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Engineering Biology in Cambridge

A black background with the UKRI Innovate UK and CCA Bio logos and pink text reading ‘Smart Grants’

Cambridge-based start-up CCA Bio are looking for collaborators to apply for an Innovate UK Smart Grant. The project will involve testing an automated cell culture platform.


About the Call and CCA Bio

CCA Bio ( is looking for partners who would like to participate in an Innovate UK grant application. We're interested in research groups who routinely grow cells and would like to automate this process. We've developed a proof of concept machine that is able to deliver a significant degree of automation to the cell culture process and we now need to build the next stage prototype and find a lab who'd be in a position to test it on the real process. In order to fund this activity we're applying for a Smart grant from Innovate UK. We expect to apply for somewhere between £500k and £1M. Application deadline is 24th of April.

What Are We Looking For?

We need a partner who is interested to work with us to push this final stage of development by providing insight into real world use cases. Once the next prototype is complete we expect the partner to be in a position to thoroughly test the machine in the real cell biology laboratory. We will provide all technical support and training required. The partner gets to keep the machine and we will provide ongoing support as long as our machine is in active use.

We are specifically interested in partners who are working on cell culture that is difficult to grow manually either due to scale or complexity of the process. We would be very interested in supporting those who are trying to run novel processes on challenging cells, i.e., iPSC, primary cells, co-cultures, ALI, etc. We’d also be happy to support those who want to try new processes under this grant. We expect the grant to fund the build of the machines for our partners as well as cell culture experiments that need to be done to validate the machine performance.


For further information please contact:


References & Links

  1. Innovate UK Smart grants: January 2024 (Jan 2024)
  2. CCA Bio CCA Bio (2024)

Author Information

Jonny Banister
Business Development Director