Canada-UK: Biomanufacturing of Biologics and Advanced Therapies

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £3.5 million for collaboration with Canadian SMEs on joint R&D projects, for enabling technologies and innovations in biomanufacturing of biologics and advanced therapies.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £3.5 million

Opens: 26th Jun 2023

Closes: 17th Oct 2023

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to invest up to £3.5 million in innovation projects.

The aim of this competition is to stimulate the development and implementation of innovative technologies in biomanufacturing. The objective is to build the desired flexibility and technical capabilities required for the development and economically sustainable production of the next generation vaccines and therapies.

The bilateral research and development (R&D) collaborations between UK and Canada will enable both countries to be well positioned to respond to future health emergencies.

Your proposal must contribute to the development of innovative technology that enables flexible, scalable, efficient and cost effective manufacturing of novel biological therapeutic products and delivery systems. It must demonstrate high potential for commercialisation.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process.


This competition will foster and support collaborative research and development (CR&D) in biomanufacturing through Canadian and UK partnerships. The aim of this competition is to stimulate the development and implementation of innovative technologies in biomanufacturing.

Your joint Canadian and UK project must focus on innovative technologies that enable the development and manufacturing of novel biological therapeutic products and delivery system, which can include:

  • vaccines (prophylactic, therapeutic, various platforms)
  • therapeutic proteins
  • advanced therapy medicinal products, including messenger RNA, small interfering RNA, gene therapies, cell therapies, engineered tissues
  • other biological based therapies, such as bacteriophage or engineered probiotics
  • viral and non-viral, for example Lipid Nano Particles (LNP) platforms, including their components and payloads, as delivery systems for protein and nucleic acids

This list is not exhaustive.

Specific Themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following enabling technologies for biologics and advanced therapies:

  • discovery, design and high throughput screening platforms, which can include the application of artificial intelligence (AI)
  • manufacturing systems and methods, for example centralized, distributed or point-of-care, microfluidics based devices, new and innovative systems for GMP production, fill or finish
  • manufacturing process intensification enablers, for example hyper productive strains, novel expression systems, continuous production processes, perfusion technologies
  • novel analytical characterization, potency assays and real-time release technologies, biosensors
  • other relevant enabling technologies


Canada specific rules

Canadian funding applicants are required to register and submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) before being eligible to apply for this competition.

The registration deadline for Canadian SMEs is 11 August 2023.

Canadian funding applicants who do not complete an EoI and have not been invited to proceed will not be eligible for funding through this competition.

Your project must:

  • have a grant funding request of no more than £600,000 allocated to UK organisations
  • have a total grant funding request for Canadian partners of no more than CA$1 million
  • start by 1 March 2024
  • end by 28 February 2026
  • last between 12 and 24 months

Projects should have a balanced contribution of the total eligible project costs among the partners from the participating partner countries.

No one country or project partner can represent more than 70% of the total project cost.

The majority of the project work must be undertaken in the UK and Canada.

Your proposal must demonstrate a clear intention to commercially exploit the results of the project domestically or globally.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.

To lead a project your organisation must be either:

  • a UK registered business of any size


  • a Canadian incorporated, profit orientated small or medium sized enterprise (SME)

Your collaboration must involve at least one grant claiming UK registered SME and one eligible Canadian incorporated, profit orientated SME.

Academic institutions and research and technology organisations (RTOs) cannot lead.

To collaborate with the lead, you must be one of the following:

  • UK registered business of any size
  • UK registered academic institution
  • UK registered research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • Canadian SME
  • National Research Council of Canada (NRC) researcher
  • Canadian university
  • Canadian research technology organization (RTO)

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and UK registered organisations must enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

To be an eligible collaboration, at least one eligible business from the UK must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application and partner with at least one eligible Canadian SME.

Non-funded partners

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.

Canadian project participants who are not eligible for funding, including large enterprises and industries, are welcome to collaborate as additional participants on a self‑funded basis or as subcontractors.

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

For UK organisations, the cost of subcontractors is limited to no more than 20% of your organisation’s total eligible costs.

All subcontractors must be selected through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from the UK and Canada.

If you wish to use subcontractors from other countries you must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the countries providing grant funding for the project.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK or Canadian contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use a subcontractor from a third country.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

A UK business can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in one further application.

A UK business that is not leading an application can collaborate on a maximum of two applications.

A Canadian SME may only participate in one application either as a lead or partner.

Academic institutions or RTOs can collaborate in any number of applications.

You cannot use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.


Innovate UK are not funding projects that are:

  • for nutraceutical product development
  • manufacturing process innovations using a non-human medicine as the product

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

Selected collaborative R&D projects will be eligible to receive funding from their respective national funding body.

Up to £3.5 million from Innovate UK and up to CA$6 million from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) and the NRC Collaborative Science and Technology Innovation Program (NRC CSTIP), an equivalent of £7 million in total, has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

UK Organisations

If the majority of your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Research participation for UK organisations

UK research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the UK partners’ total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

Of that 30% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO

Canadian SMEs

Eligible Canadian SMEs may receive from NRC IRAP up to 50% reimbursement of eligible project costs up to a maximum total funding amount of CA$1 million.

Other Canadian Collaborators

See the Canadian call page for more information in English and French on other Canadian collaborators eligibility and funding.

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.