iiCON to expand pipeline following Research England funding boost
11 Jul 2022
Research England has confirmed a grant of £1.7 million in new funding for iiCON – the Infection Innovation Consortium.
The extra funds are expected to generate another £40 millions of direct investment and put the Liverpool region infection research and development portfolio on course to reach £4 billion by 2030. This represents a 33% increase on its current £3 billion target.
Following the grant increase iiCON says it will broaden its development pipeline that presently includes 15 infection control products.
Director, professor Janet Hemingway expressed her organisation’s gratitude for the extra investment and said: “Some 5 billion units of the products and innovations that our team has worked on since iiCON launched are now reaching people around the world.
“Our model [shows] what can be achieved when you bring together industry, academia, and the NHS in a concerted effort to accelerate the discovery and development of new treatments and preventative products for infectious diseases.
Launched just 18 months ago, assisted by a UKRI Strength in Places Fund programme investment of £18.7 million, iiCON has assisted in bringing 12 consumer products to market, securing £200 millions of funding for innovation related to infection control and supported the creation of 176 jobs.
The consortium is led by Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, with partners including Unilever, Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust, the University of Liverpool, Evotec and Infex Therapeutics.
Hemingway added “We’re grateful for the extra support from Research England. That we are achieving these outstanding results in the North and Liverpool specifically is very much an example of ‘Levelling Up’ in action, not least as we are creating high value jobs and helping secure significant inward investment along the way.”
Liverpool City Region mayor Steve Rotheram commented: “Our ambition is for R&D to be 5% of our economy by 2030 – nearly double the UK target. That would deliver nearly £20 billion to the city region and 44,000 skilled jobs. We have the track-record to show we can deliver, and we now call on the Government to back our ambitions with the long-term investment.”