The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Gates Foundation) on Thursday announced a joint program, soliciting research proposals for new regulatory science systems, tools and methodologies to advance vaccine development and innovation in China.
The program plans to support research in four areas: policies and pathways to improve the effectiveness of vaccine regulation, vaccine regulatory system reform and process optimization, active post-marketing pharmacovigilance, and new regulatory science tools and approaches that evaluate vaccine efficacy, safety and manufacturing quality.
"This collaboration aims to develop research strategies and protocols, validate new models and methodologies, and draw on international experience in the whole life cycle management of vaccines," said Xie Xincheng, vice president of the NSFC. "I believe the joint program will contribute to the high-quality development of China's vaccine industry."
"We hope the program can help explore ways to improve the regulatory science, which will in turn support innovation for vaccine products and platforms, and improve vaccine safety and efficacy, therefore benefiting more people," said Zheng Zhijie, director of the China Country Office at the Gates Foundation.
The joint program will fund up to eight proposals. Each selected proposal will receive funding of up to 750,000 yuan (109,000 U.S. dollars) from the NSFC and up to 125,000 U.S. dollars from the Gates Foundation.
The NSFC, a major source of funding in China for basic research and frontier exploration, has released an application guide on its website, stating that interested researchers should submit online applications to the two foundations before May 31.