Your weekly digest of policy news, funding competitions, and calls for evidence.
What’s been in the news?
VMIC collaborates with Oxford Biomedica
The Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC), funded by UKRI through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, has announced a collaboration with Oxford Biomedica. The alliance will ensure that once a covid-19 vaccine has been developed, there will be enough capacity to produce vaccines in mass quantities.
Both parties will be working to facilitate the manufacture of viral vector-based vaccines, specifically the adenovirus vector-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222.
As part of this collaboration, VMIC will provide Oxford Biomedica with manufacturing equipment to rapidly set up two new Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) production suites. The equipment will be located within Oxford Biomedica’s new commercial manufacturing centre, in Oxford, UK.
In addition to this, Oxford Biomedica will provide training to VMIC staff to ensure they have the capability to rapidly increase the UK’s capacity to manufacture viral vectors vaccines.
Urge for Brussels to step-up role in COVID-19 vaccine planning
To strengthen Europe’s preparedness for pandemics, Brussels has been urged to take on more responsibility in vaccine planning and production.
Six governments from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Poland and Spain delivered a letter calling on the EU to rapidly accelerate vaccine production capacity by sharing the financial costs of vaccine development with pharmaceutical companies.
The letter from EU governments calls for a coordinated approach to production of vaccines, including a call to increase financial support via EU funds.
A deal was recently struck to support the fast production of a covid-19 vaccine, with the European Investment Bank investing in 100 million to back-up BioNTech’s vaccine programme known as BNT162.
Nine grant winners share £10 million to secure UK’s digital services
The UK government has announced the names of nine academic research teams that will share £10 million to develop solutions to strengthen the security of digital devices and services.
Grant winners will create enhanced software and applications that ensure code is secure and hacking attempts can be contained. Each team will create a working example of their solution, using prototype chips, to showcase the economic and societal benefits of their secure technology.
Read more here.
This encourages research generation sequencing and other high-end genomics applications and genomic data analysis related to the COVID-19 epidemic. Submit you proposals or access projects related to the COVID-19 crisis.
Deadline: 30 June 2020
DHSC and UKRI have launched a rolling call for proposals for research into covid-19. Research should cover an understanding of the disease, prevention and management of the covid-19 outbreak.
Deadline: 1 April 2021
As part of the Chancellor’s £1.25Bn support package, £750m R&D funding (as grants and loans) will be available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme. First payments will be made available mid-May.
Deadline: Not released
Apply to repurpose your grant to support research into covid-19.
Deadline: Not specified
Deadline: Not specified
Apply to win funding for early-stage, design projects to reduce plastics’ harm to the environment.
Deadline: 16 September
UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £30 million for UK-developed late stage R&D, to support the automotive sector and the development of technologies capable of low emissions.
Deadline: 8 July