Rosalind Franklin Institute

The Rosalind Franklin Institute (the Franklin) is a national research institute dedicated to developing new technologies to tackle important health research challenges.

It is the UK’s institute for technology development in life science, funded by the UK government through UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Launched in 2018 with £103 million of government investment and backed by 10 leading UK university members, the institute is based at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Harwell campus.

The Franklin addresses a crucial need to speed up the design and delivery of novel drugs by bringing together physical sciences, engineering and biosciences, to create technologies which:

  • advance our understanding of biological systems
  • improve human health
  • provide improved resilience and preparedness to future pandemics

The initial investment was made recognising that the UK lacked a specific, national institute designed to support convergence of world-leading research in the physical sciences, engineering and life sciences.

The Franklin has since been recognised in the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy (updated in 2020) as a key piece of scientific excellence infrastructure.

The institute has already delivered significant contributions to society, developing novel therapeutic agents against the COVID-19 pandemic and becoming a world leader in advanced bio-imaging. It is bringing partnerships with global instrumentation developers to the UK and leveraging external funding of more than £150 million into the UK.

To maintain a role at the cutting edge of technology development and remain distinct, the Franklin’s technologies are created and matured on a cycle longer than traditional grant funding would support. Commitment from instrumentation industry is contingent on their ability to support long term projects.

The cycle of innovation is continuous, learning in one cycle shapes their approach to the development of the next generation. This cycle is key to attracting world-leading talent and continuing the core mission as a technology institute.

We expect to see significant changes in the Franklin’s portfolio of research over time, responding to the needs for breakthrough science.

Last updated: 28 June 2023

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