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Translation Fund

Translation Fund
Translating innovative and ambitious, applied R&D projects with an unmet healthcare need.
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The aim of Translation Awards is to develop innovative and ground breaking new technologies in the biomedical area.

Projects must have already demonstrated proof of principle, supported by experimental data. Applications should bridge the funding gap in commercialisation of new technologies in the biomedical area and must plan to take the product, technology or intervention to a stage at which it is sufficiently developed to be attractive to another party.

Translation Awards are designed to be flexible, enabling freedom to innovate and push the boundaries of current knowledge. Our aim is to support individuals or teams through larger and bolder awards to accelerate product development. The Fund will consider applications that are either single projects or portfolio programmes.

To encourage more applications in underserved and challenging areas, the fund will have strategic highlight areas.However, projects covering any aspect of technology development from a range of disciplines - including physical, computational and life sciences - will be considered at any time. Projects must address an unmet need in healthcare or in applied medical research, offer a potential new solution, and have a realistic expectation that the innovation will be developed further by the market.

The Trust will normally actively participate in the stewardship of the project and lead on intellectual property management and exploitation.


Proposals are welcome from academic and commercial organisations based in the UK and overseas.


Eligible institutions are not-for-profit research institutions, including those funded by the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, that are able to sign up to Wellcome Trust Grant Conditions.


Commercial companies are eligible to apply either as principal applicants or as collaborators. The Wellcome Trust is able to use charitable monies to fund commercial companies to meet its charitable objectives through programme-related investment (PRI). For further details, please see our policy on PRI [PDF 38KB]. Companies will normally be expected to sign up to specific terms relating to the scheme.

All applications will require clear arrangements for leadership and management of the project, whether this involves a single institution or a consortium.

Application process

Prospective applicants should complete a concept note and send it to Innovations innovations@wellcome.ac.uk where it will be considered internally. If a decision is made to invite a preliminary application the applicant(s) will be sent a link to an application form.

Preliminary applications will be reviewed and shortlisted by the Translation Fund Committee.

Following triage shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a full application and will be subject to international peer review and due diligence by members of our Innovations Advisory Group (IAG).Applicants will be expected to make a presentation on their proposal to the TFC. Unless otherwise advised, this will be at the next scheduled meeting of the TFC.

Proposals are taken forward by invitation only. Uninvited applications will not be considered.

Application advice

Innovations staff are happy to advise you during the preparation of a proposal.

Projects must address an unmet need in healthcare and offer a potential new solution. Projects must plan to take the innovation to a stage at which it is sufficiently developed to be attractive to another party – for example commercial organisations (eg. Venture capital funds, pharma, biotech), not for profit organisations etc.

Providing it is adequately justified, modest equipment purchase and maintenance costs may be included in an application. Building or refurbishment expenditure will not normally be considered.

Applications may not include requests for academic institutional overheads.

See allowed costs and disallowed costs for further information on what is and is not included.

Projects must have already demonstrated proof of principle, supported by experimental data.

If selected to submit a preliminary application (and subsequently a full application) the proposal will be expected to consider a commercial strategy that takes into account the regulatory pathway, IP management, commercial barriers and routes to market.

If invited to submit a preliminary application the Wellcome Trust will neither consider nor process the application if the same or a related application is under consideration by another organisation.

The most common application queries are addressed by our FAQs.


Prospective applicants are welcome to contact Innovations to discuss their proposal before submitting a concept note, but are not required to do so.

The deadlines are as follows:

Concept note deadline: 16 October 2015
Preliminary application deadline
: 11 December 2015
Committee meeting
: July 2016 (presentations by shortlisted applicants)

Concept note deadline: 15 April 2016
Preliminary application deadline
: 13 June 2016
Committee meeting
: January 2017 (presentations by shortlisted applicants)

All applications must be received by 17.00 GMT on the deadline date.

Preliminary applications and full applications can only be submitted by invitation, following a successful application at the previous stage.

Shortlisted applicants will be expected to make a presentation on their proposal to the Translation Fund Committee. Unless otherwise advised, this will be at the Committee meeting noted above.


About your eligibility, the application process or general queries about awards:
+44(0)20 7611 5757

About the content of your project or proposal:
+44(0)20 7611 5757

About our online application system:
+44(0)20 7611 8383

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