New Funding Announcements

NHS England Gets Large Funding Increase

Amount: £20 billion ($25.7 billion at £0.78 = $1)

Recipient: National Health Service (NHS) England

Funder: Government of England

Date Announced: January

A new 10-year plan has been announced by the British government aimed at developing methods for prevention and early detection of diseases. The plan will provide NHS England with an additional £20 billion ($25.7 billion) divided over a five-year period ending in 2023–24, accounting for a 3.4% increase year over year.

Of the total funding, £2.3 billion ($3.0 billion) will be directed towards mental health research, while general practitioners and community care will receive £4.5 billion ($5.8 billion) over 5 years. The onset of Brexit has left the NHS’ workforce in a precarious situation, as staff shortages are expected to occur. To tackle this issue, the new funding will help NHS England train between 25% and 50% more nurses.


Australia’s Parkinson Mission Gets Boost From Government

Amount: AUD 30 million ($21.3 million at AUD 1.41 = $1) over 5 years

Recipient: Australian Parkinson’s Mission

Funder: Australian government

Date Announced: January

The Australian government is providing AUD 30 million ($21.3 million) to the Australian Parkinson’s Mission for funding clinical trials of medications that have been shown to have potential to slow down or completely stop the progression of Parkinson’s disease. The Mission is a partnership between Parkinson’s Australia, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Garvan Research Foundation, The Cure Parkinson’s Trust (UK), Shake It Up Australia Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

The research will include genomic sequencing analysis combined with drug trials to help scientists understand the fundamental causes of the disease. By identifying biomarkers, researchers will be able to measure successful treatments as well as monitor the progression of Parkinson’s to help accelerate earlier diagnoses and interventions.


Germany to Establish Research Facility for Accelerating Domestic Battery Cell Production

Amount: €500 million ($568 million at €0.88 = $1)

Recipient: Various

Funder: German government

Date Announced: January

The German government announced in January plans to establish a new research facility for domestic companies to learn how to develop battery cells for electric vehicles. The initiative is to ensure that manufacturers are not dependent on Asian suppliers for the technology and to increase production in Germany, thus improving the economy. The government is aiming to protect German carmakers as automotive technology continues to evolve away from the use of combustion engines. The facility will transfer research from Germany’s Fraunhofer science institute to private companies in order to lessen the risk for companies that want to begin manufacturing electric vehicle batteries.

Companies such as BMZ, Liacon Batteries, Customcells, EAS Batteries and TerraE will play an important role in establishing the facility. The government will announce the location of the research facility by mid-2019.


US DoE Zeroes In on Plant and Microbe Research

Amount: $66 million

Recipient: Various

Funder: US Department of Energy (DoE)

Date Announced: February

The US DoE is providing universities, industry and nonprofit research institutions, as well as collaborators at DoE national labs and other federal agencies, $66 million over the next three years for new genomics-based research on plants and microbes. Funding will be split between plant research and microbe research, with $30 million and $36 million, respectively, set aside for the initiatives.

The plant initiative will concentrate on researching the gene function in plants grown for bioenergy and bioproducts by identifying the relationship between particular regions of plant genomes, and certain plant behaviors and qualities. Researching the basis of how microbial communities cycle nutrients in the soil and the environment will be the focus of the microbe initiative, with researchers aiming to better understand the significant role microbes play in shaping the planet’s environment. The funding is projected to be in the form of three-year grants, beginning in fiscal 2019.


UK Interdisciplinary Research Hubs to Tackle Global Challenges with New Funding

Amount: £200 million ($257.7 million)

Recipient: Interdisciplinary Research Hubs

Funder: UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

Date Announced: January

The UKRI is taking on the planet’s most significant challenges through a £200 million ($257.7 million) investment in a worldwide collaboration project. The initiative will be led by 12 Interdisciplinary Research Hubs, which provide a framework to the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund and tackle challenges that are affecting disadvantaged populations and help position the UK as a leader of R&D. These Hubs will partner with governments, international agencies and NGOs in 85 countries to make the world more sustainable and prosperous.

Challenges such as improving human health, strengthening ecological systems and biodiversity in oceans and on land, establishing sustainable agricultural practices and developing systems of resilience in the face of natural disasters are among the goals the Hubs aim to achieve.

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