MRC SHIP Sets Sail with First Call
The first Request for Application (RFA) for the newly formed Strategic Health Innovation Partnerships (SHIP) unit at the Medical Research Council (MRC) has been announced. The RFA, which focusses on drugs and medical devices, opened on 2 September and closes on 30 October 2013. The complete RFA can be found here.
SHIP, a partnership between the MRC and the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST), comes as a result of a recent Report on the Revitalisation of the MRC. The report notes that medical research in the country is severely under-funded and highlights the necessity for the MRC to increase funding to Universities for extramural health research. One of the initiatives proposed to address the funding shortage was the Product Development Partnership (PDP) funding, which led to the creation of SHIP.
The MRC is expecting to spend about R250 million through SHIP on innovation, technology and product development over the next 3 years. The first allocation of around R100 million for the period 2013 -2015, is being made available at this time to fund a number of drug and medical device product related programmes. An RFA for HIV and TB vaccines will follow later in the year.