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The University of Southampton
Global Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention

Confidence in Concept award

Published: 16 June 2017
NAMRIP members in 2017 conference
Members of NAMRIP discuss multidisciplinary collaborations and translation (Photo by Nikhil Mistry)

Today sees the deadline for submitting the first bids for pump-priming studies to the Confidence in Concept (CIC) award won by the University earlier this year. The authors of the bid were Professor Iain Cameron (Dean of the Faculty of Medicine), Professor Salim Khakoo (Associate Dean Enterprise of the Faculty of Medicine), Professor Peter Smith (Director, IFLS) and Professor Timothy Leighton (Chair, NAMRIP).

This is the first time the University has been successful in the CIC competition, and the bid has brought in funds to support pump-priming collaborations across the university.

Confidence in Concept awards are given out by the Medical Research Council (MRC) to support health related translational projects which are at the stage of proof of concept. The University is allowed to submit one bid for these each year, and this year NAMRIP formed a significant component in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine: the bid contained 4 vignettes of projects, 3 of which were NAMRIP projects. The two vignettes highlighted by the panel (Wound cleaning using StarStream; and development of a point-of-care microfluidic device to identify microbes and allow targeted treatment) were NAMRIP projects. The links with engineers was cited by the panel as a major strength of this MRC bid.

The bid will fund several 6-12 month proof-of-concept studies (at around the £50k level) to provide robust evidence to future funders of the feasibility of a proposed solution to a health, clinical or product development need.

They are intended to accelerate the translation of discovery research into new therapies, diagnostics and medical devices by supporting preliminary work or feasibility studies to establish the viability of an approach – before seeking more substantive translational funding.

Following today’s deadline, there will be future calls for bids will open shortly and will be open to all academic staff members within an interest in solving health-related problems.

Professor Khakoo said “This represents an excellent opportunity to harness Southampton’s strength in multi-disciplinary research for patient benefit”.

I am delighted that MRC has provided funds to support multi-disciplinary collaborations in the University, something for which the University has a distinctive and justifiably proud record. I particularly welcome this award as it is for the purpose of accelerating the translation of fundamental discoveries through to benefit those in need of diagnosis and treatment. Several NAMRIP teams submitted ideas today into the competition, and this award will be a real stimulus for multi-disciplinary collaboration, and an engine to drive basic science through to real patient benefit.

Professor Tim Leighton - Professor of Acoustic Engineering and Chair of NAMRIP, University of Southampton
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