Funding injection for UK life sciences

Life sciences are set to receive a funding boost after the coming together of UK and international delegates at the British Business Embassy Healthcare and Life Sciences summit.

A select group of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and universities are in line to grab a share of a £10 million pot aimed at marketing scientific ideas.

Coming on the back of the launch of the British Business Embassy last week to champion the UK to inward investors, the £10 million is the first installment from the government’s £180 million Biomedical Catalyst.

According to a statement, the awards from the Medical Research Council and Technology Strategy Board will support UK academic institutions such as the Universities of Edinburgh, Sheffield and Nottingham and companies on the ‘first vital step’ in exploring the market potential of early-stage scientific ideas.

As well as the SMEs and academic institutions receiving capital, a further £19 million has been committed to create four e-health research centres.

The £19 million has come from the Medical Research Council and a consortium of 10 UK government and charity research funders. New centres are set to be built in London, Manchester, Dundee and Swansea.

Furthermore, the Olympic drug-testing laboratories in Harlow will now be converted into a £10 million ‘world-class’ research centre to develop targeted research for patients.

Minister for life sciences David Willetts says that the UK has one of the world’s largest and most productive life sciences sectors.

He adds, ‘The Global Business Summit on Life Sciences will introduce some of the world’s most important and influential sector leaders to see what the UK have to offer.

‘It will also highlight how UK innovation continues to flourish and how the industry collaborates, to produce world class services, products and individuals.’

The Life Sciences Day is one of 18 global business summits being organised by UK Trade & Investment to promote UK business and facilitate trade during the Olympics.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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Early Stage Funding