A new competition for 2018 will make up to £10 million available to UK organisations to work with Chinese partners.

Next year will see a collaborative competition launched between the UK and China to develop solutions that address the threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Innovate UK is to invest up to £10 million in UK businesses, on behalf of the Department of Health. The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) will invest up to 60 million RMB to fund the Chinese partners.

The aim is to support novel projects that neither country would be able to conduct within the same timeframe without the other’s expertise. These should develop new products or services against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Where appropriate, they should include clinical evaluation.

Addressing the threat of drug resistance
It has been estimated that failure to tackle drug-resistant infections will lead to at least 10 million extra deaths a year by 2050. This would cost the global economy up to $100 trillion USD.

A substantial research and innovation effort is needed to address the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance, and to speed up the development of new antimicrobials and supporting technologies.

What is in scope
When the call opens we will be looking for projects that:

explore opportunities from traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment or prevention of infectious diseases in humans or animals
advance the discovery of new agents to prevent or treat drug-resistant bacterial infection in humans or livestock. New agents could include small molecule drugs, vaccines, antibodies or other biological products
identify new agents that will increase the feed energy conversion in livestock. This should be done without use of antibiotics or hormones
maximise the clinical utility of current antibiotics. The aim is to improve the prognosis of patients with extensively drug-resistant infections
improve capabilities for the diagnosis, treatment selection and surveillance of bacterial infections and antibacterial resistance
All projects must comply with Official Development Assistance (ODA) criteria.

Competition information
this competition will open in early 2018
to lead a project you need to be a UK-based business of any size. There must be at least one partner from the UK and one for China in a project team
projects should last no more than 3 years
up to £750,000 is on offer for projects on the UK side. On the Chinese side, funding of up to 5 million RMB will be made available
you could get up to 70% of your project costs
there will be a series of events to help you meet partners and find out more