Multi-million government funding awarded to 21 projects to propel innovation across the UK

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Regulators are clearing the path for drones to carry vaccines and other life-saving drugs in a revolutionary government-funded endeavor.

The project, which will be managed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), is one of 21 bold new initiatives supported by the Pioneer Fund of Government Regulators to propel cutting-edge innovation across the UK.

The Fund supports projects led by regulators and local authorities that help support the country’s regulatory environment to keep pace with the technological advances of the future – to the benefit of both entrepreneurs and consumers.

Thanks to its grant, the CAA will develop global standards for special containers that will allow drones to safely transport sensitive goods such as medical products, so remote communities can access essential supplies without delay. At present, there is no regime in the world to test and approve these containers to ensure that they do not leak, even in the event of an accident.

The aviation regulator also received money to create a service for the public to report drone safety concerns, while Oxfordshire County Council secured funding to help innovators understand their legal requirements when setting up new tests in the drone industry.

Business Minister Lord Callanan said:

Good regulation should boost entrepreneurship, not hinder it, and this fund will keep the UK at the forefront of innovation.

The projects we support could pave the way for exciting developments in a wide range of sectors, from drone technology to healthcare, all of which will bring benefits to UK businesses and consumers. “

In total, 21 projects received a share of £ 3.7million in funding, and the winning projects include:

  • Oxfordshire County Council – working with the Met Office, Ordnance Survey and others – has been awarded £ 198,000 to develop a tool that lets self-driving car developers know when they can test
  • The Health and Safety Executive received £ 198,000 for a project to help construction companies share information about hazardous incidents to help prevent injuries
  • Cornwall Council received £ 200,000 to improve monitoring of harmful algal blooms that can enter the food chain through shellfish, leading to disease and product recalls
  • The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency received £ 200,000 for a hub bringing together businesses and regulators from the Grangemouth Industrial Cluster to move towards a net zero economy

This investment is in addition to the £ 10million provided by the Fund from 2018 to 2020, which provided around £ 700,000 to the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency to develop synthetic data sets , supporting the development of advanced medical technologies to fight the coronavirus. (COVID-19[female[feminine) and cardiovascular disease.

The Fund is part of a larger government work on regulation. This includes the recent consultation on reforming the Better Regulation Framework and the Better Regulation Committee, chaired by the Chancellor, which is leading an ambitious reform agenda to ensure the UK’s regulatory framework is fit for purpose and meets the government’s strategic objectives.

The funding was awarded following an evaluation process conducted earlier this year. The full list of successful applicants in this round of funding, subject to contract agreement, is as follows:

  • The Care Quality Commission received £ 169,000 to support innovation by GPs to reduce health inequalities in disadvantaged areas, through better regulatory recognition and sharing of best practices
  • The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) received £ 55,000 to test the use of special containers to allow drones to transport sensitive goods such as medical samples
  • The CAA was also awarded £ 198,000 to examine options for creating a service that would allow drone owners and the general public to report safety concerns for investigation
  • Cornwall Council received £ 198,000 to improve monitoring of harmful algal blooms that may enter the food supply chain through disease-causing shellfish requiring product recalls
  • The Costs Lawyer Standards Board awarded £ 58,000 to conduct a research project to explore potential ways to reduce the cost of legal services
  • The Drinking Water Inspectorate received £ 170,000 to create a one-stop-shop with Ofwat and the Environment Agency to make it easier for innovators to get advice on navigating regulatory barriers in the water and sanitation sector.
  • The Environment Agency received £ 175,000 to help design systems to support sustainable economic growth in the Tees Valley Freeport
  • The Environment Agency received £ 195,000 to standardize environmental measures for food businesses that go beyond legal bases
  • The Greater London Authority received £ 200,000 to research potential regulatory changes to support collaborative street work at UK utility companies
  • The Health and Safety Executive received £ 198,000 to develop proposals to increase data sharing in the construction industry to help prevent injuries
  • The Information Commissioner’s office received £ 182,000 to develop new regulatory guidelines and organize a series of ‘techsprints’ to improve business confidence in the use of privacy technologies.
  • The Information Commissioner’s office also received £ 187,000 to put together a case for a direct advice service to innovators on the data protection implications of their new ideas.
  • Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency awarded £ 194,000 to study how adaptive AI algorithms in medical devices are changing and how to regulate their decisions
  • The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control received £ 200,000 for a collaboration to harmonize measures used for adeno-associated virus (GO TO) Genetical therapy
  • Oxfordshire County Council – working with the Met Office, Ordnance Survey, Warwick Manufacturing Group and the National Physical Laboratory – has been awarded £ 198,000 to develop a tool that lets self-driving car developers know when they can perform tests
  • Oxfordshire County Council also received £ 169,000 to enable drone testing by establishing a framework for understanding legal compliance requirements
  • The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency received £ 200,000 for a hub bringing together businesses and regulators from the Grangemouth Industrial Cluster to move towards a net zero economy
  • The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency has also received £ 200,000 to develop a one-stop knowledge center to address the challenges of regeneration.
  • The Security Industry Authority received £ 192,000 to improve interactions between the regulator and the companies that need to monitor private security contractors
  • The Solicitors Regulation Authority received £ 167,000 to tackle regional inequalities in access to justice, demonstrating the feasibility of new legal technological tools
  • West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service awarded £ 195,000 to create online ‘fire safety awareness tool’ for businesses


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