Innovate UK Awarding Up to £5M to Develop Genomic Analysis Technologies

June 22, 2018
Innovate UK Awarding Up to £5M to Develop Genomic Analysis Technologies
Innovate UK, the U.K. government's innovation agency, is making available to businesses up to £5 million ($6.6 million) toward capital investment in equipment that increases the UK’s capacity to produce and commercialize genomic analysis technologies. [Rhoda Baer, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health]

Innovate UK—the U.K. government's innovation agency charged with helping businesses develop and commercialize new technologies—is making available to businesses up to £5 million ($6.6 million) toward capital investment in equipment that increases the UK’s capacity to produce and commercialize genomic analysis technologies.

The funding is intended to help businesses specializing in genomic analysis, nucleic-acid-based diagnostics, and related areas by supporting investment in equipment that will help them take new products to market.

The deadline for registration is 12 noon on July 11.

“Innovate UK recognizes that there are particular challenges with the scale-up of production of innovative and complex analysis. The purpose of this funding, therefore, is to invest in capital projects to enable the scale-up of existing facilities for the manufacturing of such technologies,” the agency stated on its website.

To receive funding, Innovate UK said, the businesses will need to show the agency that funding their projects will advance the UK’s ability to manufacture genomic analysis technologies, encourage public-private partnerships, and maximize further investment.

Businesses could attract up to 50% of their project costs through the funding, whose purposes can include refurbishment and equipment. Projects pursuing funding from Innovate UK must be led by a business with a relevant manufacturing facility, either working alone or in partnership with other businesses, researchers, or academic institutions.

The agency said it expects projects to incur costs of up to £10 million ($13 million), and to last 3 to 5 months. Projects must start in October 2018 and end by March 31, 2019.

Innovate UK added that projects should have a clear plan of how the capital funding will lead to the translation and commercialization of research, including manufacturing of new products. Equipment manufactured could be laboratory-based or deployable in the field.

Grants must be claimed by March 31, 2019.

The funding is being provided to Innovate UK by UK Research and Innovation, and is part of the U.K. government’s £210 million ($278.4 million) "data to early diagnosis and precision medicine" challenge under its Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The purpose of the challenge is to help business and researchers create new products and services that diagnose diseases earlier and more efficiently, Innovate UK said.