Northern Ireland has been chosen to receive a £7.5 million UK Government Launchpad to drive innovation and business growth, and to scale its life and health sciences sector.
The aim of the Launchpad is to accelerate life and health science innovation projects led by businesses, with the impact generating economic growth in the life sciences innovation cluster centred in Northern Ireland.
HIRANI CEO, Joann Rhodes, welcoming the investment said: “With our drive and concentration of research and development strengths in science and innovation – it is little wonder that Innovate UK has chosen Northern Ireland for Launchpad funding.
“It is our distinctive capabilities in precision diagnostics, biomarkers and AI that help to set us apart from the rest – with world-class assets on our doorstep. These latest grants and support from Innovate UK will be transformational to help health and life sciences businesses of all sizes to unleash their full potential – and create quality, highly skilled jobs, growth, and training opportunities for our region.
“However, this is just the beginning when it comes to our ambitions for our area: this is the fastest growing sector in NI, with >£200M infrastructure investment and >£1B pipeline of new projects still to unlock. We are well positioned between the UK-EU and strong relationships in the US to exploit this investment – and are ready to seize every opportunity that comes our way.”
The competition opens on October 30 with grant funding available starting from £25,000, with up to £1 million for projects that provide exceptional impact to the region.
The Northern Ireland Launchpad has been co-developed with local partners Invest Northern Ireland, and tailored to meet the region’s needs and circumstances.
Kerry Curran, Director of GB & EU Trade in the Department for the Economy NI said: ”Life and Health Science, including our highly innovative precision medicine cluster, is an area the Department is also prioritising through its 10X Economy Vision, and this Launchpad represents a further endorsement of the world-leading growth potential of precision medicine, and indeed life and health science, in Northern Ireland. The Department looks forward to working with partners across the life and health science ecosystem to maximise the benefits and harness the growth potential of this opportunity.”
Jeremy Fitch, Invest Northern Ireland’s Executive Director of Business Solutions Group said: “We welcome this vital funding from Innovate UK which will support Northern Ireland’s Life Sciences companies to develop diagnostic and therapeutic technologies which will drive the growth of Northern Ireland’s precision medicine landscape. It’s great to see the power of successful collaboration in action and we are looking forward to continuing to build on our partnership with HIRANI and local councils to deliver this exciting initiative.”