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UK Regenerative Medicine Platform invitation for 'Challenge Ideas'

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Call status: Closed
Previous call: 22 August 2016 – 6 October 2016


The sponsors of the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform (UKRMP) have issued a call for 'Challenge Ideas' to provide an opportunity for all interested parties to highlight scientific areas, generic technologies and platform approaches that would significantly advance the overall mission of the Platform in its next phase.


The UKRMP initiative was established by BBSRC, EPSRC and MRC to promote translational research in regenerative medicine and address the knowledge gaps and obstacles where more development was needed to underpin the delivery of therapeutic approaches. Currently running from 2013-2017, the Platform has successfully established a broad-based yet coherent interdisciplinary programme that is making inroads on the key translational challenges.

Call remit

The UKRMP Hubs currently address five thematic areas:

  • Cell behaviour and differentiation linked to scale-up and manufacturing
  • Engineering and exploiting the stem cell niche in order to deliver functional cells of therapeutic value
  • Safety – focusing on quantitative imaging technologies
  • Acellular approaches through the development of next generation scaffolds and biomatrices to support and delivery regenerative therapies
  • Approaches to immune modulation in support of the development and clinical testing of regenerative strategies

These thematic areas remain key bottlenecks for the field, and overcoming these barriers is critical to move forward and deliver the great promise of regenerative medicine. The science associated with regenerative medicine is progressing rapidly, and as the UKRMP sponsor group look towards future investment in the Platform, now is the opportunity to take stock of the current state of play of the field and ensure the Platform and its Hubs are best positioned to address the most pressing challenges ahead.

As such, we are issuing a call for 'Challenge Ideas' to provide an opportunity for all interested parties to highlight scientific areas and generic technologies and platform approaches that would significantly advance the overall mission of the Platform in its next phase.

The funders are very keen to receive 'Challenge Ideas' from the research community to enable us to fully explore potential opportunities and shape the call for proposals for UKRMP2, envisaged for early 2017. This will also inform the potential commitments to this call by the funders of the current UKRMP.

It should be emphasised that submission of an idea is not a pre-requisite for application to the forthcoming call, nor should it be considered an 'Expression of Interest' for future Hub providers. Rather this offers an opportunity to advise the development of the UKRMP2 agenda; the Challenge Idea submissions received will inform the shaping of the key requirements and remit for the future call, which will seek to continue to support a high-risk, innovative and interdisciplinary approach.

Proposal requirements

Submissions should address the following points:

  • Clearly describe the nature of the translational challenge(s) to be addressed
  • Outline why addressing the challenge(s) would make a difference to the field:
    • who would benefit by addressing the challenge?
    • what are the generic technologies or platform based approaches which would be exploited to achieve this?
    • outline the breadth of areas of application and exploitation
  • Provide conceptual ideas as to the approach to addressing the challenge(s), describing the maturity of the evidence base underlying the proposed idea. This should include:
    • Details of the technology required
    • Details of whether the key basic science is in place and of the critical aspects relevant to ensuring transformative impact
    • An outline of the discovery science/technological push and the clinical pull to provide evidence that appropriate real world issues are to be addressed
  • Provide a brief overview of the UK strengths and breadth of inter-disciplinary collaboration in the area that would need to be assembled to achieve the goal (whether academic groups, clinical teams or companies)

How to submit 'Challenge Ideas'

This call is closed to applications.

This call is administered by MRC.

Proposals must be submitted as a PDF (four page maximum length using Arial 11 point) to the UKRMP Programme Manager David Pan: by 6 October 2016.

Steps towards the call for 'UKRMP2' Hub proposals

The submitted 'Challenge Ideas' will be used to inform the development of a full funding call for 'UKRMP2' Hub proposals as outlined below, and guide the potential commitments of the funders.

  • 'Challenge Ideas' will be considered by a panel comprised of the UKRMP Programme Board supplemented with additional expertise
  • The evaluation will take account of the scientific opportunities and national capabilities presented, and lead to a recommendation to the sponsor group as to the desired components and specification of a call for UKRMP2 Hub proposals

UKRMP2 timeline

Launch call for 'Challenge Ideas' w/c 22 August 2016
Application deadline for 'Challenge Ideas' 6 October 2016
Expert review of 'Challenge Ideas' End October 2016
Anticipated launch of UKRMP2 call Early March 2017
Anticipated application deadline for UKRMP2 applications End July 2017
Anticipated announcement of awards January/February 2018
Anticipated UKRMP2 awards start April 2018

Related calls: collaboration innovation multidisciplinary partnerships stem cells