• £1.5 million initiative to help shape UK’s infection transmission response
    Janet Hemmingway
  • iiCON lab (credit: iiCON)

Research News

£1.5 million initiative to help shape UK’s infection transmission response

Mar 15 2024

A new project that will give companies and research groups the opportunity to develop new approaches for tackling infection spread has been launched by UKRI. The Infection Innovation Consortium, iiCON, to be led by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, will support diverse cross-disciplinary networks to help create new concepts and solutions in disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), digital and automation, advanced humanised infection models and novel diagnostics to help contain and reduce infection transmission.

Professor Janet Hemingway, founding director of iiCON, said: “Combatting the transmission of infection is one of the key health challenges of our time and one that is growing in urgency. As such, it’s critical that we leverage novel, disruptive technology to drive forward our collective efforts to tackle the spread of infection. We are particularly keen to engage individuals and companies who have not previously worked in this area.

“We hope this exciting programme will spark the formation of new cross-disciplinary networks and support participants to shape the future direction of our response to infection transmission – bringing forward novel concepts and approaches that may hold the key to unlocking this critical issue.”

With a first workshop session having taken place in Liverpool (March 14), companies and groups are still able to apply for a second event to be held in London on May 9, which is intended to help spark ideas, foster innovation, and create new collaborative approaches to tackle this urgent challenge and drive forward novel projects.

Complementing the work of UKRI’s flagship AMR and epidemic preparedness programmes, the sandpits will look to pump-prime radical new approaches to tackling infections by engaging new communities and capabilities with the challenge.

Supported with £1.5 million funding from UKRI to bring new research communities together and support feasibility studies, the two networking events will shape the call for funding pots of £50,000 to £150,000 to test disruptive approaches to tackling infections. Network support grants of up to £50,000 will also be available.

The development of new antibiotics and companion diagnostics are out of scope for the new fund, as these are covered by the recently announced PACE initiative.

More information online

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