The UK government has recently announced the availability of new funds made available by the international development budget. This is manifested in a new £46m to find a coronavirus vaccine and for the development of a rapid test for the disease.

Supported by UK funding, eight possible coronavirus vaccines are currently under development and efforts are being made to get any viable vaccines from sequencing of the virus to clinical testing in under a year – a record time-frame. Governments around the world could then work with pharmaceutical companies to get vaccines into production and use. The additional support will bring the UK’s investment into COVID-19 research to £65 million.

UK experts are leading the scientific and medical response to the global coronavirus outbreak and the UK was one of the first countries to establish a laboratory test for the virus. However, no country has yet found a method of diagnosing coronavirus without sending samples to a lab for testing – a process that can take several days.

The UK’s total support to fight the virus internationally is now in the region £91 million.

This presents exciting opportunities for innovative businesses and research organisations to create disruptive solutions and deliver widespread societal benefits.