Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Programme funding

EUR 4,8 million
The overall objective of MMI is to help the UK to become one of the world's leading manufacturing bases of the next generation of complex, high value chemicals. MMI aims to help companies to adopt processes - chemical synthesis using conventional or new reactions, as well as techniques from biotechnology, such as enzymatic conversion - and technologies that will enable them to meet the growing demand from customers for premium complex chemicals


The Programme is funded jointly by the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).


MMI will focus on four key areas:
- Reducing the time taken to develop and make complex molecules, (except large biological molecules such as proteins) (using both chemical and biological processes);
- Using new technical process to help improve the quality of these molecules;
- Helping SMEs to develop the skills necessary to use and understand the new processes and technology;
- Promoting networking to spread awareness of new technologies and emerging best practice within companies (and helping companies and universities to work together)

_ Technical Priorities (Note these are illustrative rather than prescriptive):
- New technologies to produce better pharmaceuticals to tackle diseases;
- New technologies to produce ingredients for the pharmaceutical industry more quickly and efficiently;
- New chiral formation or separation technologies;
- New catalysis technologies;
- Chemical synthesis of pharmaceuticals that will interact with DNA molecules or are made with knowledge derived from work on the human genome;
- New separation and reactor techniques (e.g. supercritical fluids, ionic liquids, microwaves, acoustics, micro-reactors, membrane reactors, reactive distillation or extraction, etc.);
- Flexible pilot plant with more automation to improve yields and quality;
- Characterisation of reactions for improved process design;
- Methodologies for process design


MMI funding is available for the following activities:
- LINK* Projects;
- Pilot Projects/Demonstrator and Scoping Studies;
- Training;
- Networking

The following companies and research base organisations are eligible for support:
- Companies which intend to carry out the research in the UK and to exploit the results in the UK or within the European Economic Area. Foreign owned companies with established UK research and manufacturing facilities are also eligible, provided the results are exploited as above;
- Recognised UK higher education institutions (HEIs); - UK Government research establishments or Agencies or Research Council establishments; and Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) including Research Associations and consultants with established research facilities may participate as industrial partners, exceptionally these organisations may participate as research base partners.
Other organisations may participate, but there may be limitations on their eligibility for support.

Projects should meet the following criteria:
- Reflect a multidisciplinary approach where appropriate;
- Objectives, targets and milestones (both scientific and managerial) should be clear and measurable, with mechanisms for measuring progress and outputs against these objectives. The objectives should be appropriate and challenging, but achievable within the terms of the proposal.
- The proposed research is of high quality, with novelty/originality and that there is good prospect that it will advance the processes for manufacturing molecules. The methodology and techniques proposed should be appropriate in relation to the objectives;
- There is prospect of significant technical advance, ideally, establishing technical leadership in the field for the UK. It should be clear that the technical risks associated with the project have been considered;
- There is good prospect for wealth creation;
- There is an exploitation plan, with a route to commercial exploitation for the project results, leading to new products, processes or systems, normally within two to five years of project completion;
- The project has brought together a well balanced and effective partnership, preferably including at least one SME, with each partner making a significant input to the project.

* LINK is the UK government mechanism for funding of collaborative research involving the industry and the research base.


New Production Processes
Record Number: 776 / Last updated on: 2000-12-16