News story

Industrial Strategy to boost medicine production: new funding

Up to £8 million is available for businesses to digitise and improve the manufacture of medicines through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Medical lab workers

There is up to £8 million available as part of a fund to support the UK to deliver leading-edge healthcare.

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £8 million for projects that significantly improve the efficiency, effectiveness and scope of medicines manufacture.

The funding is part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy. It is provided by UK Research and Innovation and delivered through Innovate UK.

Why medicines manufacturing needs to go digital

Society faces a global challenge in ensuring people everywhere can age healthily. Infrastructure that supports this need has to be efficient and fit for purpose.

For this to happen, there needs to be a major change in the way we manufacture medicines with greater use of digitalisation.

This competition aims to improve manufacture, reduce waste and costs in the medicines supply chain.

It is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. The £181 million leading-edge healthcare fund is designed to transform how we develop and manufacture medicines and other healthcare products, such as digital technologies.

Improving the efficiency of medicines manufacturing

We are looking for projects that address at least 1 of 3 themes. These are to:

  • improve the UK’s capacity and capability to manufacture small-molecule, biological, or cell or gene-based medicines
  • significantly reduce the cost of manufacturing these medicines
  • significantly reduce the waste produced while manufacturing them

This could include but is not limited to:

  • improved commercially viable manufacturing processes
  • methods for the reliable and robust scale-up of novel medicines
  • increased access to medicines needing just-in-time delivery, such as medicines with a short shelf life
  • increased yield of active ingredient or final product
  • lower cost of production and goods
  • improved integration of ordering and delivery, such as, co-ordinating prescriptions with production scheduling
  • a reduction in waste, for example, by manufacturing to order rather than to stock

Proposals must also show how the project will increase the productivity, competitiveness, capability or growth of at least one UK business involved.

Competition information

  • this competition opens on 10 September 2018, and the deadline for applications is midday on 3 October 2018
  • UK businesses can lead a project, working alone or in collaboration with other businesses
  • total project costs can be between £2 million and £4 million
  • projects must start by 1 January 2019 and last between 3 and 4 months
  • you can register to attend an online briefing event on 11 September and a London engagement event on 21 September to find out more about the competition and how to make a quality application
Published 28 August 2018