A joint British-Israeli scientific collaboration in regenerative medicine has funded nearly £10 million in 19 bilateral research programmes over the past six years, Business Minister Sam Gyimah MP revealed this week.
The programmes, which focus in regenerative medicine, are in a variety of projects, including stem cell treatments for multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease and therapies for Type 1 diabetes.
CFI’s Vice-Chairman John Howell OBE MP asked the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in a Written Question “what recent results have been achieved from medical research conducted by British and Israeli scientists through the Britain-Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership (BIRAX)”.
Business Minister Sam Gyimah MP said: “BIRAX will soon have funded 19 collaborative research projects focused on regenerative medicine and raised almost £10 million of funding, more than 90% of it from research foundations and philanthropic donors.
He revealed that “This year a major new initiative, BIRAX Ageing, will launch which will be the main academic research theme for the next 4-5 years”.
Mr Gyimah added: “Principal Investigators presented BIRAX supported research at 71 conferences and workshops to over 21,000 Principal Investigators, postdoctoral students and students across 22 countries including the US, India, China, France, Japan, Germany, Sweden as well as to audiences in the UK and Israel. To date, 27 scientific articles have been published as a result of BIRAX projects and BIRAX funded research has been cited 635 times”.
He said that “Three of the seven BIRAX projects which concluded in 2016, have registered patents and two project teams have been approached by biotech companies expressing an interest in licensing their intellectual property. Three BIRAX projects have secured further funding for research initiated under the BIRAX initiative”.
The creation of BIRAX has brought together more than 1,000 scientists, including PhD and postdoctoral students from 120 institutions, and resulted in breakthrough research published in 30 leading scientific publications.
BIRAX was launched jointly by the prime ministers of the United Kingdom and Israel with the goal of bringing together world-leading scientists to advance breakthroughs in regenerative medicine. The programme has since grown into the flagship of UK-Israel science partnership, the British Council.