Funding is available for collaborative research and development projects which aim to advance the rate of development and commercialisation of regenerative medicines and cell therapies in UK industry.
The Technology Strategy Board (TSB), working in partnership with the Welsh Government, is inviting applications for funding for single-company and collaborative research and development projects that address specific challenges in the regenerative medicine and cell therapy industry, particularly the preparation of novel treatments for use. The aim of the call is to accelerate the rate of development and commercialisation of regenerative medicines and call therapies, with a focus on preclinical testing, clinical development and manufacture, and the development of associated underpinning tools and technologies.
There are two principle funding streams:
- Stream 1: Support for preclinical and clinical development of novel therapies.
- Stream 2: Support for developing underpinning tools and technologies.
Stream 1 projects must cover at least one of the following areas:
- Preclinical testing.
- Formulation and delivery.
- Clinical trials.
Stream 2 projects must aim to develop key platform technologies to advance the development and commercialisation of regenerative medicines and cell therapies, and address at least one of the following challenges:
- Confirming product safety or efficacy.
- Manufacturing treatments at scale.
Stream 2 applications concerned with modernising current methods and processes, which aim to achieve greater efficiency or reduce the time involved in launching products to market are particularly sought.
Projects must be business-led and may be single-company or collaborative. Partners can include other businesses or research organisations, such as universities and catapults. Applicants are encouraged to engage with the Cell Therapy Catapult, or other Catapult centres.
Up to £7.5 million has been allocated to this Call by TSB. In addition, the Welsh Government has allocated up to £500,000 to support projects which will have a positive impact specifically on the Welsh Economy. Projects are expected to range between £500,000 and £2.5 million, projects which fall outwith this range may still be eligible and potential applicants should discuss this with TSB before applying.
Business partners can receive up to 50% (60% for SMEs) of eligible costs. The maximum level of costs that can be shared by research organisations is 50%. Academic and research organisations undertaking non-economic activity will be funded as follows:
- Universities: 80% of Full Economic Costs (fEC).
- Non-profit distributing research and technology organisations, catapults, public sector research establishments and research council institutes: 100% of eligible costs.
Match Funding Restrictions
A maximum of 60% (SMEs) of research and development project costs (50% for academic organisations) is awarded; therefore the applicants must have the funding in place to meet the remainder of the project costs.
Projects relating to the discovery of new therapies will not be awarded funding.
Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions include:
- A collaboration agreement must be in place to ensure the allocation rights of any intellectual property arising from the project.
- The results of the project must be exploited within the UK and European Economic Area (EEA) within a maximum of five years from the end of the project funding period.
- Monitoring of the project is likely to be carried out by specialist contractors and will most likely involve quarterly reporting and progress meetings.
- An independent auditor to audit the project costs is required to be appointed and an accountants report will need to be produced.
The key dates for this competition are as follows:
- Competition open: 2 June 2014.
- Competition briefing in London: 10 June 2014.
- Registration deadline: 12 noon, 9 July 2014.
- Expression of interest deadline: 12 noon, 16 July 2014.
- Stage 2 opens to invited applicants: 4 August 2014.
- Deadline for invited applications: 12 noon, 8 October 2014.
Applicants must first register with the Technology Strategy Board through the competition webpage.
Application is via a two stage process:
- Stage 1: An expression of interest must be submitted and will be assessed.
- Stage 2: Selected applicants will be invited to submit an application.
A part of the application process, candidates are required to submit a project description which is suitable for publishing to a public audience. If funding is awarded this description will be published on the TSB website.
Information taken from: Grantfinder, Idox