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Funding opportunities for innovations in cell culture technology

September 28 2016

Cell culture is a mainstream technology in almost all (medical) biology laboratories and accounts for ~60% of the drug development processes for drugs that are being introduced to the market. But the applications go far beyond drug discovery. Very commonly, cell culture is used for modelling development and disease processes as a first step towards testing your hypothesis. In addition, stem cell research (both 2D and 3D), the production of new vaccines/antibodies and tissue engineering technologies applicable for e.g. wound healing are possible cell culture applications. There are several subsidy opportunities related to cell culture technologies. Below we have listed the most important ones, with their upcoming deadline dates.

Opportunity Purpose Funding per project Funding rate Deadline
SME Instrument-05 Phase II 

Supporting SMEs developing cell technologies for medical applications

€ 1-5 M 100% 18-1-2017

Translationeel Adult Stamcelonderzoek (TAS) ronde 2016 - 2017

€ 400 K or 750 K 80-90% 8-11-2016

Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI)

Biomanufacturing 2020: Development of innovative high-throughput analytical tools and methods to characterise cell culture fluid during development and commercial cell culture processes

€ 6 M  (prel.) 100% Expected Q1 2017


SME Instrument 05 Phase II

The SME instrument is a European funding programme intended for high-potential innovative internationally oriented SMEs. This goal focuses on all kinds of cell technologies including, among others, cell manufacturing, imaging, genetic engineering, gene editing and diagnostics with a final goal that contributes to human medicine and leads to the preparation for market introduction. 


The main goal of this program is to stimulate clinical research with adult stem cells which must eventually lead to better quality of care and lower costs. The Game Changer call is targeted at pre-clinical research to new innovative therapies and technologies to treat diseases, more specifically in the area of adult stem cells, gene therapy and tissue manipulation products. These projects can be seen as proof-of-concept with the idea to lead to translational clinical studies in the foreseeable future.

Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) 

IMI is Europe’s largest public-private initiative aiming to speed up the development of better and safer medicines for patients. IMI is a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry.

Although the industrial animal cell technology has become a well-established platform for biopharmaceutical production, there are still challenges that require more research and innovation. This opportunity focuses on the need for the development of innovative analytical technology, leading to faster, leaner, more controllable, cost-effective and more industrious production.

For more information and funding opportunities please visit our funding database.

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