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Collaborate to innovate
Round 2: Advanced therapies

Advanced Therapies, defined as gene and cell-based treatments, are a fast growing area of research and innovation in life sciences, with the potential to provide a step-change in the treatment of many diseases.

Delivering collaborations and innovations

London Advanced Therapies has launched a
second call of the Collaborate to Innovate fund, which offers a focused and intensive end-to-end solution for SMEs working in advanced therapies with specific R&D needs.

Funded by the Research England Connecting
Capabilities Fund and match-funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the scheme helps define those needs, then matches them to expertise in Higher Education Institutes and delivers research collaborations with the aim of leading to innovative advanced therapies products.

Each of the participating SMEs in the scheme will receive support to help them tap into academic expertise and key capabilities from the university delivery partners up to a value of £150,000 which is paid for by the programme. Collaborate to Innovate round 2 is managed centrally by MedCity and delivered through the academic delivery partners of London Advanced Therapies.

Our academic delivery partners


Advanced therapies biotec (gene or cell therapy)

Gene engineering

Regenerative medicine

Vector manufacturing

Key points

SMEs should have a challenge/problem that could potentially be addressed by a collaboration with an academic partner. Collaborate to Innovate matches the SMEs to academic research groups with complementary expertise. SMEs may also nominate academic partners they wish to work with. However, the programme emphasises new collaborations.

Small to medium enterprise (SMEs) projects

Up to £150,000 support available in eligible costs

Typically 12 months in duration

All funds awarded to the academic partner to work with the SME

Projects are SME-driven

Application process

Stage 1

Initial Expression of SME Interest form submission to determine their eligibility, type of academic expertise that they want to engage and whether matchmaking with academic partners is needed. A hard copy of the form is available to work on drafts but all final submissions must be done online.

Invitation to Stage 2 and matchmaking.

Stage 2

The scheme emphasises new collaborations. Applications will be scored based on innovation impact and the value added by the proposed academic/industrial collaboration. Both parties of the collaborative team need to demonstrate how their individual expertise complements each other and adds value to overcoming the innovation challenge that will be addressed by the project.

Important notes

Interested SMEs with a proposed academic collaboration in mind are advised to submit their Stage 1 application as soon as possible. If they are shortlisted, applicants will then be sent a Stage 2 application which will allow sufficient time for completion.

SMEs who are interested in the scheme and need to be matched with an academic research group are also advised to submit their Stage 1 application as soon as possible to allow sufficient time for matchmaking and the formation of collaborative teams.


9 August 2019

Stage 1 opened.

23 September 2019

Stage 1 closed.

14 October 2019

Matchmaking closed and Stage 2 opened.

7 November 2019

Stage 2 closed and final deadline for project submissions.

December 2020

Collaborative Research project due to finish.

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