The London-based Wellcome Trust has announced a funding commitment of up to £500 million ($626.8 million) over the next five years in support of scientific discoveries that can be translated into improvements in human health.
Under its new Innovation for Impact strategy (3 pages, PDF), the trust will support researchers and institutions working to turn discoveries and inventions into treatments and cures for disease. To build better links between science, technology, and innovation; create a global community dedicated to innovation for impact; and support the next generation of innovation leaders, the initiative will focus on making investments in so-called Wellcome Flagships — flexible, large-scale projects with the potential to create transformational change. In addition to funding, flagship institutions — which include Hilleman Laboratories in New Delhi, India, a joint venture with Merck Inc.; and the Wellcome Centres at King's College London, University College London, and Dundee University — will receive access to expertise through other Wellcome networks.
The trust also will create an Innovator Awards program that awards grants of up to £500,000 ($626,800) to support the development of technologies with the potential to improve health and will work with institutions and researchers to determine how best to support early translation efforts.
"We are at the beginning of an exciting new era for innovation at Wellcome," said Stephen Caddick, the trust's director of innovation. "We look forward to working with the global community to embrace new approaches, new technologies and new ideas for a single purpose — to improve human health."