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Funding competition SBRI: antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in humans

Organisations can apply to develop innovations that address the challenges of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in humans.

Register and apply online

Summary

Description

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will invest up to £10 million in 2 simultaneous competition strands.

Strand 1 projects must explore the scientific and technical feasibility of innovative solutions through proof of concept studies. They must focus on infection prevention and the development of new therapies and vaccines in relation to AMR.

Strand 2 projects should be technically more advanced and can include:

  • proof of concept in a model system
  • progression of a technical evaluation to the point of readiness for clinical testing
  • demonstration of effectiveness in humans, patients or the relevant environment

Funding type

Procurement

Project size

Strand 1 projects to last up to 12 months and have total project costs of up to £500,000 including VAT. Strand 2 projects to last between 12 and 24 months and total project costs of up to £2 million including VAT. All projects must start 1 January 2019

Eligibility

Who can apply

To lead a project, you can:

  • be a business , academic institution or research organisation (RO)
  • work alone or with others from business, the research base or the third sector as subcontractors

Funding

A total of up to £10 million, including VAT, is allocated to this competition in 2 strands:

  • strand 1 up to 12 projects
  • strand 2 up to 3 to 4 projects

Your application must assign at least 50% of the contract value directly and exclusively to research and development (R&D) services. R&D can cover solution exploration and design. It can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service.

R&D does not include:

  • commercial development activities such as quantity production
  • supply to establish commercial viability or to recover R&D costs
  • integration, customisation or incremental adaptations and improvements to existing products or processes

Scope

Your proposal

Within the context of this competition antimicrobial includes:

  • antibacterials (except for tuberculosis)
  • antifungals
  • antivirals (except for HIV)

The 2 strands of this competition aim to address 2 research themes in relation to AMR.

  1. New therapies (research up to, and including, phase 1 clinical trials).
  2. Infection prevention and control.

In strand 1, up to £5 million is available to explore the scientific and technical feasibility of innovative solutions through proof of concept studies. They must focus on infection prevention and the development of new therapies and vaccines in relation to AMR.

Strand 2 is aimed at the technical evaluation of a scientific idea in relation to:

  • infection prevention
  • the development of new therapies and vaccines, which can include proof of concept in a model system
  • progression of a technical evaluation to the point of readiness for clinical testing
  • demonstration of effectiveness in humans, patients or the relevant environment

Projects must describe:

  • technology being developed
  • relevance to AMR
  • anticipated clinical application
  • estimation of the anticipated medical benefit and value
  • how the product or capability would be used, where and by whom
  • evidence that the technologies and any models are appropriate and fit for purpose

Specific themes

You can focus on any of the issues described in the 2 themes:

1. New therapies (research up to, and including, phase 1 clinical trials), including:
  • antimicrobials and other therapies (such as bacteriophages) effective against bacterial and fungal infections
  • immunotherapies, vaccines and microbiome therapies

Within this theme we are interested in innovative approaches that include:

  • understanding the benefit of a new product to the NHS, including (but not restricted to) health economics, social and behavioural studies
  • screening and evaluating new active components or solutions, including but not restricted to:

a.New small molecules.

b.Bacteriophages.

c.New innovative therapies that are not developed from the biology of the infectious agent, such as those based on manipulating the immunological response.

d.Vaccines.

  • the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to identify new drugs and new drug targets
  • understanding virulence, resistance, transmission and pathogenicity of multidrug resistant bacteria to enable innovative strategies to develop new antimicrobial options or alternative tools. These can combat public health challenges resulting from multidrug resistant isolates. These collectively represent new paradigms in pathogenesis, transmission and resistance.
  • identifying new products and services that disrupt and break down biofilms in wounds, so that infections are fully susceptible to antimicrobial compounds
  • identifying microbiome therapies (including probiotics and faecal transplant therapies) to combat relevant public health challenges

2. Infection prevention and control, including:
  • technologies aimed at reducing the bioburden and transmission of healthcare-associated pathogens

Within this theme we are interested in innovative approaches that include:

  • projects that bypass the human element and deliver automated infection prevention are particularly welcome, such as:

a. Assisting in cleaning of surfaces and devices.

b. Insertion of bactericidal materials into healthcare centre furnishings and garments.

c. Technologies capable of tracking and monitoring hygiene, including hand hygiene of healthcare workers.

  • innovations that will reduce infection associated with medical implants and devices, for example cardiovascular implantable electronic devices and urinary tract catheters

We welcome innovative approaches that include:

  • advanced technologies for suitable therapeutic alternatives
  • new practices
  • new materials
  • studies that ask questions about the benefits and impact of new innovations over existing practice, such as:

a.Will the technology significantly delay patient admissions or other procedures?

b.Is the technology practical enough for continuous use throughout a facility?

c.What is the cost per use?

d.What level of professional will be needed to operate the new technology?

e.How long will training and maintenance take and what will they cost?

f.Is the new technology compatible with existing materials or does it damage them?

Project we will not fund

We will not fund projects that cover:

  • Tuberculosis parasites
  • HIV (other viruses are within scope)

Dates

30 June 2018
Applicant briefing event.
16 July 2018
Competition opens
22 August 2018 12:00pm
Registration closes
29 August 2018 12:00pm
Competition closes
5 October 2018
Applicants notified
17 October 2018
Strand 2 interviews.
18 October 2018
Strand 2 interviews.
1 November 2018
Latest date of contracts awarded.
3 November 2018
Feedback provided.

How to apply

Before you start

To apply:

We will not accept late submissions. Your application is confidential.

Only use Microsoft Word for the application form. If your application cannot be read in Microsoft Word, it will be ineligible.

A selected panel of experts will assess the quality your application.

There will be a portfolio approach to fund allocation. In other words, there is no requirement to allocate funding to only the highest scoring applications if these fall into one theme only.

All applicants in strand 2 who are successful at the written stage will need to present to an expert panel and be interviewed.

Supporting information

Background and further information

The UK Government is committed to tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) . In 2013, the government published its first UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy through which it is taking strong cross-government action to tackle AMR.

This Small Business Research Initiative is being delivered by Innovate UK on behalf of Department of Health and Social Care. The Initiative aims to invest £10 million to support implementation of the UK AMR Strategy.

In 2014, the then Prime Minister commissioned an independent review to analyse the global problem of AMR and propose concrete actions to tackle it internationally.

The review, led by Lord Jim O’Neill, was published in May 2016. It highlighted the need for more research and development to reduce the strategic threat posed by AMR and in its response the government agreed with this finding. The SBRI forms part of a range of investments by DHSC in AMR R&D and applications are invited to address any of the issues described above.

About SBRI competitions

SBRI provides innovative solutions to challenges faced by the public sector. This can lead to better public services and improved efficiency and effectiveness. SBRI supports economic growth and enables the development of innovative products and services.

It does this through the public procurement of research and development (R&D). SBRI generates new business opportunities for companies and provides a route to market for their ideas. It also bridges the seed funding gap experienced by many early-stage companies.

Further help and information

You can find information on how to enter this competition in the invitation to tender document, which is available for download on our secure site after registration.

Questions related to the particular requirements of this competition should be addressed directly to phil.packer@innovateuk.gov.uk.

If you want help to find a project partner, contact the Knowledge Transfer Network.

If you need more information, call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357 or email us at support@innovateuk.gov.uk.

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