HEIF call news

Enterprise and Commercial Development will shortly be opening a call for Innovation and Collaboration Vouchers. The guidelines and application form for this call are now available for download from Drop Box at the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/o7enem2ouzowbem/-Um17cAot7.  

Applications can be submitted from the 4th Nov – 6th Dec 2013. Further details can be found by viewing the guidelines and a best practice example of a completed HEIF application form is also available at the above link.  Please send all completed application forms to Alex Harvey, HEIF Project Manager, via email to a.harvey@staffs.ac.uk.  

Future calls: A call for Continuous Improvement Projects is planned for January 2014.


Funding opportunities for ICT research

The ICT Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and the ICT National Contact Point are organising a half day event at Aston University to promote forthcoming opportunities for funding from the Horizon 2020 programme. Horizon 2020 is the new European Commission funding programme for research, technological development and innovation. 

This event will provide an overview of the funding available and importantly the range of support in place to help people benefit from these opportunities. ICT is a fundamental part of Horizon 2020 in both addressing new ICT developments and developing the use of ICT to support societal challenges.  Access to finance schemes are also available to support innovation in SMEs.

The event is being held on 20th November at 12:30.  Registration is available at https://horizon2020birmingham.eventbrite.co.uk/ If you are unable to attend, please contact externalprojects@staffs.ac.uk for feedback. The event flyer can be viewed by clicking here H2020 ICT event flyer November 2013

Staffordshire University ARBOR project in the running for European Commission Award

Logo regiostars2012

A huge congratulations to the ARBOR project team in our Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Sciences who have been named as finalists in the European Commission’s RegioStars Awards for 2014.  They have been shortlisted from 80 projects from across the EU which have been supported by EU cohesion policy funding on the basis of their delivery of innovation, impact, sustainability and partnership.

ARBOR is an Interreg IVB NWE funded project aiming to develop regional strategies and new technological solutions for more sustainable biomass use.  It is led by Staffordshire University and involves 12 other partners from 6 different European regions.

ARBOR Project Manager Dr Sacha Oberweis traveled to Brussels to showcase the ARBOR project last week to the awards jury (pictured below). The final decision will be made by the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn in March at an award ceremony on 31st March 2014.

Further information available at http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/cooperate/regions_for_economic_change/regiostars_en.cfm.

Open Days 2013

ARBOR logo Print

Looking to collaborate with the US?

The British Council are running the Global Innovation Initiative which will providing funding for university research collaborations between the UK and US working with either Brazil, China, Indonesia or India.  Science, technology, engineering and mathematical research issues of global significance will be supported through this scheme. The research competition opens on 28th October, with a deadline of 16th December.

Academics interested in applying are encouraged to contact their potential partners now to prepare for the call launch.  Only 20 grants are expected to be supported, with project values proposed between £100,000 – £150,000.

The goals of the scheme are:

  • To increase the global mobility of students, researchers, faculty, and higher education administrators from the U.S., the UK, and other countries;
  • To develop a cadre of people in the U.S., UK, and other countries who have the international experience, outlook and knowledge to confront global challenges and operate in a global context;
  • To encourage international collaborations that develop capacity across a range of universities in the U.S., the UK, and other countries;
  • To forge university and business linkages that support a globally mobile talent pool and a multinational base for the exchange of discovery and innovation.

Further information: http://global-innovation-initiative.org/ 

Please contact externalprojects@staffs.ac.uk if you are developing a proposal for this call.

EPSRC consultation open


The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) launched an independent review of the EPSRC peer review process earlier this year. As part of this process, there is a community survey open to all to put forward their views until 30th September. 

  • The peer review process is designed to investigate:
  • Influence of peer review on decision-making
  • How peer review advice is sought and used to inform funding
  • Transparency, cost effectiveness and extent of community ownership

The survey can be accessed at http://www.survey.bris.ac.uk/epsrc/irpr_survey.

Further information on the review and the panel leading the review is available at http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/newsevents/news/2013/Pages/independentreviewofpeerreview.aspx

TSB Funding for Digital Media

The Technology Strategy Board is investing up to £15m in projects that stimulate innovation in the UK digital media sector by addressing convergence in digital technologies. This funding opportunity covers film and television, online video, animation and video games (including pre-production, production and post-production processes, particularly in visual effects technologies). 

Projects must be business-led but can involve collaboration with Universities. The competition will fund feasibility studies as well as collaborative R&D projects. Projects size is expected to vary according to need, ranging from £300K – £2million for R&D activity of up to 24 months and from £100k to £120k for feasibility studies lasting between six and 12 months. 

The competition opens on 23 September 2013. The deadline for registration is 6 November 2013, and the deadline for completed feasibility expressions of interest is noon on 13 November 2013. A briefing event for both strands will take place on 30 September 2013. This event will be filmed and turned into a webinar for applicants to refer to. 

 For further information click here https://www.innovateuk.org/competition-display-page/-/asset_publisher/RqEt2AKmEBhi/content/cross-platform-production-in-digital-media-collaborative-r-d?p_p_auth=LF3BHyMA or contact n.arblaster@staffs.ac.uk.


UKCGE events

The UK Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship has published its events calendar for the 2013/14 academic year.Topics cover a variety of areas and include The Challenges of Working with International Postgraduate Students, Impact in Research, Research Ethics, and Using new technologies in delivering Research Skills and Professional Development Training.  Some are free to attend and the type of event varies from workshops, conferences to study trips.

Further information at http://www.ukcge.ac.uk/main/events


UKRO Horizon 2020 factsheet

Horizon 2020 logo

For colleagues interested in the next generation of EU funding for research and development activity the UK Research Office (UKRO) have published an updated factsheet on the Horizon 2020 programme. This factsheet is available by clicking on the following link and signing into the UKRO site.  http://www.ukro.ac.uk/subscriber/ukro_info/events/Documents/130820_factsheet_h2020_researchers.pdf

UKRO is an excellent source of information for all EU funding and policy developments.  The External Projects Team will be updating you on the latest Horizon 2020 developments over the next few weeks, but we would encourage colleagues to register on UKRO to received personalised alerts relevant to your research area.

Exploratory Research Grants – Low Income Countries


Private Enterprise Development in Low Income Countries (PEDL) and Centre for Economic Policy Research have Exploratory Grants between £10,000 – £35,000 available to promote research in the following four research themes:

  • Modelling market frictions in LICs using newly available data
  • Understanding how constraints interact using micro-founded macro models
  • The dynamics of SMEs: Informality and entrepreneurship
  • The role of export-oriented industries in driving growth

Proposals should inform policy and support researchers to explore new approaches to the study of firms in low-income-countries (LICs) and develop sources of data on firms in LICs.  Cross cutting themes encouraged include fragile and conflict affected states, gender and climate, environment and social compliance.

The deadline for bid submission is 30th September.  Further details: http://pedl.cepr.org/content/exploratory-research-grants-0

European Environment Agency report published

 “Towards Green Economy” is a recent report which gives a detailed overview of the key objectives and targets in EU environmental policy and legislation for the period 2010-…2050.  It may provide a good reference point for environmentally based research or business support activities colleagues are involved in.
The report covers the following policy areas:
  • Energy
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and ozone-depleting substances
  • Air quality and air pollution
  • Transport sector emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants
  • Waste
  • Water
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SCP)
  • Chemicals
  • Biodiversity and land use

The report identifies over 130 targets, with binding targets in the areas of energy, air pollution, transport emissions and waste. 

Further information: http://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/an-overview-of-eu-environment