£5m funding for innovative research and development projects using genomics technologies

15th Sep 2010

The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £5 million in innovative research and development projects using genomics-based technologies. This initiative seeks to highlight the opportunities created by the decrease in cost, and increase in speed, in high-throughput sequencing technology.

Opening in October, the competition is designed to encourage consortia to work together to exploit advances in genomics technologies. The Technology Strategy Board is seeking to support projects which utilise genomics technologies and techniques, in particular those using high-throughput sequencing for genome analysis, to enable the development of new products and processes.

The ability to access genomic information quickly and cheaply provides opportunities for advances in many areas including; increasing our understanding of healthy and diseased states; improving livestock and crop species by selective breeding; developing novel therapeutics, vaccines and antimicrobials; and refining new or existing enzymatic processes. These impact both human and animal health, the sustainable production of food and the identification or production of novel bio-based products.

Ian Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: “2010 marks the ten-year anniversary of the release of the draft sequence of the full human genome. The intervening period has seen amazing technological advances in this field creating new opportunities for business. The UK is well positioned due to its high-quality science base and significant commercial life sciences sector. The challenge for UK business is to capitalise on the opportunities provided by these technological advances.”

The competition opens on 12 October 2010 and expressions of interest in applying for funding must be submitted by 18 November 2010. The deadline for the receipt of full applications is 19 January 2011. All projects must be led by businesses.

Please note that a draft of this competition was made available prior its official launch to members of the Genomes UK group on the Biosciences KTN website (www.innovateuk.org/biosciencesktn). To become amember of this group, you need to register on the Biosciences KTN website.

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