The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) is winding down after 22 years of operation.

In a letter sent on 26 June 2023, NCRI chair Fiona Driscoll said that the board of trustees had decided that the ‘risk of operational failure was too great to continue’ and the board was now working on the ‘required steps’ to wind down the charity.

The institute was established in 2001 following the publication of the first NHS cancer plan, which called for formalised connections between the different organisations that fund cancer research.

The aim of the NCRI was to identify where research in the field was most needed and would be most likely to contribute to progress.

‘Since then the cancer research landscape has matured significantly and we are proud that many of the original purposes of the NCRI have been achieved or taken over as business as usual by partners,’ Driscoll wrote.

However, she said that with ‘uncertainty’ in the wider economic and research environment, questions had been raised about the sustainability of NCRI’s operating and funding model.

‘Reluctantly therefore, the board decided that the risk of operational failure was too great to continue,’ she concludes. ‘The board is now working on the required steps to wind down the charity, identifying and securing our assets; financial, data and IP.’