Secretary of State Announces Additional £40 Million for Rosalind Franklin Institute

Funding for the UK’s institute for technology in life science will help to develop new technologies to address major health research challenges.

The new Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan, has announced an additional £40 million of funding over the next three years for the Rosalind Franklin Institute, the UK’s institute for technology in life science.

The Rosalind Franklin Institute is a national research institute dedicated to transforming life science through interdisciplinary research and technology development in order to tackle important health research challenges. It was founded by ten UK universities in 2018 and officially opened in 2021 with £103 million of funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The Institute develops state-of-the-art technologies across the following five complementary scientific themes to enable a new perception of the biological world in new ways, from single molecules to entire systems:

  1. Artificial Intelligence and Informatics.
  2. Biological Mass Spectrometry.
  3. Correlated Imaging.
  4. Next Generation Chemistry.
  5. Structural Biology.

The additional funding was announced by the Secretary of State during a visit to the centre following the creation of the new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). The funding will be delivered by the EPSRC and will help to develop technologies to address major challenges in health, such as characterising the early signs of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

In the future, using real patient tissue samples will enable disease dynamics, drug effects and diagnostics to be carried out with atomic level insight.

Professor James Naismith, Director of the Franklin, said:

“Since 2018, we’ve built the building to time and on budget, staffed it, installed beyond state-of-the-art instrumentation, which we are helping to develop, and published some of the world’s most cited papers.

“In phase 2 we really want to push forward our vision to see life at the atomic scale from molecules, to cells, and into tissues, and accelerate the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic products by creating and combining advanced technologies.”

Further details about the announcement are available at the Rosalind Franklin Institute website.

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)