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Innovative technologies: Nucleic acid medicines manufacture Rd 2

Fund Name

Innovative technologies: Nucleic acid medicines manufacture Rd 2

Project Length

12-24 months

Project Value

£100k - £2m



Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £5 million in innovation projects.

These will be to develop and commercialise innovative solutions for the manufacturing of nucleic acid medicines.

Check Your Eligibility

Fund details

The aim of this competition is to improve the resource efficiency, productivity and scalability of the manufacture of nucleic acid medicines in the UK.

Innovate UK’s objective is to stimulate the development and implementation of innovative technologies to improve resource efficiency, productivity and ability to manufacture nucleic acid medicine. This must allow for growth at scale including, but not limited to, emerging products targeting large patient populations.

Your project must be focused on the manufacturing of active nucleic acid medicines, either the ingredients or formulated products. You must be able to demonstrate an improvement in resource efficiency, productivity or throughput as compared with current manufacturing technology, utilising a recognised metric, for example, with process mass intensity.

The nucleic acid medicines in scope for this competition include but are not limited to:

  • small activating ribonucleic acid (RNA)
  • messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), including self-amplifying mRNA
  • antisense RNA or oligonucleotides
  • small interfering, short interfering or silencing RNA
  • short hairpin RNA
  • micro RNA
  • DNA

Specific themes

Your project must focus on one or more of the following:

  • in-process monitoring, control and release testing
  • maintenance of product critical quality parameters such as purity, potency and viability
  • novel analytical techniques for product characterisation
  • data acquisition and analysis for nucleic acid medicine manufacturing
  • process challenges for increasing the scale of production,
  • the utilisation of alternative solvents for sustainable manufacturing
  • transfer of technology from small-scale manufacturing to a good manufacturing practice (GMP) manufacturing facility
  • lowering the cost of goods as the final output
  • increase in yield of active ingredient
  • increase in the speed of the production cycle
  • methods to increase the flexibility of established manufacturing facilities include analytical methods
  • innovative workflow to increase productivity and flexibility
  • adaptation of processes from batch to continuous production

Innovate UK will not fund projects that are:

  • for medicines discovery
  • manufacturing process innovations using non-human medicine as the product


Your project must:

  • have a grant funding request between £100,000 and £2 million
  • start by 1 December 2023
  • end by 30 November 2025
  • last between 12 and 24 months
  • 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, research organisation, research and technology organisation (RTO), charity, not for profit or public sector
  • organisation
  • collaborate with other UK-registered organisations
  • be or work with at least one grant-claiming micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example, non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.


Up to £5 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Talk to us today if you would like to apply for this opportunity.

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