Philip Hammond has today (1 October 2016) unveiled a package of support which includes £220 million for the life science and university sectors to help technology breakthroughs translate into commercial success, as well as action to ensure disruptive businesses thrive in the UK.
The package includes:
- £100 million of funding to extend and enhance the Biomedical Catalyst, supporting innovative UK life science companies to translate cutting-edge medical technologies into commercial success
- £120 million to incentivise university collaboration in tech transfer and in engaging with business, helping transform research at universities and institutions into viable business ventures
- expanding the successful Challenger Business Programmes to address regulations that pose the largest barriers to the adoption of disruptive technologies
The £100 million funding for the Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) will extend and enhance the programme for the next four years. The BMC provides grant support to ensure that emerging disruptive healthcare technologies in disease prevention, earlier diagnosis and tailored treatments are delivered to market. The programme offers funding at varying stages of technical and commercial development from feasibility studies through to proof of concept and early clinical trials.
The new £120 million tech transfer funding for universities over the next four years will promote collaboration to effectively engage business on the most promising technologies. Tech transfer offices up and down the country play a key role in research and innovation, supporting successful spin-outs, like Nottingham University’s Oncimmune, which has developed a blood test for the early detection of lung cancer. Oncimmune has just been nominated for the 2016 ‘best technology’ shortlist of AIM companies.
The Challenger Business Programme identifies and removes the barriers that stop innovative businesses from thriving. This programme has already helped 400 businesses since launch in 2013 and will now be expanded into new sectors and new businesses as part of the government’s Industrial Strategy. The programme has already led to tax allowances for money earned from the sharing economy and exemptions for the space and satellite sector from Insurance Premium Tax.