Tackling drug resistance: UK-China funding competition announced

Innovate UK

August 16
09:43 2017

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 others 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

Contact Gabriela Juarez Martinez, Knowledge Transfer Network, for information on events and to get notified when the competition opens by emailing

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