Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission

The Neurodegeneration Initiative (NI) is the operational core of the Dementia Mission: a public-private partnership that unites industry, public funders and academia.

Industry partners are invited to submit expressions of interest to develop and launch the recently announced Neurodegeneration Initiative

Expressions of interest are invited from industry partners to develop and launch the recently announced Neurodegeneration Initiative (NI), which is part of the Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission.

Launched in 2022, the Mission is led by the Office for Life Sciences, in partnership with and co-funded by the Medical Research Council, Innovate UK and the National Institute for Health and Care Research. Medicines Discovery Catapultis a delivery partner for the set-up of the NI.

There is an urgent need to accelerate approvals for new treatments. The Mission addresses the pressing needs of patients and industry by leveraging the UK’s world-leading position in dementia research. It aims to improve access to innovative medicines, increase trial recruitment, and improve early identification by developing a range of validated biomarkers.

The NI is the operational core of the Dementia Mission: a public-private partnership that unites industry, public funders and academia. It will establish a managed portfolio of R&D programmes drawing on existing high quality UK capabilities and infrastructure and international R&D networks.

The NI will provide the strategic coordination platform for investment in the Mission’s initiatives, enabling pre-competitive research and pre-market innovation in partnership, shaping discussions and resourcing joint decisions. Responding to the rapidly evolving needs of industry and the demands of patients and their carers is a key part of its remit.

By responding to the expression of interest, eligible participants will be able to further shape the scope and objectives of the Mission. Co-investment allows industry to shape the course of dementia R&D, with access to global leadership in dementia science and the assets of UK innovators.

The closing date for submissions is Friday, 28 June 2024 at 5 pm.

Want to know more about the Neurodegeneration Initiative (NI)?

Do you have a question?

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the EOI. If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact info@md.catapult.org.uk.


For further information, please contact the Neurodegeneration Initiative’s set-up Delivery Partner, Medicines Discovery Catapult: info@md.catapult.org.uk.


Everyone who has submitted an Expression of Interest will be contacted within two weeks of the closing date. Successful applicants will receive more information about the next steps of the process.


The first industry workshop will be held in London in mid-July 2024. Further details will be shared with successful applicants.


The Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission is seeking investment from founding industry partners to finalise the initial objectives, structure, and governance of the Neurodegeneration Initiative. Once the Neurodegeneration Initiative is operational, it will welcome additional partners to contribute to its objectives.

Please share your organisation’s interest in the Neurodegeneration Initiative to be updated on the next phase of collaboration. Email the Neurodegeneration Initiative’s set-up Delivery Partner, Medicines Discovery Catapult, at info@md.catapult.org.uk.


The Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission values the vital contributions of all organisations involved in research and development (R&D) for dementia, including SMEs and academic institutions. The Mission has already funded several SMEs to accelerate innovations in dementia biomarkers and clinical tools through Innovate UK’s Small Business Research Initiative.

As the Mission’s scientific deliverables are developed through the Neurodegeneration Initiative, the Mission’s Scientific Advisory Board will continue to ensure that the valuable work of all organisations innovating in dementia R&D is considered and incorporated.


The Neurodegeneration Initiative’s EOI process will open on 30 May 2024 and close at 5 pm on 28 June 2024. The first industry workshop will take place in mid-July 2024. The Neurodegeneration Initiative does not anticipate any firm commitments being required from prospective partners until a new government is in place following the general election on 4 July 2024.


The Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission aims to enhance system integration and avoid creating silos. It has engaged extensively with existing initiatives and sector stakeholders to identify areas where it can add value. It is aligning with national initiatives such as the UKRI Dementia Trials Accelerator and NIHR’s D-TRC TN, is investing in international projects like BioHermes II, has funded UK-based SMEs and is actively engaging with MHRA, NICE, and NHS England..

Going forward, through the Neurodegeneration Initiative, the Mission will continue to build upon existing strengths in the UK science base, foster and support collaborations that add value and provide strategic guidance for new treatments and facilitate stakeholder interactions to ensure a cohesive approach to addressing age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

Active discussions with existing initiatives are ongoing. Formal partnerships will be established once the Mission’s deliverables are confirmed following industry workshops.


The Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission, established in 2022, aims to address challenges hindering the development and deployment of dementia therapies. Led by world-renowned experts Hilary Evans and Nadeem Sarwar, the Mission brings together government, industry, NHS, academia, and families affected by dementia to tackle this devastating illness. By engaging extensively across the sector, the Mission ensures it addresses key challenges and incorporates patient voices.

Through the Neurodegeneration Initiative, the Mission will distinguish itself by accelerating pre-competitive research and pre-market innovation, facilitating interactions with existing infrastructure and research, and focusing on gaps in R&D that can significantly impact those living with dementia. It operates by drawing upon various forums and advisory boards, including experts on neurodegenerative diseases from academia and industry, individuals with lived experience, and regulatory bodies, ensuring the implementation of new therapies for the broader society.

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