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New Life Science funding options to expedite innovation

We discuss how government funding can open doors for Life Sciences companies looking to optimize their lab and workspace infrastructure.

5 min read

The UK’s ambition as a global ‘science and technology superpower’ has been solidified as the government highlights their new initiative for investment priorities. 

Commitments to facilitate ongoing innovation and research through increased financial support have led to the government’s salient focus on artificial intelligence, R&D tax relief, quantum technologies and infrastructure optimization. With the latter in particular, opening new doors for Life Science companies looking to optimize their infrastructures including their labs and workspaces.

Cyted AI was one of the 12 innovators for the NHS Innovation Accelerator in 2021

Now is the time for Life Science companies to explore all available UK funding support, to facilitate both their research as well as the labs and workspaces they conduct their work in. Although the funding pathways available can be difficult to navigate, for those who want to capitalize on finance through the optimisation of their laboratory design, AIS can assist with maximising the funding Life Science facilities have received in a way which propels employee well-being, sustainable practices, automation and optimised workflows. 

The UK as a ‘science superpower’

The UK Life Sciences division is supported by partnerships spanning across industry, academia, and government, unifying innovation, science and technology for an ever-improving healthcare system. 

The UK’s ongoing aspiration of embodying a ‘science superpower’ has since elevated, with their recent commitment to further invest in innovative advancements. The public body is unified by one goal; to cement the UK’s place as a global science and technology superpower by 2030.

A new injection of investment  

To remain at the forefront of research and development, the UK government has made a commitment to execute a healthy financial injection of £3.5 billion into the science and technology field, with £370 million reserved to enhance infrastructure, along with supporting innovation and encouraging investment in the UKs most exciting technologies. 

This particular focus on infrastructure pans across physical and digital requirements to ‘ensure researchers have access to the best infrastructure for R&D, attracting talent, investment and discoveries’. 

Any opportunity to invest in workforces, discovery and digital transformation can be pinpointed to the facilities which house all of the above and are responsible for fuelling them. Using new funding to design a hybrid laboratory-office space is just one avenue of many that Lab Owners can take when determining what kind of workspace design can motivate researchers and drive R&D. 

From what we can see, funding will be funnelled through an array of governmental bodies, which include but are not limited to: 

Innovative Accelerators 

£100 million will be channelled through innovative accelerators to support the ‘levelling up’ of city regions to become competing areas for research.  This investment will focus on 26 transformative R&D projects in Glasgow, Greater Manchester and West Midlands. 

World class laboratories 

A new focus on UKRI’s World Class Laboratories will prioritise research through overall workspace improvement and facility optimisation. The fund will see a £50 million uplift for the support of scientific pioneers, focusing on workspace enhancement, providing sufficient equipment, and elevating digital resource, championing the importance of lab refurbishment for research optimization. 

UK innovation and Science seed fund 

The UK innovation and Science Seed Fund is a government supported venture fund focused on early stage growth facilitation in high-risk Life Science start-ups and SME’s. With a total of £50 million, the government has now advertised a further £10 million uplift to support scientific and technology start-ups with significant potential to achieve innovation. 

Government support 

As the UK government continues to execute public funding, UK talent is nurtured through various Life Science funding options. This includes locally based schemes and innovation competitions for support on particular research projects. 

Further funding opportunities

Although these are just a few of the new avenues that have made it their goal to fulfil future science superpower ambitions, there are other funding options available to the Life Sciences. From what we gather, at a broader scale, the UK is comprised of varying governmental bodies responsible for a number of other, separate funding solutions: 

  • The UKRI is a strategic body comprised of seven research councils, which identify and invest into research across all areas of science, including the Life Science sector. 
  • Innovate UK is a separate body within the UKRI, that accelerates Life Science growth in SMEs. Also governed by the BEIS, the organization exercises a wide range of funding opportunities that facilitate the development and commercialization of new products, processes, and services. 
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Research is centralised around providing Life Science funding for drug discovery and healthcare product development and is one of the top clinical research funders of the UK. 
  • One of the four bodies in the UK national academies is the Royal Society, which is the most relevant to Life Sciences, offering grants for the purpose of modernising laboratories and purchasing new equipment, propelling life and physical sciences.
  • The DIT promotes the scientific field on a global scale, as the UK plans to encourage tactical international engagement, the DIT umbrellas the Life Sciences Organization (LSO). A government department responsible for assisting life science business growth into the global market. 

How to use your funding for optimized lab workspaces

Lab spaces that prioritize modernization, incorporate state of the art equipment, a seamless workflow, and allow for automation, provide a perfect environment for optimized research and development. 

As government bodies acknowledge the need for an innovation-enabled workspace, funding opportunities that can be used for these purposes are becoming more accessible to the Life Sciences.

Grants that are awarded for particular business advancements can be used in areas where business need additional support. Take our most recent client for example; chosen as 1 of the 12 companies to receive the NHS accelerator in 2021. After a period of rapid expansion we designed a modern workspace to accommodate their future growth and advance staff experience within a collaborative, open and flexible environment.  

Obtaining additional funds for new research projects can also indirectly aid in the optimization of your lab. By receiving additional support for your specific research requirements, you’re free to utilize your own financial resources for a maximized lab design. Investing into your own workspace will in turn enhance research outputs, encourage collaboration and account for future project requirements, all essential laboratory design features to consider when enhancing R&D workspaces. 

Whether you’re receiving financial support for new research projects, or for the modernization of your lab space, AIS can transform your businesses R&D agenda through an optimized laboratory design. Get in touch to find out how we can help facilitate innovation.