Innovative technologies for nucleic acid medicines manufacturing

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £5 million for manufacturing innovation for nucleic acid medicines.

Opportunity Details


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Your project must have total costs between £100,000 and £2 million. Up to 100% of this may be covered by the grant, depending on organisation type and size.


Innovate UK

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Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £5 million in innovation projects. These will be to develop and commercialise innovative solutions for the manufacturing of nucleic acid medicines.

The aim of this competition is to improve the resource efficiency, productivity and scalability for the manufacture of nucleic acid medicines in the UK.

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

Your project must:

  • have a grant award of between £100,000 and £2 million
  • start by 1 June 2023
  • end by 31 May 2025
  • last between 12 and 24 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:

If the lead organisation is an RTO it must collaborate with 2 businesses (one SME, and one business of any size).

A business, research and technology organisation (RTO), charity, not for profit or public sector organisation can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications. If a business, RTO, charity, not for profit or public sector organisation is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

An academic institute cannot lead, but can collaborate on any number of applications.


The aim of this competition is to improve the resource efficiency, productivity and scalability for the manufacture of nucleic acid medicines in the UK.

Our objective is to stimulate the development and implementation of innovative technologies to improve the resource efficiency, productivity and ability to manufacture nucleic acid-based medicine. This must allow for growth at scale including, but not limited to, emerging products targeting large patient populations.

Your project must be focused on the manufacturing of the active nucleic acid ingredient. You must be able to demonstrate an improvement in resource efficiency, productivity or throughput as compared with current manufacturing technology utilising a recognised metric, for example, with process mass intensity.

The nucleic acid-based active ingredients in scope for this competition include but are not limited to:

  • small activating ribonucleic acid (RNA)
  • messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), including self-amplifying mRNA
  • antisense RNA or oligonucleotides
  • small interfering, short interfering or silencing RNA
  • short hairpin RNA
  • Micro RNA
  • DNA

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

  • in-process monitoring, control and release testing
  • maintenance of product critical quality parameters such as purity, potency and viability
  • 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 as final output
  • increase in yield of active ingredient
  • increase in speed of production cycle
  • methods to increase the flexibility of established manufacturing facilities
  • adaptation of processes from batch to continuous production

Briefing event

An online briefing event will be held at noon on Tuesday 15th November 2022: click here for the joining link.


If you would like help to find a collaboration partner, or advice on your application, contact Innovate UK KTN’s Health team.


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