Wellcome Trust and EPSRC launch healthcare initiative

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A joint £30m initiative has been launched to find biomedical engineering solutions to challenging healthcare problems.

Announced today by the Wellcome Trust and EPSRC, the Innovative Engineering for Health initiative will provide funding for a limited number of long-term projects designed to address specific healthcare needs for which current solutions are inadequate. 

According to a statement, up to £10m over seven years is available for each project. The initiative is expected to provide the resources and flexibility to conduct high-quality basic research and to enable its adoption into clinical or public health practice.

Priority will be given to proposals that address such problems as developing technologies to tackle rare diseases, facilitating care for babies and infants that accommodate challenges posed by growth and development and finding engineering approaches for mental health issues.

The new initiative builds on a £45m-capacity building initiative from the two funders to support four multidisciplinary centres of excellence in medical engineering around the UK.

The new scheme is open to global applications and particularly encourages collaboration between the UK and international groups.

David Delpy, EPSRC chief executive, said: ‘This initiative builds upon our partnership with the Wellcome Trust that has been running since 2008.

‘It provides a unique opportunity for researchers to take basic science and engineering right through to adoption into practice.

‘It will support innovative thinking and bring together the best researchers in the world in the medical, engineering and physical sciences to devise solutions to healthcare challenges.’