The additional £1.26 million in funding will help BactiVac, hosted by the University of Birmingham, to continue its work encouraging collaboration between academia, industry and policy sectors to accelerate the development of vaccines against bacterial infections prevalent in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) in particular.

Our network exists to advance the development of vaccines against bacterial pathogens and to advocate for their use in combatting the global problem of antimicrobial resistance. We are proud to receive further vital funding that will help to support catalyst projects and other network activities, as we strive to develop new vaccines against bacterial infections.

Professor Adam Cunningham, Co-Director of BactiVac, The University of Birmingham.

BactiVac is one of five Global Vaccine Networks that were established in 2017 to help UK and international researchers share knowledge and experience with the aim of accelerating the development of new or improved vaccines through pump-priming projects, training fellowships and events for network members. The networks have grown substantially since their establishment, in close partnership with LMIC researchers and supporting exciting new science and collaborations. Their crucial work will now be supported for a further two years with £6.3M of funding granted by UKRI, from the Government’s International Science Partnerships Fund.

The vital collaborations initiated by the networks are already addressing significant illnesses and causes of death in humans and animals with high economic and social effects, particularly in LMICs. The development of vaccines to tackle infectious diseases reduces the need for antibiotics and therefore also helps tackle the challenge of antimicrobial resistance, one of the top global health threats according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The five Global Vaccine Networks are; Bacterial Vaccines Network, International Veterinary Vaccinology Network, Human Infection Challenge network, IMmunising PRegnant Women and INfants network and Vaccine Development for Complex Intracellular Neglected Pathogens.

The UK’s research and innovation system thrives through international partnerships so I’m delighted these networks are able to continue their incredible work tackling infectious diseases that pose threats to people, livestock, crops and natural resources. “Investing in collaborations like these will better prepare us for future disease epidemics and to more effectively tackle the slow-moving pandemic of antimicrobial resistance. These global networks are integral to ensuring the UK harnesses the extraordinary potential of research and innovation to enrich and improve the lives of people living in the UK and around the world.

Dr Mark Palmer, Director of International Strategy at the Medical Research Council (MRC).