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Since 2007, Innovate UK has invested around £2.5bn to help businesses across the country to innovate, with match funding from industry taking the total value of projects above £4.3bn.

Innovate UK has helped 8,500 organisations create around 70,000 jobs and added an estimated £18bn of value to the UK economy. In the period 2019/2020, Innovate UK received 5,794 applications for grant funding and made 949 awards. £645,886 was awarded in terms of grant funding, 24% of the total amount applied for.

Biotechnology5D Health Protection Group Limited Industry Sector: Medical

Technology5D Health Protection Group Limited is a Centre of Excellence in Biofilm Science. The Company is an award winning, leading, independent contract research and microbiology testing organisation.

The company applied to Innovate UK for grant funding of £67,158 for a collaborative project with the University of Liverpool Clinical Engineering Department. The aim of the project was to carry out feasibility studies to enable the development of next generation antibiofilm technologies that can be applied to medical platforms for enhancing clinical outcome.

It was identified that one important area for use of this technology would be wound care considering that chronic wounds have been shown to contain biofilms and that many complex biofilms found in non-healing and infected wounds are recalcitrant to presently used antimicrobial interventions. The project will also involve the development of a framework that involves the intelligent triggered release of synergistic agents for maximum impact and reduced hospital costs. Presently such technology does not exist in the market so this innovation will create the first world leading prototypes and advanced technologies that presently do not deliver to the expectations required for biofilm management in non-healing and infected chronic wounds.

The application was successful and 5D received £47,011 by way of funding.

The Vaccine Group Limited Industry Sector: Pharmaceutical Technology

The Vaccine Group Limited, a company affiliated with the University of Plymouth to commercialise the innovation of Dr Michael Jarvis (Associate Professor in Virology and Immunology at the University of Plymouth), applied to Innovate UK for grant funding of £870,684 for a collaborative R&D project.

The aim of the project was to develop a novel BoHV-4 vaccine against S. suis- a major disease affecting pig farmers worldwide and a dangerous zoonotic pathogen in humans. The project is innovative in that there are currently no effective vaccines for the treatment and prevention of S. suis in pigs. The company planned to develop the vaccine using immunogenic S. suis proteins and test it in pigs to demonstrate efficacy and a quantifiable reduction in antibiotic usage.

The company aimed to commercialise the vaccine within three years and then establish it as a flagship product within their powerful BoHV-4 platform which can be targeted at many other serious bacterial infections affecting both animal and human health. The application was successful and the project received £697,793 by way of funding.

Fibre Extrusion Technology Limited Industrial Sector: Medical Device Technology

Fibre Extrusion Technology Limited, a medical device company based in Leeds, applied to Innovate UK for grant funding to enable the company to make a prototype of an absorbable surgical suture with physical properties 30-50% over present levels.

The project was conceived from the recognition that there was a demand for products that could increase the quality of life for an ageing population. It was recognised that there was a need for sutures with much higher tenacity, that offered higher holding strength and which are much less invasive to the body, giving opportunities to replace other conventional surgical closure materials and/or use the higher performance materials in finer, low diameter sutures for new applications.

The application was successful and the project received £198,000 by way of funding.

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