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NIHR announces £150m investment in applied health research

Published: 01 July 2018

The NIHR has announced £150 million of funding for applied health research to tackle the key issues facing our healthcare system, including the pressures of an ageing population and the increasing demands on the NHS.

Leading academics and technology experts will be able to apply for the research funding to develop health solutions for the future, helping give patients greater independence and choice about how they manage their healthcare.

A total of £135 million will be awarded to new NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs), which will undertake applied health and care research and support implementation of research into practice.

Healthcare organisations will be able to apply for the five-year funding on behalf of a collaboration of health and care providers, commissioners, local authorities, universities, private companies, charities, and academics.

The scheme aims to support research to tackle a number of areas of need highlighted by the NIHR Futures of Health report and other reports, including: the need to increase research in public health, social care and primary care; the challenges of an ageing society; multimorbidity; and the increasing demands placed on our health and care system.

The new scheme includes £15 million to support significant cross-NIHR ARC collaboration, with the goal of delivering a step change in national-level impact. 

Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

“As the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday, more people than ever before are living longer lives thanks to the dedication of hardworking staff. It is therefore vital we harness technology to develop the next generation of innovative treatments as part of the Government’s long term plan for the NHS.

“That’s why I want our world-leading academics, researchers and technology experts to work with frontline staff to develop the innovations which not only allow people to live longer, but also to lead healthier lives, so the NHS can continue to provide world-class care to all.”

Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy said:

“With a growing and ageing population, maintaining a world-class NHS depends on harnessing the discoveries of cutting edge research and rapidly bringing them into every day healthcare.

“The UK has a proud tradition of ground-breaking medical R&D and this funding means our country can continue to lead the world.”

The extra funding follows a number of successful projects by NIHR Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs), such as the introduction of tranexamic acid across all ambulance services in England to reduce bleeding in trauma patients - saving an estimated 400 lives a year.

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