Press release: Government to invest over £130 million in new tech to tackle cancer and debilitating illnesses

  • government investing £133 million in healthcare innovation including gene-based therapies and artificial intelligence
  • funding will unlock new treatments that allow people to lead healthier and longer lives

People across the country could lead healthier and longer lives following significant government investment in new research to improve treatment, diagnosis and care options for devastating diseases including cancer.

The government has today (9 September) unveiled details of how it will help thousands of people across the country living with debilitating, painful and/or sometimes life-threatening diseases by investing £133 million in life-changing treatments for arthritis and cancer and for pioneering gene-based therapies for diseases including dementia and Parkinson’s.

Faster, more accurate diagnosis, and earlier interventions will be boosted by £50 million to be pumped into NHS diagnostic services and support the work of existing Centres of Excellence in digital pathology and imaging with artificial intelligence. The centres – based in Leeds, Oxford, Coventry and London – will be able to partner with more NHS Trusts and further develop cutting edge products using digital systems and artificial intelligence that could ultimately save lives.

Adult social care will also receive a new cash injection of £7.5 million to use research to improve care delivery for some of the most vulnerable people in our society and £14 million for bioscience projects and technologies across the UK that could, for example, treat osteoarthritis and develop new vaccines.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said:

Chronic and painful illnesses like arthritis and Parkinson’s are dreadful and prevent people from living a full life.

Curing these kinds of debilitating illnesses is one of the great challenges we face globally, and today’s commitment will play a vital role in ensuring that our scientists and thinkers have the tools they need to find new treatments that will support people to lead longer, healthier lives.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

We’ve got to bring NHS technology into the 21st century. I’ve seen for myself how better technology and diagnosis can save clinicians’ time so they can concentrate on care. The NHS is now spearheading world-leading technologies that can transform and save lives through new treatments, diagnosis techniques and care. I’m determined that the benefits of these advances will improve the lives of thousands of patients whose conditions have long been considered life-limiting.

Combined with this new funding, none of this would be possible without the long-term plan, backed by an extra £33.9 billion a year for the NHS.

Minister for Innovation Nicola Blackwood said:

The UK is a global powerhouse in health research and innovation. The investments announced today will cement this, and help to further deliver on the NHS’s international leadership on applying artificial intelligence to complex health problems. Today’s announcement is good for patients, good for staff and good for researchers.

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said:

Supporting people to live long, healthy and independent lives is a fundamental value of our society and, as our population ages, one of the biggest challenges we face.

This £133 million investment will tackle important chronic diseases and also create a national centre of evidence for implementing the best evidence to provide adult social care.

A further £69.5 million of the total investment through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will help fund 4 British projects:

  • Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator: ‘NATA’ (£30 million) – brand new therapies and technologies directly targeting genetic mutations could be rolled out to treat diseases including cancer, Huntingdon’s, Parkinson’s and arthritis
  • The Advanced Pain Discovery Platform (£12 million) – deepening our understanding of pain, this will reveal new treatment approaches and address a wide spectrum of chronic and debilitating conditions including arthritis. Versus Arthritis will contribute an additional £12 million over 3 years  
  • UK Centre of Evidence Implementation in Adult Social Care (£7.5 million) – using high quality research, this project will lead to improvements in the delivery of social care across the UK; implementing innovations with the potential to allow more people to receive care from the comfort of their own home
  • Tackling Multimorbidity at scale (£20 million, of which the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) is contributing £10 million) – this research into multimorbidity – when someone is suffering 2 or more long-term health conditions – will propel forward drug development, allow for earlier diagnosis and reduce progression to more severe illness and disability

Notes to editors

The Centres of Excellence funding

The Centres of Excellence in digital pathology and imaging with AI were originally established in 2018 by UKRI. They bring together the NHS, industry, and academia who work together to develop products using advances in digital technology to improve early diagnosis of disease, including cancer by detecting abnormalities. The programme, managed by UKRI, will allocate the £50 million via a competition run between the 4 centres. The bids must demonstrate how funding will be used by the centres to invest in digital infrastructure and equipment in partner NHS Trusts, and digitally link these trusts to the centres. This will expand the geographic coverage of the NHS trusts who are able to work with the centres.

