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£775 million investment for new NHS research in a major boost for patients and the economy

7th March 2011

The largest ever funding – up to £775million over 5 years - to be made available for translational research – research that is dedicated to deliver benefits to NHS patients has been announced by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley today helping to secure the UK as a world leader in life sciences.

It demonstrates the Government’s commitment to modernise the NHS to give patients the best care possible. It is also a key part of the Government’s growth strategy, supporting jobs and opportunities to help return the UK economy to strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

The funding is part of a total of £4billion that we are investing in Research and Development up to March 2015. It will be made available over the next five years to NHS/university partnerships through the National Institute for Health Research. Applications are encouraged to focus on improving health outcomes for patients in high priority disease areas such as dementia, cancer and heart disease.

Our aspiration is to get new world-class treatments to NHS patients, which in turn will improve their chances of survival and of living a more independent, healthier life.

The type of projects that have received funding in the past include:

  • new stem cell technologies to cure blindness caused by age-related macular degeneration (replacing damaged eye cells with new healthy cells);
  • the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to diagnose autism with 85 per cent accuracy and a genetic test for autism; and
  • the development of a new blood test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease; a new device for measuring blood pressure more accurately, and treatments for obesity by regulating peoples’ appetite.

 Prime Minister, David Cameron said:

“This is a great day for science and in particular health research in this country. We have an enviable track record in making new discoveries and developing new treatments, and this important funding will help to maintain our position as a centre of scientific excellence.

“A strong science and research base is crucial to help secure sustainable economic growth, helping to rebalance the economy and create the jobs of the future, which is why despite tough spending decisions we have protected its funding. We have some of the best scientists and facilities in the world and today's announcement will help ensure we continue to be at the cutting edge of life sciences.”

Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley said:

“We want to give NHS patients the best possible treatment. To do that we need to give British researchers the tools they need to develop new world-class treatments and innovations for NHS patients.

“That’s why, as part of our £4 billion investment in R&D, we are making  up to £775 million available for translational research. This investment is vital to achieving our goal of making the NHS a world-leading healthcare system.

“This funding is the largest ever to be made available for translational research infrastructure that is dedicated to deliver benefits to NHS patients.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Director General of Research and Development at the Department of Health said:

“I am delighted that this NIHR funding announced today will provide the NHS infrastructure to enable health research to flourish.

“The successful NHS and university partnerships will receive long-term funding to provide the best environment to support cutting edge translational research. These Centres and Units will provide vital support for research funded by NIHR and our public sector, charity and industry partners.”

 

 

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