17 April 2012A £180million government fund will open at the end of April, helping innovative academics and small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop solutions for healthcare challenges.
A key element of the Strategy for Life Sciences, which was launched by the Prime Minister in December last year, The Biomedical Catalyst will be a key element to combating current and forthcoming challenges faced by the healthcare sector. It will see the Technology Strategy Board and Medical Research Council (MRC) working together, taking the best British medical innovations through to commercialisation.
The Biomedical Catalyst will be open to academics and SMEs, accepting proposals from sectors that have the potential to provide significant positive impact on healthcare and the economy. The fund has been designed to support the development of breakthrough technologies emerging from partnerships between academics, clinicians and industry.
Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, Iain Gray said “This exciting scheme is a major part of the UK’s Strategy for Life Sciences and it aims to help the next generation of brilliant British medical breakthroughs become the next generation of great British companies. It will provide seamless support, from concept to commercialisation, from initial research in universities through to commercial development, from incubation of innovation through to product development.”
Sir John Savill, Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council declared “The MRC is particularly keen to help SMEs engage with clinical proof of concept studies, where partnerships with academic research groups and patient participation are vital. It will also build on the significant investment we have made in our existing translational research initiatives to help us deliver the health impacts of fundamental research to people more quickly.”
The Biomedical Catalyst will award three categories of grant: early stage, feasibility and late stage. All UK academics and SMEs who are undertaking research and development may apply, with applications accepted at any time. Individual grants to businesses will range from a maximum of £150,000 for feasibility awards to £3 million for early and late stage awards.