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UK science gains £1bn in funding

UK News | November 01, 2012

Ben Adams

UK science gains £1bn in funding

The UK Government has given a £1 billion cash boost for seven new projects in science and research.

The new projects double the number of winning bids from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund to 14. The RPIF which was launched in May this year allocates all funding across two rounds with the support of government and industry.

When complete, the scheme will deliver more than £1 billion of new funding for research from the UK Government, industry and charities, according to the Business Industry and Skills department.

The 14 winning bids, which cover the whole of the UK, will take up £220 million of public funding and leverage over £600 million of private support. There will shortly be a new bidding round for the remaining £80 million of public investment and both new and resubmitted bids will be eligible.

For life sciences, around £34 million from this funding stream is being put toward a new partnership between the University of Nottingham, GlaxoSmithKline and other co-investors to support the Centre in Sustainable Chemistry.

This will be housed within GSK’s Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry, which aims to minimise environmental impact.

A new partnership between the University of Manchester, the Christie hospital and Cancer Research UK to develop the Manchester Cancer Research Centre will also receive a £38 million cash boost.

This will look at cancer treatments targeted to individuals based on the specific characteristics of their tumour biology with the aim of increasing persoanlised treatments in the future. It will span laboratory research through to clinical trials and patient care and focus on five research areas: radiation therapy, lung cancer, women’s cancers, melanoma and haematological oncology.

An £85 million partnership between University College London and the Great Ormond Street Hospital has also been set up to find treatments for rare diseases, of which over 6,000 have already been identified.

David Willetts, minister for universities and science, said: “It is fantastic that our top businesses and top charities are queuing up to collaborate with our world-class universities. They want to work together to deliver innovation, commercialisation and growth, which will help make sure the UK competes and thrives in the global race.

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