A unique Irish-Welsh partnership involving life science expertise at Swansea University has won €5 million of additional funding.

The extra money will help the Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network (CALIN) continue to develop the life science sector across the two countries.

CALIN is backed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme and supports life science research and development in west Wales and east and south Ireland.

Since it was launched in 2016, CALIN has assisted more than 100 companies and established 36 short and medium-term collaborative projects. The cross-border initiative teams a Welsh and Irish university with an SME to deliver developments in the life sciences, which lead to new life science products being launched onto the market.

CALIN support has led to more than 5 million euros of R&D investment from businesses and the creation of 20 new jobs.

The funding boost from the ERDF was announced by CALIN directors Shareen Doak and Steve Conlan at Swansea University’s Collaborate 2020 conference which brought together academics, health professionals, industry and the community to celebrate the partnerships helping to forge future healthcare.

Professor Conlan said: “This additional funding, which will continue until 2023 will enable the CALIN partners to continue to drive research and development within life science SMEs across Wales and Ireland.”

Professor Doak added: “The CALIN approach to innovation is not only delivering tangible results for SMEs in Ireland and Wales, but also establishing sustainable partnerships between business and academia in the two countries that will ensure continued sector growth for the foreseeable future.”

Counsel General and Welsh Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles, who is responsible for EU funding in Wales, said: “We’ve already seen how successful the CALIN project has been in bringing top academics from Wales and Ireland together with businesses to help develop new life science products.

“This is so important, not only to the economy, but in jointly developing ground-breaking, world class products to launch to the market, creating jobs and business opportunities on both sides of the Irish Sea.

“I’m delighted to see this funding extended until 2023. Wales-Ireland collaborative projects are widening our understanding in so many vital areas. This project is another practical example of the close and productive research relationship between Wales and Ireland. It shows our nations collaborating to take real action to respond to real issues, supporting innovation and growth and making the most of creative solutions.

“We greatly value our research collaborations with Irish partners and look forward to building further success together.”

Are you an SME involved in the life science sector in Wales or Ireland? If you would like to be part of the growing number of businesses to benefit from the expertise of the CALIN network we would welcome your interest so please get in touch by emailing  g.d.healey@swansea.ac.uk

Find out more about the CALIN project

Swansea University