Innovate UK is partnering with the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to invest up to £3 million in innovative biomanufacturing projects. This initiative, part of the Canada-UK: Biomanufacturing of Biologics and Advanced Therapies Round 2, aims to propel the development and implementation of cutting-edge technologies in biomanufacturing, fostering flexibility and technical capabilities essential for the sustainable production of next-generation vaccines and therapies.

Goals and Objectives

The primary goal of this competition is to stimulate technological advancements in biomanufacturing. By encouraging bilateral research and development (R&D) collaborations, the initiative seeks to position both the UK and Canada to effectively respond to future health emergencies. Proposals must focus on innovative technologies that enable flexible, scalable, efficient, and cost-effective manufacturing of novel biological therapeutic products and delivery systems. Moreover, projects must demonstrate a high potential for commercialisation, emphasising the economic viability and practical application of the proposed technologies.

Focus Areas

Projects can focus on various areas, including:

  • Enabling technologies for biologics and advanced therapeutics
  • Delivery systems for proteins and nucleic acids
  • Novel biological products (e.g. vaccines and therapeutic proteins).

The competition seeks a portfolio approach, funding a diverse array of projects across different technologies and themes.

Competitive Application Process

Participation in this competition entails entering a competitive process. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 26th October 2024, closing at 11am UK time/ 9am PDT/ 12pm EDT).

For Canadian applicants, registration and submission of an Expression of Interest (EoI) by 2nd July 2024, are prerequisites for eligibility. Only Canadian micro, small, or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can apply, and failure to complete an EoI disqualifies them from funding.

UK participants must be part of an application submitted to Innovate UK, while their Canadian counterparts submit a parallel application to NRC. Both applications are reviewed independently by Innovate UK and NRC, with funding decisions made jointly. Successful projects must secure grant funding from both Innovate UK and NRC to proceed.

Project Criteria

Eligible projects must request no more than £600,000 for UK organisations and no more than CA$1 million for Canadian partners. Projects should start by 1st April 2025 and conclude by 31st March 2027, lasting between 12 and 24 months. Importantly, projects must commence on the first of the month, as reflected in the grant offer letter.

Balanced Collaboration and Commercial Exploitation

Collaborative projects must involve at least one UK registered SME and one Canadian incorporated SME, with a balanced distribution of total eligible project costs among partners. Projects should predominantly take place in the UK and Canada, aiming for a balanced contribution of efforts and resources. Additionally, proposals must clearly outline the intention to commercially exploit the results, either domestically or globally.

Restrictions and Compliance

Under current restrictions, the competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development, or supply chain activity involving Russian or Belarusian entities. Furthermore, all project costs included in the application must be eligible under the specified guidelines.

Leading and Partnering Organisations

To lead a project, the organisation must be either a UK registered business of any size or a Canadian incorporated, profit-oriented SME. The collaboration must involve at least three eligible, grant claiming organisations (1 from Canada and 1 from the UK, with at least 1 more from either the UK or Canada). Each UK partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service (IFS) by the lead to collaborate on the project.

Subcontractors and Non-Funded Partners

The competition allows for subcontractors, with UK subcontractor costs limited to no more than 20% of the organisation’s total eligible costs. Subcontractors can be from the UK and Canada, and the use of subcontractors from other countries requires a detailed rationale.

What To Do Next?

For a free consultation to discuss your project further, contact RedKnight today.