Science: Finance

Department for Science, Innovation and Technology written question – answered on 8th March 2023.

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Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Transport), Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change)

To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether her Department is taking steps to increase funding for (a) projects that involve the sophisticated use of human cells and tissues, (b) organ-on-a-chip technology, (c) (i) electroencephalography and (ii) other non-invasive approaches to recording brain activity and (d) other human-specific research into mental health disorders.

Photo of George Freeman George Freeman Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funds a portfolio of research projects involving humans, human materials, animal models, and non-animal technologies. For example, last year their Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research launched a £4.7 million joint funding call focussed on supporting next generation non-animal technologies, such as organ-on-a-chip.

UKRI also funds a significant amount of research into non-invasive neuroimaging to advance our understanding of human brain and mental health. For instance, since 2010 their Medical Research Council has invested £3.8 million into non-invasive neuroimaging in mental health research.

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