Government announces 775m investment in NHS research

In collaboration with Adfero

Up to £775 million of government funding is to be made available over the next five years for research aimed at delivering benefits to NHS patients.

NHS/university partnerships can apply for funding through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and applications are encouraged from groups focusing on improving health outcomes for patients in high-priority disease areas, such as cancer, dementia and heart disease.

This is the latest funding round for NIHR Biomedical Research Centres and Units, representing an increase of 30 per cent on the last cycle of funding, and will be available from April 2012.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said that researchers must be given the tools to develop new world-class treatments 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," he revealed.

"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."

He also said that this funding could help to secure the UK's position as a world leader in life sciences, as well as supporting jobs and opportunities for scientists.

Prime minister David Cameron said: "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.

"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."

Emma Greenwood, policy researcher at Cancer Research UK, said: "We're pleased that the government is investing in translational research, and that cancer research is included in this funding.

"Industry, charities and the government have different but complementary roles as research funders. The links between these organisations, and the NHS and universities, is a vital asset to UK biomedical research."