Science and Technology Facilities Council
UK government boosts vaccine manufacturing capacity at Harwell
The Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC), a not-for-profit organisation providing the UK’s first strategic vaccine development and advanced manufacturing capability, has been awarded up to £131 million by the government, boosting investment in the UK’s vaccines infrastructure and increasing capacity to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine.
VMIC will invest in more technology to increase its manufacturing capacity at its permanent facility, currently being built at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, in order to produce 70 million vaccine doses in four-six months from opening – a 20-fold increase from current figures. Furthermore, the facility’s building schedule will be accelerated to allow it to come online in summer 2021 – a year ahead of schedule.
A ‘virtual VMIC’ will be created, procuring manufacturing equipment, recruiting highly-specialist people, and securing physical space to create a temporary manufacturing centre ready to make vaccines at pace and scale once a viable COVID-19 vaccine has been found.
Welcoming the scale-up and acceleration of the state-of-the art facility Dr Barbara Ghinelli, Director of Harwell Clusters and Business Development at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), said: “Investing in the acceleration and expansion of VMIC is wise both in the medium- and long-term. Opening the facility a year ahead of schedule will strengthen the UK’s efforts to tackle COVID-19 and give us resilience for future pandemics.
“In the long-term, with increased R&D and manufacturing capability, the Centre will act as a catalyst to strengthen the UK vaccines value chain – creating new fields of expertise and driving forward innovation to the benefit of the global science community.”
VMIC was established by the University of Oxford, Imperial College and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with support from industrial partners, Merck Sharpe and Dohme, Johnson and Johnson, and GE Healthcare. The new funding comes through UK Research and Innovation, as part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, and is in addition to an original £65 million grant, with a further £10 million provided by industry partners and other businesses.
Harwell Science and Innovation Campus is rapidly expanding via a private public partnership between Brookfield Asset Management and two government agencies, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.
Find out more about the new funding for VMIC from the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus announcement.
Latest News from
Science and Technology Facilities Council
UK supercomputers simulate impact of the asteroid thought to have wiped out dinosaurs28/05/2020 10:33:00
One of the UK’s most powerful high-performance computers has helped scientists simulate the impact of the asteroid, that hit earth just under 66 million years ago and is thought to have killed dinosaurs.
Harwell Space Cluster launches ambitious growth strategy27/05/2020 12:05:00
Harwell Space Cluster has published its 10 year growth strategy, supporting its ambition to become the most compelling global gateway to the space sector and making it an even more powerful engine of growth, innovation and investment for the whole of the UK.
North West HealthTec Cluster marks its first anniversary26/05/2020 13:05:00
A year of life-changing innovation, award-winning business and dynamic collaboration have marked the first year of the HealthTec Cluster for the North West.
Study of 4.3 billion-year-old lunar rock overturns theory on formation of the Moon's crust18/05/2020 11:33:00
Scientists studying lunar rock collected during the NASA Apollo 17 Mission in 1972 have found new evidence that large portions of the moon’s crust were formed by massive impact events.
Scientists improve our understanding of the way that stars evolve12/05/2020 15:05:00
Scientists have found a pulsating ancient star, in a double star system, that will help improve our understanding of the way that stars like the sun evolve and die.
Study finds half of UK rice breaches limits on arsenic for children11/05/2020 15:38:00
A team of scientists have found 28 out of 55 rice samples sold in the UK contained levels of arsenic that were higher than European Commission regulations allow for babies and children under five.
SPICE receives "First Light"27/04/2020 14:38:00
RAL Space’s SPICE instrument has successfully taken its first measurements of the Sun on board the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Solar Orbiter.
Promising, early career researchers awarded fellowships24/04/2020 15:05:00
Ten talented researchers, who are in the early stages of their career and have clear leadership potential, have been awarded five-year fellowships to help them realise their research ambitions.