Organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million inclusive of VAT to develop vaccine candidates, technologies and platforms, up to and including phase 1 clinical trials.
Programme: Innovate UK
Award: Share of up to £25 million
Opens: 31st May 2023
Closes: 12th Jul 2023
This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), Official Development Assistance (ODA) competition funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) UK Vaccine Network.
The aim of this competition is to support further development of vaccine candidates, technologies and platforms against identified pathogens of epidemic potential, including Disease X.
This is to progress vaccines towards clinical development and ultimately regulatory approval, to decrease the likelihood of an epidemic outbreak in low and middle-income (LMIC) countries.
This funding is ODA and subject to ODA principles and must benefit low to middle income countries (LMIC)
In stage 1, your project can carry out any distinct work packages that address any part of phase 1 clinical trials, pre-clinical, non-clinical or manufacturing process design.
The UK Vaccine Network has identified priority pathogens in twelve priority viral and bacterial families. Applications for work on other pathogens within these priority families will be considered, as will technology targeting an unknown Disease X. Applications for work on pathogens outside the priority families will not be considered. Vaccine candidates or technologies must target Disease X, or one of the diseases of epidemic potential identified by the UK Vaccine Network (UKVN).
Twelve pathogen families of infectious agents for investment have been prioritised by the UK Vaccine Network Project. Within each priority family, the group has recommended the following priority or exemplar pathogens for which there is an unmet vaccine need as a focus of funding:
Priority pathogen list: viruses
Priority families : Exemplar pathogens
Priority pathogen list: bacteria
Priority families: Exemplar pathogens
The UKVN will not fund research on individual pathogens for which there is an existing licensed vaccine, or a vaccine candidate in advanced stages of development. An exception to this is where it is within a multivalent vaccine candidate which includes pathogens for which there is no licensed vaccine.
UKVN funding will also support vaccine technology development suitable for responses to novel pathogens. These include new or newly recognised or characterised pathogens, Disease X, and known pathogens which have changed substantially and present a serious public health threat.
Applications are also acceptable for work targeting other pathogens within the priority families, where applicants can make the case for an alternative. The exception to this is any proposals for SARS-CoV-2 in the Coronavirus family, for which there are multiple licensed vaccines available, and further research will not be funded through the UKVN.
The UKVN will also not consider any proposals for funding influenza research. This reflects both the existing significant investment in this area, and that the funding would be unlikely to meet the test of ODA eligibility – which is that the primary purpose of the funding is to promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries.
You must provide a rationale if your project targets a pathogen not identified as a priority in the specified area.
Vaccine candidates can be for human use or for animal use where there is an animal reservoir of the target pathogens.
Your project must:
You must note that the milestone for the business case and the technical plan is different and additional to the technical project summary. Applications developing standalone assays that are unrelated to specific vaccine development projects are not required to complete a business case and technical plan.
Business case and technical plan
You must read the additional guidance document to help you understand:
In phase 1 the supplier:
Stage 2: Advancing further technical development
This means further planned research or critical investigation, based on the outputs of the technical phase I. This is to gain new knowledge and data to further develop the technical solution including technical phase 1 clinical trials in Target populations.
To lead a project, you can:
More information on the different types of organisation can be found in the Official Development Assistance (ODA) Funding rules.
This competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.
Contracts will be awarded to a single legal entity only. However, if you can justify subcontracting components of the work, you can engage specialists or advisers. This work will still be the responsibility of the main contractor.
Innovate UK will not fund projects that:
Innovate UK may withdraw funding from projects that do not submit a suitable business case and technical plan. This milestone must occur before month 12 of the project. Applications developing standalone assays that are unrelated to specific vaccine development projects are not required to complete a business case and technical plan.
Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:
A total of up to £25 million, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to this SBRI stage 1 competition.
This funding is ODA and subject to ODA principles and must benefit low to middle income countries (LMIC).
ODA funding may be subject to unavoidable changes in value or availability. These changes may potentially be communicated at short notice.
Stage 1 Research and Development contracts will be up to £2 million, inclusive of VAT, for each project, for up to 24 months. We expect to fund up to 30 projects.
Up to £30 million may be available for stage 2 projects, for costs of a maximum of £5 million inclusive of VAT, for each project, for up to 3 years.
The total funding available for the competition can change. The funders have the right to:
The contract is completed at the end of stage 1. Successful applicants from stage 1, who have had their business case and technical plan approved will be invited into stage 2.
Applications developing standalone assays that are unrelated to specific vaccine development projects are not required to complete a business case and technical plan.
Projects whose business case and technical plan requires improvement, will only be invited into SBRI stage 2, if these are modified and approved before the stage 2 competition process begins.
Value Added Tax (VAT)
You must select whether you are VAT registered before entering your project costs.
VAT is the responsibility of the invoicing business. We will not provide any further advice and suggest you seek independent advice from HMRC.
If you select you are VAT registered, you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT. As part of the application process VAT will be automatically calculated and added to your project cost total. Your total project costs inclusive of VAT must not exceed £2 million.
Not VAT registered
If you select you are not VAT registered, you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT and no VAT will be added. You will not be able to increase total project costs to cover VAT later should you become VAT registered. Your total project costs must not exceed £2 million.
Research and development
Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to R&D services, including solution exploration and design. R&D can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service. This lets you incorporate the results of your exploration and design and demonstrate that you can produce in quantity to acceptable quality standards.
R&D does not include:
Innovate UK competitions involve procurement of R&D services at a fair market value and are not subject to subsidy control criteria that typically apply to grant funding.
Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.