IVVN Secures £1.2M Funding Boost from MRC

12 Dec 2023

The International Veterinary Vaccinology Network (IVVN), based at The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, and hosted in partnership with The Pirbright Institute, is set to continue their activities to support global veterinary vaccinology research.  

IVVN has received a £1.2M grant from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and this funding is sourced from the Government's International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF), underscoring the UK government's commitment to fostering international collaboration and advancing scientific progress.  

Established in 2017, IVVN has rapidly evolved into a global community comprising over 1,900 scientists and industry partners from 93 countries. The network’s primary focus is to advance vaccine development for livestock and zoonotic diseases by facilitating networking, providing funding for veterinary vaccine research, supporting early career researchers and being a central hub for the international veterinary vaccinology community. 

­­­Dr Timothy Connelley, Network Director of IVVN, expressed his gratitude, stating,

We are delighted to have been awarded the funding to continue our activities to support veterinary vaccinologists across the world. With this funding, we will continue efforts to bring the human and veterinary vaccine research communities together, support scientific collaboration by providing pump-priming funding, provide training for early career researchers and expand our schools outreach programme to inspire the next generation of scientists.

IVVN is one of five Global Vaccine Networks, established in 2017. Alongside IVVN, the other Networks include the Bacterial Vaccines Network (Bacti-Vac) based at the University of Birmingham, the Human Infection Challenge Network (HIC-Vac) at Imperial College London, IMmunising PRegnant women and INfants neTwork (IMPRINT) hosted at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and VALIDATE led by the University of Oxford and Stellenbosch University in South Africa. These networks collectively form a collaborative platform for researchers from the UK and around the world, particularly from low- and middle-income countries, to share knowledge and expertise, contributing to the development of new or enhanced vaccines.  

Recognising their impact, the United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) has allocated £6.3M to support the Global Vaccine Networks, including IVVN, for an additional two years.  

Dr Mark Palmer, Director of International Strategy at MRC, expressed enthusiasm for the continuation of the Global Vaccine Networks. He stated,

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. 

The recently secured funding not only ensures the continuity of IVVN's important activities but also strengthens its commitment to fostering collaboration between human and veterinary vaccine research communities. This financial support will enable IVVN to provide essential pump-priming funding for scientific collaboration, offer valuable training opportunities, and continue inspiring and engaging the next generation of scientists.  

As IVVN looks to the future, this funding serves as a catalyst for innovation, education, and impactful contributions to the global fight against animal diseases.