The UK government has pledged £260 million to bolster healthcare research, £60 million of which will be used to expand manufacturing capabilities.
At the beginning of this month, the UK government announced that £260 million ($339 million) will be invested into the life sciences industry. The £60 million ($78 million) dedicated to expanding manufacturing services will support cell and gene therapies, medical devices, and commercial scale production investments by various companies.
The investment for manufacturing fundings will be distributed through the newly created Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund (LSIMF).
“LSIMF is open to all applications which meet the mandatory eligibility criteria. It will provide capital grants for investments in the manufacture of human medicines (drug substance and drug product), medical diagnostics and MedTech products,” a spokesperson for LSIMF told us.
“This could be for the upgrade, expansion or establishment of new manufacturing facilities and is likely to include both building infrastructure (e.g., air handling, the building), buying land and manufacturing equipment.”
LSIMF told us it is “not able to disclose which companies have been awarded funding until a final decision is taken by ministers and successful companies have agreed the terms and conditions in their final Grant Offer Letters.”
Why and how?
The aim of LSIMF is to reverse the decline in UK life sciences manufacturing. To do so, the organization said it has the following objectives:
- Creating economic opportunity through investments that will make a substantial contribution to Gross Value Added and provide high-wage, high-skilled jobs.
- Deploying cutting-edge innovations (at either pilot or commercial scale) which may be embedded in the product itself or within the manufacturing process.
- Increasing health resilience in the UK through increased domestic capacity, or by providing flexible capabilities that can be re-deployed in a future health emergency.
- Minimizing impact on the environment which might include becoming more sustainable through the reduction or use of alternative input resources (energy, solvents, water, carbon), the minimizing of waste or supporting the Government’s Net Zero agenda.
To apply for the funding, companies will need to submit an “Expression of Interest which will be reviewed for eligibility and alignment to the fund’s strategic objectives,” said LSIMF.
If the projects align with LSMIF’s objectives, they will then be invited to an interview and asked to complete a full application for due diligence, if successful.
“Due diligence consists of an economic, financial, project delivery, risk analysis and subsidy control assessment of the application. The outputs of the due diligence will be presented to the LSIMF program board (and Industrial Development Advisory Board (IDAB) where relevant) for a decision on whether the application should be recommended to ministers or rejected.”
Finally, the ministers will then be responsible for making a final decision on awarding a grant.