Cell therapy research to receive £10m boost

23 Nov 2007

UK research into regenerative medicine is to receive a boost following the Technology Strategy Board's decision to invest £10 million in highly innovative collaborative research and development projects.

The Technology Strategy Board is inviting applications for financial support for research projects that involve the development of living cell processes and cell-focussed applications for improved healing, including living cell bioprocessing, smart dressings, veterinary, surgical and dental applications and wound repair.  Projects that demonstrate significant innovation in the following areas will be particularly welcome by the Board:

-          Engineered systems for scale-up of tissues and cells,

-          Functional integration and immunocompatibility,

-          New dressings with reactive elements,

-          Control of cellular movement.

The Technology Strategy Board will provide partial investment in winning projects that address one or more of these areas, and which involve businesses working collaboratively with other businesses and/or with research organisations and academic institutions.

The projects, which can last for 2 to 3 years, can range from small, highly focussed basic research projects, aimed at establishing technical feasibility, through to applied research and experimental development projects aimed at producing technology demonstrators.  Additional funding from the Research Councils may be available where there is a significant, high-quality academic component. 

The Cell Therapy competition is part of the Technology Strategy Board's Autumn 2007 call for proposals in a number of innovation and technology areas. 

Explaining the background to the competition,  Technology Strategy Board Chief Executive Iain Gray said "Regenerative medicine is at the forefront of 21st century healthcare and will revolutionise healthcare treatment.  The worldwide market is conservatively estimated to reach $500 billion by 2010.  The UK has a significant presence in this field.  However, to realise the potential for regenerative medicine, the successful development and application of bioprocessing technologies will be required in order to make manufactured products available at a reasonable cost." 

He added "The aim of the Technology Strategy Board is to support the research, development and exploitation of technology for the benefit of the UK economy and to improve the quality of life.  We are therefore delighted to invest in cell therapy research and development."

Applicants must register their intention to apply for funding by 11 January 2008 and the final closing date for applications is 14 February 2008.  Further information is available at www.technologyprogramme.org.uk

Download pdf of full press release including notes for editors 





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