Recent Public Sector Initiatives to Drive Innovation in Medicines Manufacturing

Posted on: 15/07/2020


There have been several different public sector initiatives announced recently which can be utilised by companies and organisations in the medicines manufacturing sector to drive innovation. Some of these come from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), while some are directly in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, as part of the £1.25bn package to support business.


Opportunities through ISCF:

Manufacturing Made Smarter:

Our medicines manufacturing and sector manufacturing teams work closely with the Manufacturing Made Smarter team.

UK registered businesses can apply for funding towards feasibility studies into digital technologies to transform supply chains in UK manufacturing. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Projects must help UK manufacturing supply chains develop digital technologies to become more efficient, productive, flexible, resilient. These must encourage the use of digital approaches to better integrate and optimise the performance of supply chains.

Competition closes: Wednesday 7 October 2020 11:00am

Manufacturing made smarter: digital supply chain, industrial research

Manufacturing made smarter: digital supply chain, feasibility studies

ISCF Manufacturing Made Smarter Research Centres – Closing date: 23rd September 2020. On behalf of UKRI, EPSRC are offering funding for up to 4-5 Centres with total funding available of up to £20 million. Expressions of interest are requested for delivering cross-cutting research in the area of Digital Manufacturing. Research is expected to cover both technological and societal aspects of the digital manufacturing space, and should be driven by industry-identified needs and challenges.


Biomedical Catalyst:

The next round of the Biomedical Catalyst launched on 27th July.  £30 million is available to support industry-led research and development projects that seek to provide solutions to Health and Care challenges. The next competition is for Early & Late strands of the Biomedical Catalyst and opened on Monday 27th July 2020, and will close on Wednesday 7th October 2020 at 11:00am.

Find out more


Impact of Covid-19:


The Sustainable Innovation Fund: round 2 (de minimis)

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £26 million to fund single and collaborative research and development projects as part of The Sustainable Innovation Fund. The aim of this competition is to help all sectors of the UK rebuild after the effects of COVID-19. Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £50,000 and £100,000
  • be ready to start by 1 November 2020
  • last between three and six months

Closing date: 2nd September 2020. For more details, click here.


If you have an existing project with Innovate UK, you may be eligible for funding to support your business through continuity loans.

Find out more here.

Apply here.


Other Calls:

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Current KTP period opened on 16th July, and closes on 7th October 2020 (after this the next round will be available immediately, so don’t rush your application unnecessarily).

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)  links your organisation with one of the UK’s world-class knowledge bases (a university or research organisation) to power strategic innovation projects, embed expertise and drive commercial growth. needed to develop it, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership may be the answer. It creates a dynamic three-way collaboration – between a business or not for profit organisation, a UK university or research organisation, and a suitably qualified graduate – to help realise a strategic innovation project, bring about transformative change and embed new capability.

Read more



Beyond Covid-19: innovations in vaccine technologies. The race is on.
29th July, 14.00 – 15.30

Join KTN and the Medicines Manufacturing Challenge Community to find out how some of those UK companies are developing game-changing enabling technologies in vaccine formulation, manufacture and delivery.

Watch back the recording here



Positioning statement: CGT Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre –

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) has been granted £100 million funding by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to establish a CGT Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Braintree, Essex.

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