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The MRC P2D is a block grant provided to the University by the Medical Research Council. It will support activities to build relationships between the university and industry partners and promote a culture of innovation.


The University of Oxford has been awarded £237k from the Medical Research Council to support creative approaches to building relationships with industry partners. 

Strategy 2018-19

Technologies for Therapies

As scientific research becomes increasingly technically sophisticated and specialised it is more important than ever to ensure continuing inter-disciplinary collaboration to allow these disruptive technologies to be applied to healthcare research. One of Oxford’s key strengths is our multi-disciplinary research base and we believe that there is huge potential to act as a forum to promote closer collaboration with industry partners to drive technological innovation in healthcare research

70% of P2D funding will support a concerted programme of industry engagement around cutting edge and strategically important technology platforms, with two aims:

  • to exchange knowledge and skills with industry around novel technological platforms with the potential to drive innovation in therapeutic discovery
  • to develop new and lasting collaborative relationships with key industry partners based on the application of these technologies towards identification of novel therapeutic opportunities.

The technology platforms we will focus on are:

1. Advanced Microscopy

2. Single Cell Handling 

3. Gene Editing

4. iPSCs

For each we will deliver a range of activities that focus on: exchange of technical skills, understanding industry needs and the application of these platforms to drug discovery. Funded activities will include: staff exchanges with key industry partners – both technology and therapeutic companies, AIMdaysTM, training workshops and horizon-scanning minisymposia. 

20% will be used to deliver our “Experts in Residence” scheme aimed at embedding industrial expertise in key sectors within our research community.  

10% will be allocated through open calls for innovative industry engagement opportunities, which enables us to respond to new and innovative opportunities from within our academic community.

Proposals must support MRC-related science areas. Funding is not intended to support staff exchange with University of Oxford spin out companies.


Proximity to Discovery will pay for direct costs only. Costs must be incurred by Oxford, and not by an industry partner. 

Grants must finish by the end date of the MRC award, 31 August 2019. We anticipate small and large applications to this fund.


Open for applications. All activities must take place before 31 August 2019. Applications should be sent to Martin Kerr.

Application form


Martin Kerr

Proximity to Discovery Committee


Chair: Professor Matthew Wood

Secretary: Martin Kerr


Professor Chas Bountra

Dr Paul Ashley

Dr Adam Stoten

Ms Leila Whitworth