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UK Regulatory Science and Innovation Networks – Discovery Phase

General & Misc
Project Size:
£7.5 million

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £7.5 million to support the creation of virtual networks of expertise in regulatory science across the UK. The competition aims to develop proposals for these networks, which will generate research-based evidence and insights to enhance regulatory decision-making across product lifecycles and support agile policymaking.

Key Dates:

  • Competition Opens: Wednesday, 13 December 2023
  • Competition Closes: Wednesday, 31 January 2024, at 11:00 AM UK time

Funding Details:

  • Type: Grant
  • Project Size: Grant funding requests for the Discovery phase must not exceed £50,000

Project Focus:

  • The focus is on building collaborations, conducting background research, and developing proposals for the next Implementation phase.
  • Projects should advance regulatory science, aiding policymakers in regulating new technologies and promoting innovation.

Discovery Phase Activities:

  • Activities include building partnerships, hosting workshops, engaging communities, and collaborative bid writing.
  • A support package, including workshops and events, will be provided to aid in the development of applications for the Implementation phase.

Implementation Phase:

  • Successful Discovery phase applicants will be invited to the Implementation phase, opening in or after August 2024.
  • The Implementation phase focuses on investing in network partner capabilities to deliver key goals like building an evidence base, strengthening partnerships, facilitating knowledge transfer, and improving business capacity.

Eligibility and Collaboration:

  • Collaborations of UK-based organisations are encouraged.
  • Collaborations must involve at least half of the Discovery phase participants and at least one eligible RTO in the Implementation phase.

Portfolio Approach:

  • The programme aims to fund a variety of projects across different technologies and themes.

Specific Themes:

  • Proposals should align with UK Government innovation priorities, including areas identified by the Regulatory Horizons Council.
  • In the health and life sciences sector, themes like AI, biotherapeutics, data science, genomics, and medical technologies are encouraged.


  • Projects involving capital expenditure, ongoing activities, or those that do not contribute to the development of a proposal for the Implementation phase are ineligible.
  • Projects seeking selective economic advantage or not compliant with specific regulatory restrictions are also not funded.

Accessibility and Inclusion:

  • Applications from diverse backgrounds are encouraged, with reasonable adjustments available for those with disabilities or long-term conditions.

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