Funding & Collaborations
Haem-Match has already achieved significant funding both directly and indirectly through direct funding applications and through collaborations with other groups and institutions. Some of the work packages need to be completed before others are started and funding for the latter packages will be acquired in due course.
Here are the current funders and collaborations:
Blood Genomics Consortium
The Blood transfusion Genomics Consortium (BGC) is an international partnership between blood services, research institutions and industry leaders. Their aim is to improve the safety and efficiency of blood and platelet transfusion by introducing cutting-edge genomics technology into routine clinical practice. As the part of the BGC, the national blood services of Australia, Canada, England, Finland, New Zealand the Netherlands, and South Africa together with the New York Blood Center work in partnership with UCLH academic hospitals in Boston and Cambridge, and Thermo Fisher Scientific to develop the DNA-based assays, software solutions, and infrastructure required to implement donor and patient genotyping at global scale. The work of the BGC has been crucial in developing the platform for the genetic blood grouping.
The UCLH Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)
The UCLH Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is a partnership between University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) and UCL (University College London). The UCLH BRC was established in 2007 as one of five centres that were competitively awarded funding by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to support world leading clinical translational research. In September 2016, the UCLH BRC was awarded £114M for 2017-2022 to enable continued growth in our experimental medicine and early translational research programmes. NIHR UCLH BRC will be funding staff and delivering much of the infrastructure to enable the large scale data collection and analysis needed to support the Haem-Match programme.
NHSBT Research and Development
NHSBT through its Research and Development arm and the organisation more widely has been providing some of the initial funds, support and expertise to develop the initial phases of the programme. In addition many of the team are salaried NHSBT employees and part of their work is to support the Haem-Match Programme.
NIHR Artificial Intelligence in
Health and Care
The Haem-Match consortium was successful in acquiring funding through a competitive application to the NIHR - AI systems for precision blood group matching. This will fund the salaries of staff that can develop the artificial intelligence programmes that will be needed for the precision blood matching, blood stock maintenance and donor recruitment.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Blood and Transplant Research Unit (BTRU) in Donor Health and Behaviour at the University of Cambridge is a cross-disciplinary unit established to address major questions about the health of blood donors and produce evidence-based strategies to enhance donor safety and ensure the sustainability of blood supply. The BTRU is a partnership between the University of Cambridge and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT; England’s blood service), in collaboration with the Universities of Nottingham, Oxford, Queensland and the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood. The Public Patient Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) group and the NIHR AI grant work are led through this BTRU.
Sanquin is responsible for safe and efficient blood supply in the Netherlands on a not-for-profit basis. Sanquin also develops and produces pharmaceutical products, conducts high-quality scientific research, and develops and performs a multitude of diagnostic services. Researchers at Sanquin including Professor Ellen van de Schoot, Professor Barbera Veldhuisen and Mr Anton van Weert have led the way in the development of antigen typing and the development of AI systems for blood matching and we will be collaborating with them on this and other aspects of Haem-Match.