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10 million competition for business to map rare cancer genes


A 10 million competition to help businesses develop cutting edge technology to map and analyse genes has today been launched.

Winning companies will be funded to develop high-tech products to help identify and treat inherited diseases and cancer. Ideas could include new computer code or hardware, or improvements of existing software and devices. The competition will run alongside plans to map the DNA code of up to 100,000 NHS patients with cancer and rare diseases by 2017. The products developed as part of the competition will play a part in reaching this target. Public Health England is also leading work to use whole genome sequencing to tackle infectious diseases.

Heath Minister Lord Howe said:

"Our plans to map 100,000 genomes over the next five years will lead to truly ground-breaking discoveries about how diseases work and how we can treat them more effectively.

"This competition helps harness the creativity and ingenuity of businesses to help us reach our target.

"Our vital investment in pioneering scientific research is good news for patients, for the research sector and for the economy - creating jobs and growth in our world-beating life sciences industry and helping the UK compete in the global race.

The competition is part of the Government's commitment to making the UK the best place to start and grow a business. Earlier in November, the Government launched a public campaign to celebrate British success stories. The Government wants to inspire other businesses, particularly small and medium sized enterprises, and point them towards the support that can help them grow. It will also reaffirm its commitment to small business with a statement in December for how the whole of Government will back them. This will set out a range of measures to continue helping budding entrepreneurs and existing businesses succeed.

Application forms and further details about this competition can be found at The deadline for entries is noon on 5 February 2014. Winning proposals will be announced in March 2014.

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