Government announces £86m funding for healthcare SMEs

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The government has announced an £86 million funding programme for healthcare SMEs that can develop new medicines and technologies to boost the NHS.

The Department of Health, which unveiled the initiative last week, said it hoped the money would help to reduce the amount of time it takes for new technologies to reach patients.

It said the breakthroughs made as a result could include new drugs or innovations that help patients to manage their conditions at home instead of in hospital.

“The government’s ambition is that NHS patients get world-leading, life-changing treatments as fast as possible,” said health minister Lord O’Shaughnessy.

“That can’t happen unless we support medical innovation and tear down the barriers – like speed to market and access to funding – that can get in the way, especially for SMEs.

“Our investment in innovation shows how much we value the UK life sciences sector.”

The government said the funding would be split into four packages.

The Academic Health Science Networks will be awarded £39 million to help them access new technologies and support the NHS in adopting those that will benefit patients.

£35 million will go to the Digital Health Technology Catalyst for innovators, which will match-fund the development of digital technologies for the NHS.

Up to £6 million will be spent over the next three years to help SMEs with new medicines and devices to show their benefits through real-world testing.

And £6 million will be invested in a Pathway Transformation Fund, which will help NHS organisations integrate new technologies into their everyday practices.

“The government has an important role to play in driving innovation that will increase economic growth and support businesses across the country,” said business minister Lord Prior. “Through this funding we will quicken the pace of scientific discovery and innovation in the UK. Our industrial strategy will boost our status a global hub for life sciences.”

For more on the funding, see the government’s website.


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