Innovate UK: Complex Biological Data – Call

innovate-uk-logoInnovate UK and BBSRC have opened a call for Collaborative R&D and Feasibility studies into the topic of “Finding value in complex biological data – integrated ‘omics'”, and are to invest up to £2.5 million to stimulate innovative, integrated approaches to biological systems. The aim of this competition is to build a commercial ecosystem to exploit the commercial opportunities of ‘omics (e.g. genomics, proteomics etc.), systems biology and complex biological data streams. These could become key technologies for growth in the UK economy through enabling quicker  identification of promising products and services and de-risking development.

Funding has been allocated of up to £2 million to fund collaborative R&D projects.
It is expected that the total project costs to be between £250,000 and £400,000 and projects to last up to 2 years. A further £500,000 is available for smaller-scale feasibility study projects lasting 12 to 18 months with total project costs up to £150,000. Projects must be business-led.

The purpose of this competition is to develop enabling technologies, products and services that pioneer the commercial exploitation of complex biological data-streams and models. We are looking to fund projects developing one or more of the following:

• data analysis platforms tailored to ‘omics and complex biological data streams
• analytical or diagnostic tools that look at multiple parameters within a discrete
complex biological system
• predictive biological system models in silico
• evidence based models that demonstrate the impact on a biological system by introducing new candidate compounds or interventions
• data driven tools and services to speed development of bio-products

A competition briefing is being held on the 2nd June 2015 in London (or via Webinar). This will be followed by the expression of interest deadline on the 24th June 2015, later followed by the application deadline of the 1st July 2015.

To find out more – Click Here (PDF)
To register for the briefing in London – Click Here
To register for the briefing via Webinar – Click Here

Developing Non-Animal Technologies – Competition


Animal models are not always accurate predictors of the effects of a new substance on humans, animals and the environment. The use of non-animal technologies in a limited number of areas has already significantly reduced attrition and improved human safety. Recent advances in relevant fields in the biosciences offer many more opportunities for these systems to transform drug and chemical development. Innovate UK, in collaboration with other funders, are to invest up to £6m in collaborative R&D projects that support the development and application of non-animal technologies in the UK, with the aim to harness advanced technologies emerging from the research base and assess their potential to better predict the impact on humans and the environment of new molecular and chemical entities.

Innovate UK, NC3Rs, BBSRC, EPSRC, and the MRC aim to support projects that will improve the discovery (early stages when active substances and their potential uses are identified) of new human and veterinary medicines, agrochemicals and chemicals and their assurance for effectiveness and safety as they are developed.Proposals must be collaborative and led by a business, with the expectation to fund mainly industrial research projects in which a large business partner can claim up to 50% public funding for their project costs (60% for SMEs). It is expected that projects are to range in size from total costs of £500,000 to £1 million.

This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 23rd March 2015. The deadline for registration is noon on 29th April 2015 and the deadline for expressions of interest (stage one) is noon on 6th May 2015. There will also be a briefing event and webinar for potential applicants at the end of March:

Date: 26th March 2015
Time: 10:00am – 12:30am
Location: London

To find out more – Click Here
To view the agenda and register for the Webinar – Click Here

BBSRC: Advanced Life Sciences Research Technologies initiative (ALERT14)

BBSRC will shortly be launching the second round of the Advanced Life Sciences Research Technologies initiative (ALERT14). This initiative is for the acquisition of advanced research equipment and the development of capability in its creative use (including infrastructure for big data).

There will be a webinar on 27 March at 2pm to launch the call and to provide further information. Please see for details of how to register for the webinar.

Details from the 2013 call can be found here, and information on what was funded in the 2013 round can be found here.


If you have contacts in the US now could be a good time to consider a collaboration (depending on your field of interest).

RCUK and America’s NSF have signed a document which provides and overarching framework to encourage collaborations between our two countries. They’ve launched a pilot programme in the area of Bio-Sciences with a maximum of £2 million per project (100% FEC). More details:

Projects at the intersection of the following topics are invited:

  • BBSRC Strategic Research Priorities, Responsive Mode
    Data Driven Bioscience
    Systems Approaches to the Biosciences
    Synthetic Biology (September 2015 submissions only)
  • NSF/BIO Solicitations
    Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Solicitation NSF 13-510
    Division of Biological Infrastructure Solicitation NSF 12-567

The intersection areas include systems biology, computational biology, bioinformatics and synthetic biology (Autumn 2015 only).

The deadline for the intent to submit is 30 May 2014, and the full application deadline is 24 September 20104.

Let me know if you are interested in submitting something.

Survey: The next big things in bioscience

As part of BBSRC’s long-term strategic planning, we are seeking your views on the research areas and technological developments which will be most exciting and important in bioscience over the next 5-10 years.

Ideas put forward through this exercise will be discussed by members of BBSRC’s governing Council and wider strategic advisory network as part of a workshop to be held at the beginning of June 2013. Outcomes will help inform BBSRC’s long-term planning, including input to future Government Spending Reviews.

Anyone is welcome to respond, but we are particularly keen to gather input from PhD students and post-doctoral researchers.

Please provide your thoughts by taking part in the short survey below by 3 June 2013.

To take part in the survey ‘The next ‘big things’ in bioscience’, please visit: