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Medical Research Council (MRC)

By Tom Foley.

MRC will invest £37.5m over 5 years to establish an independent UK Institute for Health and Biomedical Informatics Research (Farr 2). Additional funds will be contributed by the health research departments of England, Scotland and Wales, the British Heart Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Its resources will be directed to challenges that can’t be addressed by individual research programmes. The Institute, to be launched in late 2017, will be made up of 4-8 substantive sites and a larger number of partnership sites. Expressions of interest are currently being considered from potential host institutions. It will have five major themes: discovery science, stratified medicine, citizen driven health, public health and Learning Health Systems. The inclusion of LHS is a big shift for such funders, who have traditionally focused on large scale epidemiology research6.