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Flexible, agile, scalable and sustainable medicines manufacturing

Fund Name

Flexible, agile, scalable and sustainable medicines manufacturing

Project Length

12-24 months

Project Value

£200k - £2m



The aim of this competition is to encourage the development and adoption of flexible, agile, scalable and sustainable technologies (FASST) for the development and manufacture of medicines.

These technologies are expected to support enhanced manufacturing processes, with significant and measurable improvements to resource efficiency or productivity of pharmaceutical processes. Benefits should include reduced time-to-market for new products and increased patient access to medicines.

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Fund details

Your project must either:

demonstrate an improvement in resource efficiency, for example, reduction in waste production, energy consumption, carbon emissions


show productivity utilising a recognised metric, for example, process mass intensity, and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) as a result of the innovation.

Technologies in scope for this competition include but are not limited to:

  • laboratory automation and development lab of the future
  • digital twins
  • predictive and autonomous supply chain management including predictive yield optimisation and real-time tracking and tracing
  • process analytical technology (PAT) and real-time release testing (RTRT)
  • continuous manufacturing and biomanufacturing
  • modular manufacturing and biomanufacturing
  • continuous processing and bioprocessing
  • automated process and bioprocess development
  • large-scale manufacturing robots
  • digital processes
  • AI-informed decision support
  • distributed manufacturing and biomanufacturing models
  • sustainable platform processes, for example biocatalysis, bio-derived feedstocks
  • data-driven manufacturing and biomanufacturing

Specific themes

  • lowering manufacturing costs
  • reducing the environmental impact of medicine manufacturing
  • increasing patient access to products
  • increasing yield
  • increasing productivity
  • increasing speed of data processing
  • improving efficiency and removing bottlenecks
  • reducing time to market
  • reducing development time
  • supporting process monitoring controls
  • gathering and effectively utilising information from across the supply chain
  • commitment to skills and talent development

Innovate UK will NOT fund projects:

  • that are solely focused on medicine discovery
  • dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product


Your project must:

  • have total grant funding request between £200,000 and £2 million
  • last between 12 and 24 months
  • start by 1 April 2024
  • end by 31 March 2026
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size, a research and technology organisation (RTO), charity, not-for-profit or public sector organisation
  • collaborate with other UK-registered organisations
  • be or involve at least one grant claiming micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
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