Funding available to set up a stem cell derived beta cell foundry

May 17, 2023

Today sees the opening of a new funding call in the Grand Challenge’s beta cell therapies research stream. We’re offering up to £5 million to support researchers to establish a stem cell derived beta cell production and distribution centre.

We want to back the beta cell research community in the UK and provide a sustainable solution to the current limited supply of stem cell derived beta cells for research purposes. That’s why we’re inviting UK experts with a track record of generating beta cells from stem cells to create a Foundry that will produce and distribute beta cells at scale. This will allow more scientists to conduct high quality research into beta cell therapies, speeding up progress towards a cure for type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes UK and JDRF have worked with the Grand Challenge Scientific Advisory Panels – comprising some of the world’s most eminent type 1 diabetes scientists – to shape this new call.

Apply for funding

Details about the call can be found here.

If you are interested in applying, please contact the Type 1 Diabetes Grand Challenge Research Funding Team by 21 June 2023 (

The very best applicants will then be invited to submit a full application by 21 August 2023.

Dr. Lori Sussel, a Member of the Scientific Advisory Panel on beta cell therapies, said: 

“This is an exciting opportunity for a research group with the relevant expertise to advance beta cell therapies in the UK and around the world. The selected team will have a significant impact on understanding the biology of beta cells, improving the efficiency and safety of beta cell replacement therapies, and ultimately, bringing us closer to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes.”