Strategic Priorities Fund

The Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF) supports high quality research and development priorities. This is the second wave of funding. The SPF Wave 2 total programme funding allocation is £496.8 million.

More details about the funding projects

Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator: ‘NATA’ (MRC) 

Hosted by the Rosalind Franklin Research Institute – supported by MRC with DHSC, BEIS, Harwell Research Campus and Oxford University.

Funding requested: £30 million over 4 years. 

Location(s): The intention is to establish the NATA core infrastructure hub at Harwell Research Campus (Oxford). However, the challenges will be open to higher education institutions (HEIs), Institutes, public sector research establishments (PSREs) and/or businesses across the UK. Nucleic acid therapies are precision genomic medicines.

The Advanced Pain Discovery Platform: Mapping the complexity of chronic pain (MRC) 

MRC and Versus Arthritis with BBSRC and Innovate UK.

Funding requested: £12 million over 3 years. Versus Arthritis will contribute an additional £12 million over 3 years. 

Location(s): The intention is to build a national capability through calls which are open to HEIs, Institutes, PSREs and/or businesses across the UK.

UK Centre of Evidence Implementation in Adult Social Care (ESRC) 

ESRC and The Health Foundation. 

Funding requested: £7.5 million over 8 years. 

This is co-funded by an additional £7.5 million by the Health Foundation, who are working in partnership with Economic and Social Research Council.

Location(s): This is an open competition to deliver a nationally distributed and locally embedded centre through a call which is open to HEIs, independent research organisations and PSREs.

Tackling Multimorbidity at scale: Unpicking disease clustering biological pathways and trajectories (MRC) 

MRC with DHSC and NIHR. 

Funding requested: £20 million over 4 years.   This is co-funded by NIHR, who are providing half of the £20 million and are working in partnership with the Medical Research Council.

Location(s): The intention is to build a national capability through calls which are open to HEIs, independent research organisations and PSREs across the UK.


The £14 million has been awarded to cutting-edge bioscience projects across the UK by the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC).

The government’s Ageing Society Grand Challenge aims to ensure that people across the UK enjoy an extra 5 years of healthy and independent living by 2035, whilst narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and the poorest.

With 1 in 7 of us expected to be over 75 by 2040, today’s investment announcement will be an essential step in developing the products and services to support the UK’s ageing society by keeping them healthy, active and independent for as long as possible. Investing in innovation to promote longer, healthier lives is the aim of the government’s Ageing Society Grand Challenge.

This cash boost is the latest move by the government to address the needs of our elderly citizens and meet its goal of helping everyone to enjoy 5 extra healthy and independent years by 2035. Earlier this year, a £300 million competitive fund was announced to address innovations and new technologies to helps people live in their homes longer, tackle loneliness and increase independence.


Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg holds 14th Warmth of Children’s Hearts Festival

September 6, 2019

On September 6, the 14th Warmth of Children’s Hearts Festival concluded in the Samorodovo camp in Orenburg. As usual, the event was organized by the non-profit partnership Gazprom in Orenburg.

This year, the festival brought together 249 children from 15 orphanages and boarding schools across the Orenburg Region.

The opening ceremony featured 350 adult and child performers from the Gazovik Culture and Sports Palace.

Participants demonstrated their abilities in a talent show, a sports marathon, a local history quiz, and contests in arts and crafts, technical creativity and wall newspaper writing, based on the results of which the winning teams and the most successful participants received 185 awards.

The victory in the team standings of the 14th Warmth of Children’s Hearts Festival went to the children from Orenburg’s Boarding School No. 1, with the Novotroitsk boarding school coming second and the Orenburg-based Childhood Home third.


The key areas of activity of Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg are production, treatment, and transportation of hydrocarbons and a number of commercial products of partner companies.

The main source of raw materials for the company is the Orenburgskoye oil, gas and condensate field that contains unique components including methane, ethane, propane, butanes, helium, mercaptans, etc. This is why the Orenburg Gas Processing and Helium Plants of Gazprom Pererabotka produce dozens of various commercial products.

Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg is a subsidiary of Gazprom and Gazprom Pererabotka.

The enterprise includes 10 separate structural units.

The company has 5,600 employees.



