Doping for UK's biomedicine
03.08.2012 - The UK government has pledged to invest additional €49m (£39m) in the country's life science research.
The Biomedical Catalyst Fund commited €12,6m (£10m) to 14 universities and 18 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to explore the market potential of early-stage ideas. Each of the universities received up to £750k, while each company received up to £150k to propel their projects. These are the first investments for the three-year, €227m (£180m) fund. It is part of the Strategy for Life Science unveiled by UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron December last year to foster the domestic life science industry. The grants will fund about 150 pilot projects, allowing academic researchers to begin the process of turning a bright idea into a viable proposition. Universities have control over allocating the funding internally, allowing them to respond rapidly to new opportunities and have the flexibility to pursue the most promising translational research opportunities.
In an effort to establish four e-health centres of excellence in London, Manchester, Dundee and Swansea, UK’s Medical Research Council has teamed up with a consortium of ten public and charity research funders. The centres will focus on conditions including cancer, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. The researchers working at these centers will link information in NHS health records with other forms of research and routinely-collected data to improve patient care and public health.
Only days ago, Cameron unveiled plans to converse the Olympic drug testing laboratories located in Harlow into a phenome research centre after the Games are complete. The concept of the phenome encapsulates all of an individual’s traits, which are the outcome of a continuous interplay between their genes and the environment. It will be funded by €12,6m (£10m) investments over five years by both the Medical Research Council and the Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research. Two companies who make scientific instruments - Bruker, and Waters Corporation – will invest additional €25,2m (£20m). Imperial College and King’s College London will be academic partners in the project.