BBSRC-STFC facility access funding for bioscience partnerships

Businesses looking to solve industrially-relevant research and innovation challenges are invited to form bioscience partnerships, using the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s skills, expertise, capabilities and world class facilities.

Opportunity Details


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Project costs are expected to be £10,000-£100,000. Expressions of interest must be submitted by 6th January 2023.



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The BBSRC-STFC facility access funding for bioscience partnerships opportunity is a joint funded programme by BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) and STFC (Science and Technology Facilities Council). It will support the UK bioscience researchers and businesses in accessing and benefitting from access to STFC skills, expertise, capabilities and world class facilities.

Overall, the ambition is to support businesses and academic researchers to undertake collaborative research and development (R&D) which is focused on solving industrially-relevant research and innovation challenges. This will be through engaging with the unique national capabilities and facilities at STFC.

These collaborations will be supported in accessing and working with STFC’s large scale facilities, advanced analytical technologies, and high-performance computing or data expertise.

The programme provides support and access to advanced analytical technologies, expertise, and capabilities, located at STFC’s large scale science facilities around the UK. Areas of work could include:

  • neutrons: study structure and dynamics of materials at the atomic scale, including organic systems, the interaction of antimicrobials with pathogen membranes, or toxins from pathogens with models of mammalian and plant membranes
  • X-rays: acquire high-resolution data to accelerate drug discovery, design and development. This includes gathering 3-dimensional structure data of macromolecular drug targets and their ligands for drug target identification, and investigate the size, stability and conformation of macromolecules in solution
  • lasers: extensive laser-based techniques to understand everything from single-molecule transport in biological systems to environmental changes and chemical pathways in cells, tissues and biomaterials. Or watch how chemical and biochemical changes in materials happen in real-time
  • high performance computing: access to computing resources, from classic computing for molecular simulations (for example, structural drug representations and molecular docking), to data analysis of complex datasets looking for significant correlations, to drug interaction and stability both in the formulation and in solution


At the expression of interest stage, challenge statements (c. 500 words) must be submitted by the business partner. You do not need an academic partner to submit an expression of interest.

To be an eligible business for funding you must:

  • be a UK based business registered at Companies House
  • have a manufacturing base for the relevant product in the UK or provide the relevant service in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results in the UK

To be eligible for full funding, we require an academic-business partnership. BBSRC will be able to provide advice and guidance into finding an academic partner if you do not already have one. If approved, applicants will work together with STFC scientists to develop a fully costed project proposal.

Projects are expected to cost up to £100,000. They can be undertaken any time over a 12-month period (subject to scheduling of STFC facilities) starting 1 April 2023 and ending 31 March 2024. Projects must consist of a partnership between at least 1 eligible academic organisation and at least 1 eligible business organisation.

This programme will fund access to STFC facilities and staff expertise as part of the total project cost. BBSRC and STFC will cover 100% of the facility costs, and 80% of the full economic cost of the academic component. Companies are expected to provide a contribution (that may be in-kind or direct) of 30%-50% of the STFC facility cost, depending on company size.


This pilot funding opportunity aims to fund academic-industry collaborative R&D partnerships undertaking industrially-relevant research and innovation on bioscience and biotechnology within BBSRC’s remit.

The programme is intended to foster impactful collaborations, supporting excellent, world-leading discovery research and innovation, which has clear benefit to the businesses involved, through direct access and use of STFC facilities and expertise.

The programme is setup specifically to assist academic-industry collaborative R&D partnerships in accelerating the development of new products or services which require further research and innovation at proof-of-concept stage.

Business applicants need to clearly articulate how solving their challenge will create wider economic, societal, or commercial outcomes, and routes to market or use.

Join us on Monday 5th December, 10am-2:45pm, for the funding programme online briefing event in partnership with the BBSRC and STFC.

If you’d like more information about this opportunity, please contact Rajesh Mistry at Innovate UK KTN.

Rajesh Mistry

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Rajesh Mistry

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