News story

Vaccines for global epidemics: apply for business contracts

Business can apply for a share of £35 million to support the clinical development of potential vaccines for 12 global priority diseases.


The Department of Health is to invest up to £35 million in projects to develop vaccines for 12 diseases with the potential to cause epidemics in low and middle-income countries.

Vaccines prevent millions of deaths worldwide every year. However, there is a strong need to develop new vaccines and develop the effectiveness of existing ones.

The 12 diseases identified as a priority by the UK Vaccine Network are chikungunya, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, ebola, hantavirus, lassa fever, Marburg virus, Middle East respiratory syndrome, nipah, plague, Q fever, Rift Valley fever, and zika.

Projects that could be supported include ones that:

  • apply emerging or existing technologies in other areas of vaccinology
  • test vaccine platforms in humans to improve existing strategies
  • test proven animal vaccines to support use in humans
  • develop vaccines for use in animal populations to prevent spread to humans
  • develop improved vaccine delivery
  • develop diagnostics that demonstrate safety
  • develop vaccines that protect against multiple strains of a pathogen or multiple pathogens

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition organised by the Department of Health in partnership with Innovate UK.

Competition information

  • the competition opens on 23 January 2017, and the deadline for registration is noon on 12 April 2017
  • the competition is open to any organisation, and there must be a realistic route to exploitation
  • funding will be in the form of fully funded development contracts
  • we expect projects to last between 24 and 36 months
  • individual contracts for clinical development up to and including phase IIb trials will be worth up to £3 million
  • a briefing event for potential applicants will be held in January 2017
Published 8 November 2016