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30 May 2024

Life Sciences Projects Secure Share of £900k in Funding

A wound-healing product made from maggot secretions and a first-of-its-kind test for Multiple Sclerosis are among the innovations to secure a share of £900,000 in funding support.

Economy Secretary Jeremy Miles has announced the funding for five projects which promise to deliver real-life medical benefits through cutting edge life sciences technology.

Bridgend-based Zoobiotic Limited are developing products from larval secretions which speed the removal of dead or infected skin tissue to help a wound heal.

Using a different approach, Corryn Biotechnologies in Swansea are working on a handheld medical device which can deposit a layer of microscopic polymer fibres over a wound, creating a dressing using “electrospinning” technology.

Immunoserv’s technology will be a Cardiff-developed, clinically validated diagnostic blood test for MS – the first of its kind worldwide.

Arcitebio Ltd in Aberystwyth has developed a low-cost diabetic-friendly and tooth-friendly natural sweetener using a biotechnological solution to produce xylitol from biomass.

Finally, Copner Biotech in Ebbw Vale are exploring using bioprinting technology to produce organ replacements.

The funding comes via the SMART FIS programme, which Welsh Government describes as ‘a new approach to funding research, development and innovation’. SMART FIS is delivered by a team of specialist engineers, scientists, industrialists and intellectual property experts with an aim of helping Welsh organisations to achieve ‘innovation excellence’. The programme is open to any organisation wishing to engage in research, development and innovation, including the third sector, local authorities and health boards.

For a new organisation this might mean accessing technology to get a new idea off the ground. For a developing one, it could be help with a project which has potential, and for an established organisation it might be about specialist know-how to give an international edge by opening up new markets.

Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Energy and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said:

“We launched our Flexible Innovation Support (FIS) programme last summer to help Welsh businesses and organisations improve people’s everyday lives by driving cutting-edge research and innovation.

“We want to build a stronger and fairer nation with an economy based on fair work, sustainability and sectors of the future – this support programme provides a strong footing for this ambition. As can be seen with these inspiring projects, Welsh companies are developing world-changing ideas which could ultimately save people’s lives. Any kind of organisation is welcome to apply for this support – please do see if yours could benefit too.”

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