23rd July 2021
News: London-Liverpool alliance awarded £1.9 million to accelerate solutions to combat infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance
On the 22nd July 2021, the UK Government announced its new Innovation Strategy that sets out plans to cement the UK’s position as a world-leader in science, research and innovation. The strategy outlines how the government will focus its efforts to support businesses and institutions at the cutting edge of innovation and more details can be found at their website.
In support of the government’s ambitious new Innovation Strategy, Research England is investing over £5.5 million of Connecting Capability Fund money to strengthen commercialisation and create jobs in the north of England. This investment is part of a wider £25 million boost to the Connecting Capability Fund (CCF). This follows on from £86.4 million invested from 2018 to 2021 that stimulated growth and innovation across the country. You can read more here.
The Bloomsbury SET – a knowledge exchange programme led by The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has been awarded further funding from Research England, totalling £1.9 million. Beginning in July 2021, the year-long project will help commercialise research into infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance.
Building on the current work of The Bloomsbury SET, this new programme, entitled ‘The Bloomsbury SET: A London-Liverpool alliance to accelerate solutions to infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance’, retains three of the four original collaborating institutions.
Joining the RVC, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), and SOAS University of London, is a new partner, the Infection Innovation Consortium (iiCON), led by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. The programme also works closely with the London International Development Centre (LIDC), a consortium of seven Colleges of the University of London shaping the future of international development.
iiCON brings together public and private partners in a £170 million programme born out of the Liverpool City Region. The consortium builds on the North West’s UK-leading capability in infectious diseases R&D. It has been established to fast-track the discovery and development of new antimicrobial products and treatments to reduce the global burden of disease caused by infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
With infectious diseases and AMR now a high priority for global public health, there is an urgent need for both academic and commercial sectors to work together more effectively to prepare and respond to existing and emerging challenges.
In response to these critical threats, The Bloomsbury SET’s new Impact Connector programme will work with businesses to deliver products including vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics that will benefit both animals and humans. Aiming to transform the support for commercialisation of research across the partner institutions, it will build a collaborative culture across geographically-dispersed sites, creating the potential for strong synergies to arise from linking the key investments by Research England.
Impact Connector will target colleagues across the consortium who are at an early stage in their commercialisation journey, aiming to develop a pipeline of skilled innovators and support the most competitive ideas to progress to higher Technology Readiness Levels. Throughout the 12-month period, the programme of activities will accelerate partnerships, skills training and product development, including:
- A programme with bespoke workshops, peer-to-peer learning, and business mentoring to support product development.
- A skills programme for academics and other university staff to develop their understanding of the steps required to commercialise academic research and work with strategic partners.
- A series of events and activities to support connections between academics and appropriate commercial partners.
As part of this process, The Bloomsbury SET will provide small grants to nurture new collaborations and knowledge ecosystems, support the best technologies to move closer to market, and thus help safeguard global health.
See more on:
RVC news release here.
LSHTM news release here.
LSTM/iiCON news release here.