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WELCOME TO
THE BLOOMSBURY SET
...connecting capabilities to combat the threat from
infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The Bloomsbury SET (Science, Economics, Technology) programme connects places, people, businesses, ideas and infrastructures to bring forward innovative scientific and technical solutions to help safeguard human health.

Solutions like better diagnosis, vaccines and models of disease will lead to major human health benefits, as well as improvements in animal health, welfare and productivity, and in biosecurity and food safety.

The Bloomsbury SET facilitates innovation and productivity within business, and will help to shape public health policy and practice.

Supported by Research England’s Connecting Capabilities Fund, this programme establishes an innovation platform that connects the capabilities of four Colleges of the University of London, in the field of Healthcare and Medicines:
Open Innovation

The Bloomsbury SET programme creates a ‘single open door’, an innovation gateway for government agencies, large pharmaceutical and veterinary pharmaceutical companies, SMEs, investors and overseas partners.

The programme provides a model for open exchange of knowledge in human health and medicines, which is capable of being adopted elsewhere – particularly in Lower & Middle Income Countries (LMICs) – with a view to creating resilient knowledge ecosystems outside the UK to benefit our overseas partners too. Get involved!

Challenges

What is infectious disease? Fact page from the World Health Organisation

What is antimicrobial resistance (AMR)? Fact page from the UK Medical Research Council

Infectious diseases pose a major threat to human health worldwide. Increasing resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobials (AMR) used to control these diseases also pose a major threat. The rise of AMR and the transfer of disease from animals to humans can lead to infections in humans that are untreatable even by last-resort drugs.

Our ability to assess risk, by early detection of diseases circulating in animal populations, is hampered by a lack of low-cost, portable diagnostic tools. Disease control is hindered by a shortage of suitable vaccines and by data scarcity, so there can be large uncertainties in our mathematical models of disease spread and persistence, both in humans and livestock.

The Bloomsbury SET (Science, Economics, Technology) will connect places, people, businesses, ideas and infrastructures in pursuit of innovative scientific / technical solutions that will help safeguard human health.

Solutions

The programme brings three complementary initiatives to address the challenges, leading to major human health benefits, as well as improvements in animal health, welfare and productivity, and in biosecurity and food safety:

  1. Development, testing and deployment of low-cost, mobile diagnostic tools for a range of endemic and emerging infectious diseases.
  2. Development of new, more efficacious vaccines, leading to a significant reduction in the use of antimicrobials in food animals (thus helping stem the rise in AMR).
  3. Application of machine-learning (artificial intelligence, AI) techniques to integrate large data sets, leading to the development of improved mathematical models of infectious disease. These models will increase the accuracy of results when forecasting case numbers, investigating transmission mechanisms and evaluating options for disease control.

The Bloomsbury SET – which links Scientists, Economists and Technologists (hence ‘SET’) – is a Knowledge Exchange platform for these initiatives, pooling the commercialisation expertise of the four University of London partners, and their network of collaborators.