As people come back from the ‘holidays’ the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is checking in that you are exploring the Innovate UK funding calls currently available where ATMPs are in scope – and that you can contact the KTN for support.

These include BioMedical Catalyst (14 September deadline, up to £10 million to develop innovative ideas that will help solve healthcare challenges, our sector in scope particularly reference to ‘tailored treatments that either change the underlying disease or offer potential cures’.

Also current is the £15 million Open Competition, though cross sector this includes any technology, engineering or industrial area, including Innovate UK’s 4 priority sectors for growth- e.g. health and life sciences, total eligible project costs of £25,000 up to £1 million, deadline 7 September.

Forthcoming for 2016 is the Health and Life Sciences call, planned is the cell therapy manufacturing call (both mentioned on page 17 of Innovate UK delivery plan).

KTN are also exploring how companies might use the Global Cooperation Feasibility Studies competition – where business can apply for a share of £1.2 million to carry out short, international feasibility studies – the competition brief mentions that they will fund SMEs to support the costs for their involvement in activities such as:

  • meetings with partners in the UK or other countries
  • travel and subsistence, including travelling abroad to meet partners, attend brokerage or exhibition events and gain a better understanding of market opportunities and user/customer needs
  • due diligence work on partners and markets
  • staff time for proof of market or concept work
  • sub-contracting services (limited to up to 10% of costs)

So this might be useful if exploring a collaboration partner through attending a key event in Q1 2017, or an EU proposal?

The recent Treasury announcement makes it clear that EU H2020 opportunities are very much open to UK business – such as the SME instrument Cell technologies in medical applications and especially calls like the single stage SC1-PM-11-2016-2017 Clinical Research on regenerative medicine.

It will also be interesting to see what opportunities might come out of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) Stakeholder Forum at end September where there is a dedicated advanced therapies discussion.

KTN continues to work alongside the National Contact Points (NCPs) for Health and the SME instrument, Innovate UK and Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) on how best to support businesses in applying for these calls. We also work closely with the Catapults key to this space.

Contact me or a colleague directly and we’ll help you to make an efficient decision on which call(s) might give you a non-diluting funding stream to drive forward your innovation, and business. We know that often this is a balance between current business strategy and precious time to develop proposals and collaborations.

Sarah Goulding and Mark Bustard