Driving Innovation in Medicines Manufacturing – current public sector initiatives to support the sector

Take a look at some upcoming events and initiatives of interest to the Medicines Manufacturing Challenge Community.

Recent days have seen a number of announcements on UK Government initiatives to support innovation and the industrial strategy. Here we summarise those that are most relevant to the medicines manufacturing sector, and highlight some upcoming activities we are delivering through our Medicines Manufacturing Challenge Community.

The UK Government announced support for UK advanced manufacturing with new investment in a digital tech competition. The £30m Competition forms part of the Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge, funded through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and will support the application of new digital technologies, including AI and Virtual Reality, in manufacturing. This area was discussed at the recent annual conference of the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership and is a key area of technology and innovation focus.

Here is an update on some of the activities the Knowledge Transfer Network is doing to support the sector on behalf of UKRI, as well as signposting to some relevant funding mechanisms that might be of interest to you to explore further.


Upcoming Events of Interest


9 September, London: Viral vectors for vaccines and gene delivery

This event is organised by the Future Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub (Vax-Hub), the Future Targeted Healthcare Manufacturing Hub and the Knowledge Transfer Network. Register here.

16 September, Webinar: Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)

KTP is a UK-wide programme that has been helping businesses grow for the past 40 years, improving competitiveness and productivity,  through funded partnerships with academics and researchers. Find out how KTPs can benefit the medicines manufacturing sector by registering for this one-hour webinar here.

19 September, Billingham: Data-Driven Decision Making for Bioprocessing Event

We are working alongside Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB) on this event that seeks innovative companies to help transform the next generation of biologic drugs manufacture, through the application of advanced of digital technologies. Read more here.


There are also a number of UKRI initiatives that may be of interest:

Analysis for innovators round 5: phase 1 expression of interest

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £3 million to address measurement and analysis problems with one or more analysis partner organisations. Read more.

Innovate UK Smart Grants: July 2019

Opportunity to apply for a share of up to £25 million to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations that can make a significant impact on the UK economy. Read more.

Manufacturing Made Smarter: round 1 (fast start)

Up to £30 million is available for projects to transform the productivity and agility of UK manufacturing. Projects must have the potential for rapid impact. Read more.

Innovation loans: July 2019 open competition

Loans of up to £1m for game-changing innovations with strong commercial potential that will significantly improve the UK economy. Read more.

Further opportunities can be found here.

Contact Sarah Goulding to engage with KTN’s medicines manufacturing team for a discussion.


About the Medicines Manufacturing Challenge Community:

Since 2017 the medicines manufacturing theme of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund has seen over £146m invested in infrastructure projects and collaborative research, including the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC), Cell & Gene therapy investments and Advanced Therapy Treatment Centres. Building on KTN’s previous work and established communities in elements of the sector, our goal now is to develop a well-networked Challenge Community to accelerate the outcomes from the medicines manufacturing ISCF challenge. Working with the ISCF Challenge Director, our core goals are to connect and grow the sector, through working in partnership with other networks and organisations to facilitate collaboration and innovation across industry. Medicines Manufacturing links with other ISCF challenge areas, such as AI, Healthy Ageing and Made Smarter, so this Challenge Community will strengthen links across these sectors and provide novel solutions to key industry challenges. Working through our partnership in the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership, with BIA and ABPI aiding this aim, a defined community identity (visible on the KTN website and social media), a series of events and workshops, white papers, case studies and new thoughts on technology and innovation needs will be delivered within 18 months.

You can find out more information on MMCC by clicking here.