News story

Vaccines for infectious diseases: apply for business contracts

Organisations can apply for a share in £10 million of funding for feasibility studies and research into vaccines for infectious diseases.

The Department of Health wants to encourage the development of new vaccines, vaccine technologies and vaccine manufacturing. It is set to invest £10 million in an SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) competition.

Up to £6 million is available for exploring the technical and scientific feasibility of vaccines that are not yet ready for phase 1 human trials.

A further £4 million is available for work on candidate vaccines that are ready for phase 1 human trials, or soon will be.

The global threat presented by infectious diseases led the UK government to establish the UK Vaccine Network. This was to ensure that the UK was at the forefront of the fight against outbreaks.

Fast deployment of vaccines in low-income areas are vital to combating the threat of disease. The competition aims to promote development of:

  • vaccines for chikungunya, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, dengue virus, ebola, hantavirus, lassa, Marburg, Middle East respiratory syndrome, nipah, plague, Q fever, Rift Valley fever and zika
  • vaccine platform technology
  • manufacturing technologies that would allow for the quick manufacture of vaccines in low-income settings

Competition information

  • the competition opens on 29 February 2016, and the deadline for registration is at noon on 27 April 2016
  • the competition is for 100% funded contracts and is open to all organisations that can demonstrate a route to market for their solution
  • contracts for feasibility studies are expected to be between £300,000 and £500,000 and to last up to 12 months. The Department of Health will consider further major awards for successful contracts
  • contracts for later-stage projects are expected to be between £500,000 and £1 million and to last up to 18 months
  • the competition is funded by Official Development Assistance and all projects must clearly show how they will benefit those in low-income countries
  • applications should be made through Innovate UK
  • a briefing event will be held on 11 March 2016