Viral vector production for cell and gene therapies

Key Features

UK businesses can apply for up to £16 million to grow manufacturing capacity for UK viral vector use in advanced therapy medicinal products.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Up to £6m

Opens: 23rd Oct 2017

Closes: 15th Nov 2017

! This scheme is now closed

Projects need to demonstrate that the capital investment grant they’re requesting will:

  • advance the UK’s ability to produce viral vectors for use as an ATMP or in the development of cell-based ATMPs
  • encourage partnerships between public and private organisations, and maximise further investment

Innovate UK will support organisations that can set out a clear vision of how they will encourage partnerships with companies, universities and other research establishments. You should also detail the new viral vector projects you will undertake as a result of the capital investment.

You must have a clear plan for the translation and commercialisation of any research that the capital enables you to conduct. To maximise the impact of this investment, applicants should build on existing UK infrastructure and not recreate capabilities without justification.

Examples of in-scope applications include, but are not limited to, bids that aim to:

  • create an infrastructure that will fast-track the research, development, production and commercialisation of viral vectors for ATMPs
  • increase the UK commercial capacity production of viral vectors for ATMPs
  • increase the competitiveness of the lead company as a viral vector producer


To lead a project you must:

  • be a UK based business of any size
  • carry out your project in the UK
  • work alone or in collaboration with others (for example businesses, research base and third sector)
  • have a GMP manufacturing facility for viral vectors for advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs)

Funding and project details

This competition is for capital investment, including refurbishment and equipment. Funding cannot go towards salaries or consumables. Capital can include the cost of setting up equipment but not the costs of maintenance or staff.

Your project should focus on investment aid for research infrastructures. Support given for construction or upgrade of research infrastructures that perform economic activities is considered to be state aid and is limited to 50% of the investment costs.

Projects should range in size from total costs of £2 million to £6 million.

The maximum funding for eligible project costs is:

  • up to 50% if you are a business (of any size)
  • up to 100% if you are a non-profit distributing research organisation

Project types

Priority will be given to proposals that:

  • can deliver within the timescale
  • can demonstrate well-established experience in GMP manufacture of viral vectors
  • can demonstrate they are able to co-fund
  • use adherent-cell culture systems or 3D suspension cell culture systems
  • simplify multistep manufacturing processes
  • reduce product and production variability
  • ease quality control and release testing
  • introduce increased automation
  • lower the cost of goods