The following new funding opportunities are available:
Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme An NIHR and MRC partnership
Health Technology Assessment Programme
Public Health Research Programme
For more information and a list of all current funding opportunities, please visit the NIHR website.
The following papers may be of interest to learn more about how the UK Government is supporting industry so the UK may become a world leader in biotechnologies:-
- Sir John Bell UK Life Sciences Strategy
- Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper, which includes commitments to increase R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 and lift the rate of R&D tax credit to 12%;
- Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund - its impact on the UK’s ability to take the lead on commercialising emerging technologies;
- Government’s Patient Capital Review to support business growth
The time for talking about the potential of genomic medicine is past. As England’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dame Sally Davies, writes in her report, Generation Genome:
Genomics is not tomorrow. It’s here today
Genomics will transform patient outcomes and healthcare systems – and NHS England is already moving to make a mainstream genomics medicine service a reality. Realising this potential fully, however, demands more. As the CMO notes, we need to make the leap from genomic medicine as a “cottage industry”’ to genomic medicine on an industrial scale. It may sound obvious, but this transformation can only take place with deep industry partnerships in place.
Kick-starting a UK genomics industry has been a core Genomics England aim from the outset. It recognises that − while NHS England, Genomics England and others build the data resources, infrastructure and systems − it is industry that develops the medicines, treatments and technologies that have such a big impact on patients’ lives.
Clearly, effective industry partnership also has the potential to deliver a boost to the UK’s economic health. The Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper focuses on the Life Sciences as a growth driver − already bringing £64 billion a year to the UK economy and employing over 220,000 highly skilled scientific staff. Seizing the opportunities of the genomics sector will generate ever-stronger growth.
A catalyst for discovery
Building on learning from earlier industry partnership projects, Genomics England’s Discovery Forummarks an acceleration in our work to consolidate the UK as the global centre of genomic research, discovery and investment.
Fundamentally, the Forum aims to catalyse the entire genomics ecosystem: from small and specialised start-ups all the way through to the big pharma companies. The goal is to align the right companies with the right opportunities. It is a virtuous circle: high levels of investment stimulate the growth of new and existing businesses − which attracts the world’s best research talent − who create the most innovative technologies − which attracts high levels of investment.
We held our first Discovery Forum in November 2017 and the appetite from industry was clear − with more than 120 attendees representing more than 50 companies from the genomics domain. Importantly, and for the first time, investors joined the partnership.
Content focused specifically on areas that industry has identified as important: effective engagement with Genomics England; access to information and research; and maximising the usefulness of the Forum network. Sessions included:
- Progress of the 100,000 Genomes Project;
- Genomics England’s commercial and IP strategy;
- Genomics England’s data and research platforms;
- The NHS genomics environment – presented by Professor Sue Hill, NHS England’s Chief Scientific Officer;
- Understanding how to access research and the work of the Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnerships (GeCIPs)
- Exemplars of work between industry and Genomics England.
Healthcare giant MSD and diagnostics company Qiagen have unveiled plans to make major investments into the UK, providing a huge boost for the country's life sciences sector and creating hundreds of additional jobs in Manchester.
The investment announced by MSD, known as Merck and Co in North America, will support a new world-leading life sciences discovery research facility in the UK, supporting a total of 950 jobs in high-skilled and high-value research roles. This new state-of-the-art UK hub is intended to help ensure innovative research into future treatments for patients and pioneering medicines are completed in Britain, according to business secretary Greg Clark.
In addition, Qiagen is announcing details of a brand new partnership with Health Innovation Manchester that has the intention to develop a genomics and diagnostics campus in Manchester. This new campus will generate skilled jobs and attract companies from across the world to the North West, the government said, while the company has also confirmed that it is going to expand its current operations in Manchester with the potential to create 800 skilled jobs.
The news comes as the government reveals its flagship industrial strategy today (Monday, 27 November 2017), with a long-term plan for how Britain can build on its economic strengths, address its productivity challenge, positively embrace technological change, and support businesses and its workers.
Business secretary Greg Clark said: "Our life sciences sector is one of the UK's fastest developing industries, with a turnover in excess of £64bn, employing 233,000 across the UK.
"MSD's commitment today, and the wider sector deal investment we have secured, proves the process outlined in the industrial strategy can give companies the confidence and direction they need to invest in the UK. It will ensure Britain continues to be at the forefront of innovation and represents a huge vote of confidence in our industrial strategy."
MSD's research laboratories president Dr Roger M Perlmutter said: "Strong discovery capabilities and the pursuit of scientific excellence are foundational to MSD's mission to save and improve lives around the world. A new UK location will enable us to build on our proud legacy of invention and be an important contributor to the vibrant and rapidly growing UK life sciences community, while providing access for more collaborations within the European life science ecosystem."
Qiagen chief executive Peer M Schatz said: "We are very excited about this partnership with Health Innovation Manchester, and the essential engagement of the University of Manchester, the NHS trust and the UK government. Our success together can advance science and improve the lives of patients in the local region as well as worldwide."