News story: Get your business ready for Brexit

Published 6 September 2019
Last updated 25 October 2019 + show all updates

  1. 25 October 2019 Links to online event and Brexit business helpline added.
  2. 12 September 2019 We have added details on how to register for free UK wide Brexit Business Readiness Events for businesses to find out what actions they need to take to prepare for Brexit.
  3. 6 September 2019 First published.

Gazprom to take part in work of digital development center at Far Eastern Federal University

September 5, 2019

An agreement of intent was concluded today at the 5th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok to implement projects in the field of advanced information technologies at Far Eastern Federal University.

The document was signed by Alexander Kozlov, Russian Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic, Konstantin Noskov, Russian Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Nikita Anisimov, President of Far Eastern Federal University.

Within the framework of a digital development center, which is being created at Far Eastern Federal University by the Russian Ministry of Communications, the parties intend to implement projects related to dynamic digital modeling of technological processes, namely the operating conditions of subsea production complexes, pipelines, and equipment for natural gas liquefaction. It is also planned to develop intelligent control systems for industrial underwater robots adapted for Arctic conditions.

According to the document, the parties will ensure the consolidation of scientific and practical experience and competencies in the field of advanced digital technologies, as well as the optimization of design solutions for unique high-tech equipment.


In July 2019, an opening ceremony for the Far Eastern branch of Gazprom 335 took place on Russky Island in Vladivostok. The branch is a specialized engineering unit that will implement the projects of the Gazprom Group focused on offshore hydrocarbon production and on gas processing and liquefaction in Russia’s Far East. Gazprom’s regional partner in the project is Far Eastern Federal University.

The branch is responsible for, among other things, coordinating research and development activities, designing individual components of structures and equipment for subsea hydrocarbon production systems, gas processing and LNG production facilities, and establishing cooperation in the use of robotic systems.



New climbing wall at earth’s end sponsored by Gazprom Dobycha Nadym

September 3, 2019

At the beginning of the new school year, a climbing wall was opened at the Seyakhinskaya Boarding School, the northernmost school in the Yamal Peninsula. The training module named Skalodrom was acquired through the grant funding of Gazprom Dobycha Nadym.

The rock-climbing structure will allow the students of the boarding school to improve their health, coordination, and resilience. The gift from Nadym gas workers will not only enrich the lives of northern indigenous children, but also help schoolchildren with vestibular disorders. About 70 persons have already signed up for the rock-climbing club.

The competition for special grants has already become a good tradition at Gazprom Dobycha Nadym. Since 2013, about 30 projects have been awarded grants in such areas as children’s sports and creativity, education and environment, culture and promotion of patriotism.

“Thanks to the grant funds, our animation studio has been provided with new equipment: an interactive hardware and software package, an animation stand, and a video studio set,” said Svetlana Mertyukova, principal of the boarding school in the Nyda village, Nadymsky District. “We are now proud owners of a whole array of animated films in the Nenets and Russian languages. They are engaging and easy to understand. The children are thrilled!”


Gazprom Dobycha Nadym is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gazprom. The company’s key activities are production and treatment of gas and gas condensate.

Gazprom Dobycha Nadym was the first gas production company in the north of Western Siberia. It was created to develop and operate the Medvezhye oil, gas and condensate field. It is now also involved in production at the Yubileynoye, Yamsoveyskoye, and Bovanenkovskoye fields. The company holds the license for the development of the Kharasaveyskoye gas and condensate field, where pre-development is still in progress.

Area of activity: Nadymsky, Purovsky, and Yamalsky Districts of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area. Gazprom Dobycha Nadym is the key job provider in the town of Nadym and the Pangody settlement. The company’s team comprises over 10,000 employees.

Gazprom Dobycha Nadym has 13 operating gas facilities and 15 specialized branches. The annual gas production of the company is over 100 billion cubic meters.

The company has adopted an environmental management system in accordance with the ISO 14001:2015 standard.



ENGIE acquires Mobisol and becomes market leader in the off-grid solar in Africa

ENGIE expands its decentralized energy offering in Africa through the acquisition of Mobisol, a pioneer of off-grid solar solutions. Mobisol has operations in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Kenya and has installed more than 150,000 solar home systems, providing clean and reliable energy to over 750,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa.

