Innovative technologies for intracellular drug delivery

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £5m to support innovation in intracellular drug delivery formulations.

Opportunity Details


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Your project’s total grant funding request must be between £100,000 and £1 million. Up to 70% of costs can be covered depending on business size.


Innovate UK

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Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £5 million in innovation projects to develop innovative solutions for product formulation for intracellular drug delivery.

The aim of this competition is to stimulate the development and manufacturing of a range of innovative formulations. This will improve the efficiency and results of DNA and RNA based medicines, reducing the dose, associated manufacturing raw material and energy consumption.

Your proposal must show how it will improve the productivity, competitiveness and growth for at least one UK micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) involved in the project.

Your project must:

  • have a total grant funding request of between £100,000 and £1 million
  • start by 1 July 2023
  • end by 31 March 2026
  • last between 12 and 33 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK


To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size, a research and technology organisation (RTO), charity, not for profit or public sector organisation (not an academic institution)
  • collaborate with other UK registered organisations
  • be or involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

If the lead organisation is not a business it must collaborate with 2 businesses (one SME, and one business of any size).

An organisation or business can lead on only one application, and if doing so, it can also be included as a collaborator in only two other applications. A non-leading business or organisation (including academic institutions) can collaborate on any number of applications.


The aim of this competition is to stimulate the development and manufacturing of innovative formulations for DNA and RNA-based medicines, to improve efficiency in achieving their effect. This will reduce the dose, and associated manufacturing raw material and energy consumption.

Your project will develop innovative solutions for product formulation for intracellular drug delivery.

Your proposal must:

  • focus on the development or manufacturing of the formulation
  • demonstrate an improvement in resource efficiency, productivity or throughput in manufacturing technology utilising a recognised metric, for example, process mass intensity

Formulation components in scope for this competition comprise nanodelivery systems including, but not limited to:

  • lipid nanoparticles (LNPs)
  • polymeric nanoparticles
  • charge altering release transporters (CARTs)
  • cationic peptides

We are not funding projects that are focused on the active principle (RNA, DNA) rather than the improved formulation, or which are based on other delivery methods such as viral vector technologies, liposomes, or exosome.

Specific themes

Your project must focus on one or more of the following:

  • product characterisation
  • process challenges for increasing the scale of production
  • transfer of technology from small-scale manufacturing to a good manufacturing practice (GMP) manufacturing facility
  • lowering of the cost of goods
  • improving stability of the formulated medicinal product
  • increase in speed of production cycle

Briefing events and support

An online briefing event will be held on 17th January at 12.30pm GMT: click here to register for a place.

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

Innovate UK KTN provides widespread support for the medicines manufacturing community: see our Medicines Manufacturing page for details, and contact our team there.


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