NIHR research partnerships get £775 million fundingThe government has announced funding of £775 million over five years for translational research conducted by the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centres and Units.
The NHS-university partnerships are encouraged to submit research proposals geared to improving health outcomes in high-priority disease areas such as dementia, cancer and heart disease. The NIHR published a themed call for applied health research on dementia at the beginning of March, with a deadline of 20 May for submitting proposals.
The funds, which the government says are the most money ever made available in the UK for translational research infrastructure dedicated to NHS patient benefits, are part of the £4 billion being invested in R&D up to March 2015. They will be distributed to successful applicants from the NIHR Biomedical Research Centres and Units over five years from April 2012.
With concerns being voiced about the impact of cost-cutting in the NHS and the sustainability of the UK’s pharmaceutical research base following Pfizer’s decision to close its Sandwich facility, the government put the funding in the context both of its efforts to modernise the health service – giving patients “the best care possible” – and its growth strategy to rebalance the economy and create jobs.
“We have some of the best scientists and facilities in the world and today’s announcement will help ensure we continue to be at the cutting edge of life sciences,” commented Prime Minister David Cameron.