Tech department unveils £100m funding for biotech sector

Biotech funding Image credit: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock

The UK government has allocated £100m of funding for the biotech industry across 22 projects and six “mission hubs”.

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) announced on Friday that the funding will back “Engineering Biology Mission Hubs” and “Mission Award” projects focused on bioengineering projects.

The goal is to “address global challenges” and “drive economic growth” as part of the prime minister’s wider goal of establishing the UK as a science and technology superpower.

Bioengineering is one of the government’s key focus areas alongside AI, semiconductors, quantum computing and future telecommunications.

“Long-term growth is the only way we will deliver the public services and improvements in living standards that every Briton wants for themselves and their families,” said Michelle Donelan, the tech secretary.

“But as history shows, it is technological and scientific advances that are the true engine room of growth, and despite our existing strengths in these sectors, we cannot afford to pat ourselves on our back and take our eye off the ball.”

The tech secretary said she intends to slash the “research red tape” holding back scientists.

The department has also announced £21m of support for the UK Biobank – a large-scale biomedical database and research resource.

“Cementing the UK as a science and technology superpower by 2030 is more than a slogan. It is a goal we must reach if we want to grow our economy, continue creating well-paid jobs and build a better, healthier, more prosperous future for the UK,” Donelan added.

The announcement follows the unveiling of a £45m funding package from DSIT into the quantum computing sector, part of the wider £2.5bn quantum strategy.