typically, a grant will pay a percentage of the total costs associated with a project, with most national funding grants paying up to 70% of the total cost.

The grant funding application process can be tricky and time-consuming, however.

Catax (a Ryan company), together with Granted Consultancy Ltd, has a combined 27 years’ experience of helping businesses to apply for and win grant funding bids – to explore how your business could benefit from innovation grant funding, please call one of our experts on 0300 303 1903 or email

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