£7.5m in grant funding from Innovate UK for development of virtual regulation networks

£7.5 million in grant funding has been made available from Innovate UK for Scottish innovators and science collaborators looking to link up and support the development of new tools, data sets and “approaches that enhance regulatory decision making”, with InnoScot Health encouraging organisations to apply for funding of up to £50,000.

The competition aims to support “the development of proposals for virtual networks of expertise in regulation that generate research-based evidence and insights”, along with supporting policymaking that enables “enables agile and proportionate regulation in response to innovation”.

These networks are expected to build evidence bases, strengthen partnerships and knowledge transfer, influence policy through research insights, and help take advantage of commercial opportunities.

Specifically, Innovate UK wants the competitions push for improvements to be “targeted across product lifecycles”, particularly in areas including approvals, ongoing safety, and performance monitoring.

Those awarded funding during the Discovery phase will be able to apply for the Implementation phase competition, which will open around August of 2024.

Elaine Gemmell, head of regulatory affairs, said: “By funding up to 30 collaborations, initiatives like these are vital to encouraging collaborative working and serving to ultimately foster better regulatory decision making. The programme contributes to the creation of a pro-innovation regulatory environment that benefits society and this competition could be the start of some exciting new ideas which inform future regulatory policy and practice and contribute to better healthcare outcomes for Scottish patients.”

She highlighted the importance of interested parties applying before the end of January in order to be considered, and added: “Innovate UK believes that by building on existing regulatory science activity, this investment will contribute to securing the UK’s position as a global leader in regulatory science. If successful in the Discovery phase, they will have the opportunity of developing their proposals with a package of support including workshops and events that will assist in honing their applications for the Implementation phase while encouraging networking between collaborations.”

To learn more about the funding application, please click here.

Also from Innovate UK, towards the end of last year the organisation announced the launch of its FemTech accelerator programme, part of its Global Business Innovation Programme (GBIP), to help UK SMEs to scale globally.

Elsewhere on innovation, King’s College London has been awarded £1.5 million in funding from Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund, to develop “the UK’s first” MedTech accelerator programme. The programme, led by Professor Sebastien Ourselin, head of the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, will look to “translate medical devices to commercial success and clinical impact”.