Global Innovation Initiative

This year’s Global Innovation Initiative call has been launched. These are for projects of global significance in partnership with US and Brazil, China, India or Indonesia. Projects must fit one of the themes detailed below.

Funding Body: British Council (UK) and Institute of International Education (US)

Scheme: Global Innovation Initiative

Overview: The Global Innovation Initiative will award grants to university consortia focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-related issues of global significance that foster cutting-edge multinational research and strengthen institutional international partnerships.

Projects must include at least one partner in the US and one selected other country higher education institution partner. Other partners must be from one of the following countries: Brazil, China, India or Indonesia.


  • Energy, environment and climate change
  • Urban development
  • Agriculture, food security and water
  • Global health

Goals of the Global Innovation Initiative

  • 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.

Budget: Approximately 16 grants will be awarded ranging from $100,000 to $200,000 (U.S. competition) or from £100,000 to £150,000 (UK competition).

Deadlines: 31 October 2014 21:00

Further Information:

To get an idea on the types of projects that have been funded see the awardees page of the website.


Newton Fund: building science and innovation capacity in developing countries

The Newton Fund is part of the UK’s official development assistance. Its aim is to develop science and innovation partnerships that promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries.

The fund is £75 million each year from 2014 for 5 years. It will be administered by The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Activities under the fund will be managed by a core group of Delivery Partners, including: the Royal Society, Royal Society of Engineering, The Royal Society of Chemistry, British Academy and The Academy of Medical Sciences, The British Council (in collaboration with the UK Higher Education International Unit), Research Councils UK (RCUK), Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Met Office.

The funding will be allocated in varying proportions across 15 partner countries, all of which are emerging economies. All programmes must be match funded so that partnerships are on an equal basis and must also assist with the economic development of the partner country.

Partner countries are:  Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam.

The fund will cover 3 broad categories of activity:

  • people: improving science and innovation expertise (ie: ‘capacity building’), student and researcher fellowships, mobility schemes and joint centres
  • programmes: research collaborations on development topics
  • translation: innovation partnerships and challenge funds to develop innovative solutions on development topics

The Newton Fund should promote the long term economic development and welfare of people in partner countries and unlock new opportunities for HEIs to contribute and build partnerships. Challenges such as the alleviation of poverty, improvement of energy and water quality, as well as innumerable other social, environmental and cultural benefits which could ultimately lead to increasing the economic growth of partner countries as well as the UK should be addressed.

Calls are likely to be opened at different times according to the country and the programme area. For all current research calls go to:

Multi-country calls  No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Brazil The joint Research Councils UK-CONFAP research partnerships call opened on 4 August. The application form and guidance for applicants will be available from 18 August 2014. The deadline for applications is 17 October at 16:00 UK time.

Calls for Chile Newton-Picarte fund No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for UK-China Research and Innovation Partnership Fund Ten calls now open with the Met Office as the delivery partner. Deadlines: 1 September 2014 & 27 February 2015.

Calls for Colombia Newton-Caldas Fund No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Egypt No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for India Two calls for India’s Newton-Bhabha fund are now open, with more expected shortly.

  • DBT-MRC Joint Centre Partnerships (Deadline: 29 September at 16:00)
  • Joint Global Research Programme: Women’s and children’s health (Deadline: 21 October at 16:00)

Calls for Indonesia No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Kazakhstan Newton-Al Farabi Partnership Programme No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Malaysia No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Mexico No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Philippines No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for South Africa No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Thailand No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Turkey No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Vietnam No calls are open at the moment.

Newton Fund programme descriptions

For regular updates on the fund visit the HE International Unit website

Full details can be found on the UK government website

For further information, contact the External Projects Team.

IP Protection for all businesses – great and small

From little acorns, great oafs do grow; IP protection is important for businesses and other entities both big and small.

An interesting short article is attached concerning IP protection, for small businesses but translatable to other entitities commercial and non-commercial.

