Canada-UK: Biomanufacturing of Biologics and Advanced Therapies

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £3.5m to collaborate with Canadian SMEs on joint R&D to innovate in biomanufacturing biologics and advanced therapies.

Opportunity Details


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The total grant funding request for all UK partners can be up to £600,000 for each application. This can cover up to 70% of costs.


Innovate UK

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Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to invest up to £3.5 million in innovation projects.

The aim of this competition is to stimulate the development and implementation of innovative technologies in biomanufacturing. The objective is to build the desired flexibility and technical capabilities required for the development and economically sustainable production of the next generation vaccines and therapies.

The bilateral research and development (R&D) collaborations between UK and Canada will enable both countries to be well positioned to respond to future health emergencies.

Your proposal must contribute to the development of innovative technology that enables flexible, scalable, efficient and cost effective manufacturing of novel biological therapeutic products and delivery systems. It must demonstrate high potential for commercialisation.


Note that there is another open opportunity in the same field: the Global Business Innovation Programme in Canada – Biomanufacturing of Biologics and Advanced Therapies (apply by 13th September) offers an innovation visit to Canada with business support before and after the visit. The innovation visit will take place in November 2023 so it will not be useful for finding a partner for the funding discussed here, but SMEs and companies are welcome to apply for both opportunities.

  • To lead a project your organisation must be either a UK registered business of any size, or a Canadian incorporated, profit orientated small or medium sized enterprise (SME).

    Your collaboration must involve at least one grant claiming UK registered SME and one eligible Canadian incorporated, profit orientated SME.

    To collaborate with the lead, you must be one of the following:

    • UK registered business of any size
    • UK registered academic institution
    • UK registered research and technology organisation (RTO)
    • Canadian SME
    • National Research Council of Canada (NRC) researcher
    • Canadian university
    • Canadian research technology organization (RTO)

    Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding. Their costs will count towards the total project costs. Canadian project participants who are not eligible for funding, including large enterprises and industries, are welcome to collaborate as additional participants on a self‑funded basis or as subcontractors.

    A UK business can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in one further application.

    A UK business that is not leading an application can collaborate on a maximum of two applications.

    A Canadian SME may only participate in one application either as a lead or partner.

    Academic institutions or RTOs can collaborate in any number of applications.

  • Canadian funding applicants are required to register and submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) before being eligible to apply for this competition.

    The registration deadline for Canadian SMEs is 11 August 2023.

    Canadian funding applicants who do not complete an EoI and have not been invited to proceed will not be eligible for funding through this competition.

    Please see the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) call page for more information in English and French on Canadian eligibility requirements and to register.

  • Your project must:

    • have a grant funding request of no more than £600,000 allocated to UK organisations
    • have a total grant funding request for Canadian partners of no more than CA$1 million
    • start by 1 March 2024
    • end by 28 February 2026
    • last between 12 and 24 months

    Projects should have a balanced contribution of the total eligible project costs among the partners from the participating partner countries.

    No one country or project partner can represent more than 70% of the total project cost.

    The majority of the project work must be undertaken in the UK and Canada.

  • This competition will foster and support collaborative research and development (CR&D) in biomanufacturing through Canadian and UK partnerships. The aim of this competition is to stimulate the development and implementation of innovative technologies in biomanufacturing.

    Your joint Canadian and UK project must focus on innovative technologies that enable the development and manufacturing of novel biological therapeutic products and delivery system, which can include:

    • vaccines (prophylactic, therapeutic, various platforms)
    • therapeutic proteins
    • advanced therapy medicinal products, including messenger RNA, small interfering RNA, gene therapies, cell therapies, engineered tissues
    • other biological based therapies, such as bacteriophage or engineered probiotics
    • viral and non-viral, for example Lipid Nano Particles (LNP) platforms, including their components and payloads, as delivery systems for protein and nucleic acids

    This list is not exhaustive.

  • Your project can focus on one or more of the following enabling technologies for biologics and advanced therapies:

    • discovery, design and high throughput screening platforms, which can include the application of artificial intelligence (AI)
    • manufacturing systems and methods, for example centralized, distributed or point-of-care, microfluidics based devices, new and innovative systems for GMP production, fill or finish
    • manufacturing process intensification enablers, for example hyper productive strains, novel expression systems, continuous production processes, perfusion technologies
    • novel analytical characterization, potency assays and real-time release technologies, biosensors
    • other relevant enabling technologies

    We are not funding projects that are:

    • for nutraceutical product development
    • manufacturing process innovations using a non-human medicine as the product
  • Innovate UK and NRC IRAP will hold a briefing and information session at 4:00pm UK time (which is 8am PDT and 11am EDT) on Thursday 29t June 2023.

    To find a collaboration partner, please visit the ‘b2match’ networking platform and create an online profile. Participants’ profiles will be visible to all who are interested in this collaboration opportunity.

    If you want further help to find a project partner, contact Innovate UK KTN’s Health team or our Biotechnology team.


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