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You are here: BioMedTech £180m to bridge ‘valley of death’ for medical breakthroughs

£180m to bridge ‘valley of death’ for medical breakthroughs

Prime Minister David Cameron

Cambridge SMEs and academics in the BioMedTech arena can pitch for a share of a £180 million UK government scheme designed to bridge the ‘valley of death’ for medical breakthroughs.

The Biomedical Catalyst scheme is open for applications at the end of April. It will see the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board working together to take the best UK medical breakthroughs through to commercial success.

Cambridge has Europe’s leading Life Sciences cluster. Another local link sees Dr John Stageman, who formerly headed the MedImmune operation in Cambridge before retiring from its parent company AstraZeneca, has been named as chair of a committee set up by MRC and TSB to oversee the strategic direction of the programme.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the committee would comprise well respected experts and leaders from small and large businesses, investors, academics and clinicians.

Cameron, said: “The UK boasts a world-leading life sciences sector which is changing at an incredible pace. And I'm absolutely committed to helping it widen its significant foothold in the global market.

“Benefiting both patients and the British economy, this £180 million programme will support both SMEs and academics and help to ensure that they can turn their promising ideas into innovative technologies.”

Three categories of grant awards will be available through the scheme – feasibility, early stage and late stage. Any SME or academic undertaking research and development, either individually or working in collaboration, can apply and applications will be accepted at any time.

Individual grants to businesses will range from a maximum of £150,000 for feasibility awards to £3 million for early and late stage awards.

Projects could focus on, for example, stratified therapy development, regenerative medicine, diagnostics, eHealth and mHealth solutions, enabling medical technologies and devices.

The programme will seek to support those opportunities which demonstrate the highest scientific and commercial potential, irrespective of medical area.

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