News round-up (July 16)

News round-up (July 16)

man looking at online news headlines
16th July 2021 about a 4 minute read

Act quickly!  Opportunities for funding and awards for individuals, businesses and NHS organisations  from training to accelerating the adoption of digital technologies have come to our notice this week.  And on the vaccine news front – it’s not all about Covid! Lastly, a thought-provoking article on how immersive tech can revolutionise our public services.


MRC is committing £79 million to support doctoral training for the next three years

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has committed £79 million to support doctoral training for the next three years, through its Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) competition. It will fund 17 DTP awards across 34 UK Research Organisations (ROs) for around 200 students for the intake 2022 onwards.

MRC’s vision is to support high quality doctoral training programmes that take a student-centred approach, focussing on scientific excellence, positive research culture and wider training opportunities. The training includes:

skills in data science at the interface of human health and biology

whole organism physiology to enable progress towards a cross-level approach to medical research in human health, and interdisciplinary ways of working.


SBRI Healthcare launched two new competitions on July 13 to support the development of innovative products and services that address unmet health needs.

For the “Stroke and Technology”’ competition in collaboration with the Stroke Association and the AHSN Network, companies and organisations are being invited to bid for funding to develop innovative solutions to tackle three specific challenges: 1. Pre-hospital diagnosis. 2. Rehabilitation. 2. Life after stroke.

Stroke care is a critical issue for health systems globally, with someone haing a stroke every two seconds somewhere in the world. In the UK stroke is the fourth biggest killer and costs society £26 billion annually.

The second competition “Delivering a Net Zero NHS” is in collaboration with the Greener NHS programme, the Accelerated Access Collaborative and the AHSN Network.

Further details are available on the SBRI Healthcare website.


New Digital Health Partnerships Award to support people at home 

The Digital Health Partnership Award has been created to help organisations in England to bid for funding to accelerate the adoption of digital health technologies to support patients with long term conditions.

Application bids for the award, which opened on 1 July, need to identify how organisations will deliver the opportunity at pace, with clear and sustainable outcomes and how each industry partner involved adds value to the bid.

Submissions from NHS organisations need to be returned to NHSX before 31 July 2021.


Oxford researchers launch vaccine trial

The University of Oxford has launched a Phase 1 trial of a novel mosaic vaccine targeting a “broad range” of HIV variants.

The HIV-CORE 0052 trial, part of the European Aids Vaccine Initiative, will involve 13 healthy HIV-negative adults aged 18 to 65 years old who are not considered to be at high risk of infection.  The participants will receive one dose of the vaccine – known as the HIV consvX vaccine – followed by a further boost dose at four weeks.

“An effective HIV vaccine has been elusive for 40 years. This is the first in a series of evaluations of this novel vaccine strategy in both HIV-negative individuals for prevention and in people living with HIV for cure,” said Tomas Hanke, lead researcher on the trial and professor of vaccine immunology at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford.


How immersive tech can revolutionise our public services

Liz O’Driscoll, Head of Innovation, Civica has written a thought-provoking article for the Digital Leaders website, making the point that Covid-19 has changed everyone’s reality. She comments:

“Immersive technologies have the potential to make a huge difference to the delivery of public services. COVID-19, and continued social distancing, has increased the need for solutions to engage communities and provide essential ‘in field’ services remotely. Unlike many new technologies, there is scope for public services to take a lead on the use of immersive technologies over the private sector.

“In healthcare, AR is enabling computer-generated features to provide live guidance during surgery. Smart software recognizes anatomy parts, as well as enabling experienced peers to join remotely. Looking at other use cases, AR could help doctors gain an enhanced understanding, as well as enabling a simulated experience of conditions to help classify patient symptoms.”