The £180m Biomedical Catalyst fund from the UK government will open for applications by the end of this month.

The funding will aid small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and academics to develop solutions for applications against healthcare challenges.

In December 2011, UK Prime Minister David Cameron launched the Biomedical Catalyst fund, which will enable the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Technology Strategy Board to work together to take British medical breakthroughs into the healthcare market.

The programme will focus on stratified therapy development, regenerative medicine, diagnostics, eHealth and mHealth solutions, medical technologies and devices.

David Cameron said that the £180m programme will support both SMEs and academics and help to ensure that they can turn their promising ideas into innovative technologies, which would benefit both patients and the British economy.

In addition, the government fund will support the development of innovative technologies emerging from partnerships among SMEs, clinicians, academics and industry.

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UK Universities and Science minister David Willetts said the £180m Biomedical Catalyst programme will bridge the funding gap and support innovative businesses and research base.

Technology Strategy Board chief executive Iain Gray said the scheme is a part of the government’s Strategy for Life Sciences, which aims to help the next generation of British medical breakthroughs become the next generation of British companies.

"It will provide seamless support, from concept to commercialisation, from initial research in universities through to commercial development, from incubation of innovation through to product development," Gray added.

Under the programme, three categories of grant awards will be available: feasibility, early stage and late stage. Individual grants to businesses will range from a maximum of £150,000 for feasibility to £3m for early and late stage projects.