An additional reference to the suggestions contained in the above article (registering trademarks and distinctive logos, patent protection for Software Apps, and protection by asserting copyright and design rights in Software), would be to highlight the continuing success of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court. For multitrack cases (complex legal issues cases) the IPEC has a limit on damages of up to £500,000 – which Court can hear trademark, patent and copyright infringement cases. Costs orders will be made which are proportionate to the nature of the dispute and subject to a cap of no more than £50,000. This arguably puts resolution of intellectual property disputes within reach of small and medium sized enterprises, especially in meritorious cases with a considerable sum in dispute.

The small claims track is for suitable claims in the IPEC with a value of up to £10,000. Costs orders on the small claims track are highly restricted.

The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court and Guides can be found at:

Bright ideas research fund

Nesta invites applications for grants from its bright ideas research fund. These grants aim to fund good new ideas related to innovation and innovation policy and develop research projects and policy proposals in fields that relate to innovation but where Nesta does not have big programmes already in place. Projects can involve primary research, novel argumentation, or the development of a new idea, or ideally more than one of these things.

It is hoped that the fund will lead to interesting insights in its own right, and perhaps in due course to some larger research projects.

Fields of particular interest include:

  • understanding the innovative businesses that matter
  • what do emerging technologies mean for the economy and society
  • how can we get a financial system better suited to innovation
  • developing an innovation policy for the arts
  • datavores
  • better government policy for innovation
  • better government policy based on evidence and experiments
  • new trends in innovation around the world
  • collective intelligence
  • how to encourage new ideas and experimentation in social innovation
  • scaling up social innovation
  • big and open data for social innovation
  • collaborative economy
  • smarter smart cities
  • accelerators.

Applications are welcome from a wide range of people and organisations worldwide, including think tanks, academics, journalists, charities and businesses.

Nesta will fund up to £10,000 per project. Projects are expected to be concluded within a year of their start.

This is an open call. You can apply for the fund any time during the year and applications are reviewed in batches. The next review date will be on the 24th of October 2014.

For more information go to:

Enterprise Clinics – Protect and Realise your Innovative Ideas

Innovation Clinic Sessions are returning!


Do you think that your research or research within your faculty has the potential to have a commercial impact?

If so please book an appointment!

Please distribute the attached poster widely to your colleagues, and also to students undertaking research degrees (Masters and Doctorates).

It is important that individuals are rewarded for the development of any intellectual property that arises from work carried out within the University, patents and spin-out companies are ways to accomplish this. Creative industries are also important to producing a balanced commercial output, and can be protected using copyright.

Sessions will be held on Thursdays in August and September, with appointments from 1pm.

Please encourage your colleagues to come along, so that by patenting inventions and delivering spin-out companies the University can continue to provide accountability for public investment in research and further improve the reputation of individuals and the institution.

Innovation Clinic Plasma -PDF with dates and locations

If you have any questions please contact Adam Hope +44  (0)1785 353667



Twinning to share research

This research and innovation fund aims to link at least three European institutions and enable them to carry out exchanges to share ideas.

Funding Body: Horizon 2020

Scheme: Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation call for twinning (H2020-TWINN-2015)

Overview: This fund provides the opportunity to link up with another institution in a different EU country which is a high performer in your field. They also require projects to link up with an organisation from a specific list of countries which are not performing as well with Research and Innovation. The countries are listed below.

Projects aim to strengthen a defined field of research in a particular knowledge institution by creating a link between this institution and at least two internationally leading research institutions in other EU member states. Twinning will enhance the science and technology capacity of the linked institutions and help raise staff’s research profiles as well as the one of the institutions involved. Supported measures include: short term staff exchanges; expert visits and short-term on site or virtual training; workshops; conference attendance; organisation of joint summer school activities; dissemination and outreach activities.

Proposals may take the form of coordination and support actions and must involve a minimum of three participants. Applicant institutions from the following countries are eligible: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, Macedonia, Liechtenstein, Moldavia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. Proposals must involve at least two internationally leading research intensive counterparts established in at least two different member states or associated countries other than that of the applicant institution.

