Digitalisation of medicines manufacturing: Challenge Fund

Fund Name: Challenge Fund
Project Length: 3-4 months
Project Value: Up to £8m
Deadline: 10/10/2018


This competition aims to encourage the application of digitally enabled methods or technologies to improve the manufacture of medicines for human use.

Your proposal must show how digital technology can integrate or enhance the steps in a manufacturing and supply chain.

Fund Details

If your project focuses on reducing waste or cost, you must be able to show an improvement of more than 25%. Small incremental improvements will be outside scope.

Your proposal can include approaches that have the potential to deliver, for example:

  • improved commercially viable manufacturing processes
  • methods for the reliable and robust scale-up of production of novel medicines
  • an increase in access to medicines that need just-in-time delivery, for example those that have a short shelf life
  • an increased yield of active ingredient or final product
  • a lower cost of production and goods
  • smoother integration of ordering and delivery, for example by co-ordination of prescription with production scheduling
  • a reduction in waste, for example by manufacturing to order rather than to stock

In this competition medicines that are in scope and can be exemplar products are limited to:

  • advanced therapy medicinal products
  • natural product medicines
  • nucleic acid-based drugs
  • prophylactic vaccines
  • protein or peptide biopharmaceuticals
  • small molecular-weight pharmaceuticals
  • virus and phage therapeutics

Your project’s total costs must be between £2 million and £4 million. Projects must start by 1 January 2019 and end by 31 March 2019. They can last between 3 and 4 months.


To be eligible for funding you must:

  • be a UK-based business
  • carry out your project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • work alone or in collaboration with other businesses

Single applicants must claim funding. If the project is collaborative, the lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding.

Get in touch

If you think that you might be eligible for this fund, please Get In Touch by filling out the contact form below.

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