£1 billion invested in the future of UK discovery science

Scientists working in a laboratory, using touch screen

The Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and Wellcome have today announced £1 billion of funding for the Francis Crick Institute.

The Francis Crick Institute is a national flagship for biomedical research. It was formed in 2015 to understand more about how living things work to transform treatment, diagnosis and prevention of human diseases such as:

  • cancer
  • heart disease
  • infections
  • neurodegenerative diseases.

The institute also generates economic opportunities for the UK, with 10 companies having been launched from research in the Crick.

The forefront of global innovation

The investment will cover the next seven years and go towards expanding the Crick’s world leading role, forging connections across the country and beyond.

This will support the ambition to make the UK into a place where researchers work at the forefront of global innovation.

Research at the Crick has tackled the evolution of lung cancer, revealing how therapies can outpace the disease, as well as discovering a new vaccine against tuberculosis.

The institute has demonstrated the importance of funding it’s biomedical research to further advance our understanding of human health and disease.

This pledge from the major funders of UK biomedical research promotes the vision that science will drive the UK’s future and help us:

  • tackle human disease
  • protect the environment
  • develop world-leading technologies
  • grow our economic prosperity.

Ground-breaking advances

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

The UK’s Francis Crick Institute is at the centre of forging ground-breaking advances to beat diseases like cancer and dementia sooner, helping deliver major improvements to diagnosis and treatment as well as preventing infection in the first place.

Thanks to £1 billion in new funding, the Crick can go further to propel scientific discovery forward, harnessing British ingenuity, supporting new innovative companies to grow, and cementing the UK’s place as a science superpower.

Solving scientific challenges

Professor John Iredale, MRC Executive Chair said:

The Crick has been a flagship discovery biomedical science centre since its formation in 2015.

This funding from MRC, CRUK and Wellcome will continue to support them in advancing their world-class biomedical research and solving scientific challenges.

Since its founding, the Crick has already produced many important advances in human health and disease, spanning cancer, COVID-19, neurodegeneration and embryo development, and we’re proud to continue supporting their ground-breaking research.

Supporting outstanding research

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

From the invention of penicillin and the first successful blood transfusion to the ground-breaking coronavirus vaccination developed by Oxford scientists, the UK has an impressive legacy in the life sciences.

I am therefore thrilled that the government has been able to make a significant contribution to this £1 billion investment for the brilliant Francis Crick Institute.

This funding will support the outstanding research they do to advance biomedical discovery and develop new approaches to tackling disease, strengthening the UK’s future as a science superpower.

Transformative scientific research

Chief Executive of CRUK, Michelle Mitchell, said:

The funding that Cancer Research UK is committing to the Crick will turbocharge our efforts to beat cancer sooner.

Cancer Research UK is supporting transformative scientific research at the Crick. Our funding, combined with the Crick’s outstanding reputation for working across scientific disciplines, will build our understanding of how cancer starts, grows and spreads.

We are delighted to be endorsing the Crick’s ambitious scientific programme for the next seven years.

The discoveries made in labs today will support our aspiration for 75% of people in the UK surviving their cancer for 10 years or more by 2034.

A global science power

Sir Paul Nurse, director of the Crick, said:

This is an investment that promotes UK science. The government has recognised the need to expand research budgets, because our future relies on it.

For the UK to be a global science power, we also need to be collaborators in the international science community and critically need to maintain our current powerful links with scientists in Europe.

Making a real difference to human health

Dr Michael Dunn, Director of Discovery Research at Wellcome, said:

The Francis Crick Institute is a world-leading research organisation, committed to ground-breaking discovery research, pioneering interdisciplinary research and training early-career researchers from all around the world.

We are delighted to continue supporting the Crick’s work, alongside MRC and CRUK and this funding comes at a crucial time for discovery research.

The Crick’s bold ideas will make a real difference to human health. We look forward to seeing them continue to deliver exceptional science in the future as well as making important contributions to our goals to create a positive and inclusive research culture.

This is a combined investment from UK Research and Innovation, through MRC, CRUK and Wellcome totalling to £1 billion.

Top image:  Credit: sanjeri, E+ via Getty Images

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