Budget: This fund does not include salaries or equipment. The indicative budget for this call in 2015 is €64.12 million. Each successful proposal is expected to receive around €1m, although proposals for other amounts will also be considered.

Deadlines: 2 December 2014

Further Information:


NESTA: Bright Ideas Research Fund

The Bright Ideas Research Fund from NESTA is looking for interesting research projects and policy proposals in fields that relate to innovation but where they do not have big programmes already in place.

Funding Body: NESTA

Scheme: Bright Ideas Research Fund

Overview: They are looking to fund good new ideas relating to innovation and innovation policy. This could include the development of a new idea about how innovation happens, a pamphlet making an interesting and compelling argument relating to innovation, an examination of a new innovation or technology, or a worked-up, evidenced proposal for a policy related to innovation.

Projects can involve primary research, novel argumentation, or the development of a new idea, or ideally more than one of these things. They should be carefully and rigorously carried out, and should stand up to scrutiny. The end product should be written in an accessible style, suitable for a non-specialist reader.

Their website has an extensive list of fields which they are particularly interested in, so we would recommend taking a look at this.

Budget: They will fund up to £10,000.

Deadlines: This call is an ongoing fund. They review applications on a regular basis. The next review date is 6 June followed by 24 October.

Further Information:


European Health Programme

The European Commission has approved funding for a new programme for health. This programme could be of interest to researchers in the University involved in health based research. The objectives of this fund are to:

  • strengthen action to promote health and prevent diseases;
  • be better prepared to protect citizens against health emergencies and to coordinate action at European level to address them;
  • increase the up-take of innovation in health; and
  • improve people’s access to medical expertise and information for specific conditions; and improve healthcare quality and patient safety.

It is expected that the first calls for proposals will come out by early May 2014. It is expected that they will launch an annual call for proposals.

The funders will cover between 60-80% of project costs, so projects will require a degree of match funding.

Universities are eligible to apply. The fund will include action grants that contribute to the cost of joint transnational projects; and plus tenders for public procurement contracts.

More details on this programme can be found here


Info Day:

2014 European Innovation Scoreboard Published


The 2014 edition of the EU’s Innovation Union Scoreboard has been published. The report suggests that Europe is closing the ‘innovation gap’ with the United States and Japan, but that differences in performance between EU Member States are still high and diminishing only slowly.

At a regional level, the innovation gap is also widening, with the innovation performance having worsened in almost one fifth of EU regions.

The overall ranking by EU country is similar to previous scoreboards with Denmark, Finland, Germany and Sweden characterised as ‘innovation leaders’ investing the most in research and innovation. The UK is in the next group of countries and rated as an ‘innovation follower’.

The report finds that progress in the last year has been driven by the openness and attractiveness of the EU research system, plus business-academia innovation collaboration and the commercialisation of knowledge by licensing and patent revenues. However, growth in public R&D spending was offset by less venture capital investment and innovation investment in companies.

The Innovation Union Scoreboard uses a set of 25 indicators within three broad areas (enablers; firm activities; outputs).

A year off to work on design with a business

This fund gives a design researcher the chance to work in business for 6 months to a year and collaborate on projects. They are interested in three priorities:

  • The role of design in the innovation system
  • The role of design in service innovation
  • Evidence to demonstrate the impact and value of Design

Below is some more information.

Funding Body: AHRC and ESRC

Scheme: Design fellowships

Overview: These enable design researchers in UK universities to become embedded in business or public service organisations and work with them on collaborative projects.

Researchers should be keen to apply or test ideas about service innovation in business, public sector or similar context. They should apply in collaboration with a business or public sector organisation of their own choice.

Fellowships support a period between six months and one year on a full time or part time basis, with costs. Awards must start between 1 August and 31 December 2014.

Budget: AHRC meeting 80 per cent of full economic costs

Deadlines: 24 April 2014

Further Information:

Design and innovation