Funding available for photonics based healthcare innovation

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The government is to invest £3.7million in projects that apply innovative photonics technologies to solve challenges in the healthcare sector.

The investment, announced today by David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, seeks to encourage the formation of new business led partnerships between academia, industry and health providers, to validate and highlight new applications of photonics in healthcare. The investment will be administered by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and run as a two part process - the first part being a single stage competition for feasibility studies, including at least one SME and lasting between six and 12 months. £1.5m will be allocated to this strand, with individual project awards of up around £100k. The second part is a two stage competition for collaborative R&D projects, again, including at least one SME. Projects will last between 12 and 24 months. £2.2m is allocated to this strand, with individual project awards of up to £750k available. Iain Gray, chief executive of the TSB, said: "This is an important announcement for the UK bio-photonics industry, particularly because of the collaborative nature of the competition, which will stimulate innovation and new cross sector, industry led collaborations across all tiers of the supply chain in photonics for health.