back to open calls

Innovative technologies for nucleic acid medicines manufacturing

Health & Life Sciences
Project Size:
£100,000 - £2million

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.

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

Your proposal must show how your project will improve the productivity, competitiveness and growth for at least one UK small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) involved in the project.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.


Your project

Your project must:

  • have total costs between £100,000 and £2 million
  • start by 1 June 2023
  • end by 31 May 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

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

If your total project’s costs or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to at least 10 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request.

If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible. Your application will then not be sent for assessment.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

If the lead organisation is an RTO it must collaborate with 2 businesses (one SME, and one business of any size).

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

Project team

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)

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.

Non-funded partners

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Number of applications

A business, research and technology organisation (RTO), charity, not for profit or public sector organisation can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications.

If a business, RTO, charity, not for profit or public sector organisation is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

An academic institute can collaborate on any number of applications.

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

Our objective is to stimulate the development and implementation of innovative technologies to improve the resource efficiency, productivity and ability to manufacture nucleic acid-based 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 the active nucleic acid ingredient. 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-based active ingredients 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
  • product characterisation
  • process challenges for increasing the scale of production
  • transfer of technology from small-scale manufacturing to a good manufacturing practice (GMP) manufacturing facility
  • lowering of the cost of goods as final output
  • increase in yield of active ingredient
  • increase in speed of production cycle
  • methods to increase the flexibility of established manufacturing facilities
  • adaptation of processes from batch to continuous production

Interested in this call? Book a free consultation with our team
Book a Consultation
+44 (0) 1925 506 100
Contact Us
Thank you! We will be in touch shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.