Today [26 July], the UK government has announced the launch of the Research Ventures Catalyst, which it hopes will drive more private and philanthropic funding into UK research and development (R&D).
The new fund, backed by up to £50m in government and industry co-funding, has been established to develop new ways of delivering UK-based research programmes, which ‘might not be supported via traditional funding avenues’.
The fund is now accepting bids of up to £100,000 in seed funding to support research proposals.
In last year’s autumn statement, chancellor of the exchequer Jeremy Hunt committed to investing £20bn in UK R&D in 2024-2025.
Michelle Donelan, secretary of state for science, innovation and technology, said: “Research and innovation hold the keys to a vast range of benefits and opportunity, from radically improving healthcare to creating whole new industries in fields from quantum to engineering biology.
“But this work is impossible without funding. That is why, I am making an open invitation to private and philanthropic partners in the city and beyond to work with us through the Research Ventures Catalyst to put real financial firepower behind the world-leading science happening in the UK.”
Generating improved private and philanthropic investment in UK R&D is one of the key objectives of The UK Science and Technology Framework.
The government has expressed intent to continue working with Schmidt Futures, part of the Schmidt Family Foundation, on its potential investment of up to US$20m (£15.4m) to spur co-investment in STEM research from private and philanthropic sources.
By encouraging such investments, the UK government hopes to unlock ‘tens of millions of pounds’ to drive new discoveries in health, tech and other sectors.