Zika Virus: Research

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered at on 21 March 2016.

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Photo of James Heappey James Heappey Conservative, Wells

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps his Department is taking to help support research into the Zika virus.

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Universities and Science)

In February we allocated £1 million from the Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund to help urgently tackle the Zika virus; the Medical Research Council (MRC) received over 100 applications for support through its Rapid Response Initiative. To meet this demand, in March we committed up to an additional £2 million, with a further £1 million from the Wellcome Trust, bringing the total that was available up to a maximum of £4 million of funding.

Today, the MRC has announced that it has allocated c. £3.2 million of this funding to tackle the emerging and unknown threats of this virus. Our commitment to protect the science budget in real terms to the end of the Parliament means we can react quickly to help tackle these life-threatening global challenges.

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