Healthcare technologies challenge awards

Logo of the EPSRC, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council invites outline proposals for its healthcare technologies challenge awards. These will enable early-career researchers to develop new research groups and capabilities that address long-term health challenges and will have the potential to become new centres of critical mass in multidisciplinary health technologies research.

Proposals must align with one of the following grand challenges:

  • developing future therapies
  • frontiers of physical intervention
  • optimising treatment
  • transforming community health and care.

In addition, proposals should further the following crosscutting research capabilities:

  • advanced materials
  • disruptive technologies for sensing and analysis
  • future manufacturing technologies
  • medical device design and innovation
  • novel computational and mathematical sciences
  • novel imaging technologies

Principal investigators should be academics working in and holding a permanent academic post for up to eight years at an HEI, a research council institute or an independent research organisation. Applications may include a limited number of co-investigators from a complimentary discipline, provided that their participation is crucial to the interdisciplinary nature of the work.

The total budget of £10 million will fund approximately 10 awards. Funding should enable the PI to devote 35 per cent of his/her time to the project. Other eligible costs include staff time, consumables and equipment, user engagement, impact and dissemination activities, and partner collaborations and exchanges.

For further information go to:

Closing date: 14 May 15

The Closed Loop Building Materials Facility

View a YouTube video demonstrating the Closed Loop Building Facility Henrion Building Facade

The closed-loop system invented by Professor Michael Anderson and his team provides a method of producing high quality sustainable building products from previously unusable-quality waste glass. Using this innovative process he can produce paving slabs, external wall cladding-slips, floor tiles and construction blocks. Not only are the products themselves green, but the brick-slip product offer considerable building scope as when combined with a highly insulating backing-panel structure, the system can be used as ‘over-cladding’, thereby greatly improving the insulation of non-cavity wall Victorian/Edwardian dwellings. At the same time the visual appearance of the original structures can be preserved, as the slips can be manufactured to match the appearance of the original early brickwork. Thus allowing look-alike appearances to be maintained, this will help to contribute to the solution of preserving our heritage.

The process could also be very useful in urbanising and developing countries where rapidly growing populations are creating vast amounts of waste glass which is being dumped in landfill but which could actually be used in environmentally friendly construction projects. This would be particularly useful for tourist islands which import thousands if not millions of drink bottles every year and have to pay very high prices to then have them shipped off the island, but which could be used to regenerate existing holiday resorts.  
Finally, the process itself is self-sustaining. Unlike clay and concrete, the recycled glass products can be easily disassembled at the end of their life and recycled back into new building materials again and again and could change the entire way we think about building. This promises to make a significant contribution to sustainability in the future!   

The project was recently shortlisted for the IET Awards which celebrates the very best innovations in Science, Engineering and Technology and attracts over 400 entries from over 30 Countries with only 74 finalists being selected.

If you are interested in the project and would like to investigate further opportunities to how this could be scaled up and have potential to be commercialised please contact the team at the Office of Sustainability via or phone 01782  295837.