With the acquisition of Mobisol, ENGIE will be offering solar home systems in 3 additional countries, complementing the six countries where it is already present with its solar home system company Fenix International. Mobisol’s focus on productive use products, combined with Fenix’s inclusive home solar power systems, will enable ENGIE to offer an unparalleled range of affordable energy products as well as extending its customer base from rural to urban areas. The closing of the acquisition of Mobisol will happen once all approvals of the relevant regulatory bodies are received.

ENGIE already has significant activities in off-grid electrification in Africa. With its subsidiary Fenix International, it provides access to energy and financial services via its solar home systems to over 500,000 customers, improving the quality of life for over 2.5 million people in Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Mozambique. Additionally, with ENGIE PowerCorner, it supplies affordable electricity to rural populations through smart mini-grids powered by solar energy and battery storage. PowerCorner offers 24/7 energy services to households, local businesses and public services in villages across Tanzania and Zambia. All of these services are enabled by digital financial solutions such as mobile money and Pay As You Go technologies.

Isabelle Kocher, ENGIE CEO declared: “With the acquisition of Mobisol, ENGIE expands its access to a market of millions who are not connected to the grid and establishes itself as the market leader on the continent. Not only do we change people’s lives with clean energy but we trigger economic activities for households and entrepreneurs who generate additional income once they are connected. With ENGIE Power Corner, Fenix, and now Mobisol, we will pave the way for a new generation of affordable energy services, in line with our strategy focused on the acceleration of the zero-carbon transition.

Universal electrification is the 7th of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that the global community has committed to achieve by 2030. Currently more than 600 million people have no access to electricity in Africa and by 2030 the continent is expected to be home to 80 percent of the world’s off-grid population, according to the International Energy Agency.


ENGIE borrows EUR 750 million at 0% over 7 ½ years

On Wednesday 28 August, ENGIE placed a EUR 750 million zero-coupon senior bond issue of 7.5 years duration. This is the lowest coupon ever for a corporate issuer on such a long duration.

Despite a highly active bond market, the order book proved extremely diversified and very solid, meaning that the conditions could be significantly tightened. At a time when the financial environment continues to be characterised by macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainty, ENGIE’s credit profile played a key role in the success of this transaction.

Judith Hartmann, ENGIE Executive Vice President and CFO said: “ENGIE’s balance sheet is solid and our strategy is paying off. Investors trust us, which allows us to improve our financing costs and contribute effectively to our development goals.

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Electric Adventures Episode 5 – New Heights


EDF Energy Pulse Innovation Challenge Pitch Day

Eon Energy

E.ON celebrates as two million of its customers meters are now Smart

  • Smart meters are an integral part of helping Britain act against climate change
  • With over two million smart meters installed across Britain, E.ON continues to help customers be more sustainable

Following on from its announcement that it is now providing 100% renewable electricity to all customers’ homes as standard, E.ON has now reached a new milestone with the installation of its two millionth smart meter.

This important milestone supports E.ON’s vision to help customers better manage their energy in a sustainable way, giving them greater control over the energy they need and use. Smart meters are the first step in a journey towards helping achieve a sustainable and personalised energy system and bringing Britain’s energy market into the 21st century.

Michael Lewis, Chief Executive of E.ON UK, said: “The future of energy is smart, personalised and sustainable. It’s a great accomplishment that we’ve now installed two million smart meters in Britain as this is a crucial first step for many householders in helping us, as a nation, reach our net-zero target.

“Through a combination of transformational actions both large and small by customers we can take responsibility across society and take positive action to help combat climate change, ensuring a more sustainable future for the next generation. Smart meters are free to install and help give people real power over their energy efficiency, helping to create a smarter grid for us all.”

New research from Smart Energy GB reveals that smart meter owners do more to save energy and are more likely to look into ways to use less energy, which is key to us achieving a decarbonised energy system.

With a modern, decarbonised energy grid Britain will be able to reduce its CO2 emissions and bring an end to fossil fuels. Small changes, like getting a free smart meter from 100% renewable electricity provider E.ON, can help us all in leading the energy transition and creating a smart, decarbonised system for future generations.

Join the revolution today and help Britain fight climate change – get a free smart meter installed by E.ON here.