Recurrent funding for the RFI 2019 to 2021

Lead Research Organisation: The Rosalind Franklin Institute
Department Name: Research

Abstract

The Life Sciences sector forms a key part of the UK economy: it employs over 220,000 people, contributes significantly to GDP and UK balance of trade, and is crucial for developing leading-edge treatments for patients. It is underpinned by the UK's world-leading research base in the health and life sciences. Many key research breakthroughs are, in turn, enabled by advances in engineering and physical sciences (EPS) research - which provide ever more sophisticated instrumentation and methods to support the study of living organisms (from microbes to plants, animals and the human body) and biological processes (including both disease pathology and drug action). R&D across all parts of this ecosystem - from fundamental understanding to applied research to product development - is crucial for the delivery of long-term economic growth and continued advances in agriculture, food security, healthcare and public health. Historic models of innovation have often been linear, involving a degree of serendipity. Disruptive technologies and scientific breakthroughs will be accelerated if physical scientists, engineers, life scientists and industry work together, and at scale. This is the domain of the Rosalind Franklin Institute (RFI): with a focal point (Hub) at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, linked to formal Spokes in leading HEIs across the UK, it will integrate complementary expertise from academia and industry to create a national centre of excellence for methods development at the convergence of the physical and life sciences.

It will create high-value jobs, protect and attract inward investment, and drive long-term growth; and contribute to the delivery of the Government's innovation, industrial and regional strategies.

Planned Impact

The RFI will deliver a broad range of inter-connected benefits to the UK economy. These will fall into two categories:
- direct outputs from the RFI itself (mostly in the short or medium-term); and
- long-term impacts delivered by third parties, enabled by the application of RFI outputs.

The primary driver for creating the RFI is to realise eventual impact via clinical or industrial application alongside novel methods that will also have a disruptive effect on discovery research, helping to maintain UK leadership in the life sciences.

Publications

10 25 50