Technology-inspired innovation – information and communications technology



Innovate UK invites registrations for its call on technology-inspired innovation in information and communications technology. This supports technological innovation feasibility studies on information and communication technology, with a special focus on new software-based technologies or approaches that enable innovation in the areas of data exploration, simpler user experiences, increasing confidence in distributed computing systems, and advanced, modern software engineering. Projects should concentrate on early-stage technical opportunities that contain a significant level of technical risk and some level of uncertainty about how the proposed approach will work in practice.

Companies of any size may apply, however projects must be led by a small or micro business either singly or in collaboration with one other SME or research partner. In addition, companies may submit applications for multiple projects, however they are not allowed to participate in more than one project.

The total budget is worth up to £3 million. Each project should range in size between £50,000 and £150,000, although projects outside this range may be considered. Projects should last six to 15 months. SMEs may receive up to 70 per cent funding of their project costs, medium-sized businesses may receive 60 per cent and large businesses may receive 50 per cent.

  • Closing date 02 Sep 15
  • Deadline information Registrations are invited between 18 May and 12 noon, 2 September; full applications due by 12 noon, 9 September 2015.

Further information:


BBSRC Responsive mode research grants

BBSRC - Bioscience for the future

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council invites applications for its responsive mode scheme, on any topic within it’s portfolio.

Applications should be made to the appropriate committees according to the research topic:

  • research committee A evaluates proposals related to animal disease, health and welfare
  • research committee B evaluates proposals related to plants, microbes, food and sustainability
  • research committee C evaluates proposals related to genes, development, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics approaches to biology
  • research committee D evaluates proposals related to molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology

Grants may be used for research projects, technology development, equipment or use of existing facilities, new facilities or infrastructure provision, research networks and coordination and summer schools. Small pilot projects, proof-of-concept studies etc may also be supported.

Principal applicants must be resident in the UK and hold an academic staff appointment, lecturer level or equivalent, at a higher education institution, research council institute or a BBSRC approved research organisation.

Grants are tenable for up to five years.

Closing dates:  28 April 2015, 23 September 2015

For further information go to:

Horizon 2020: Fast Track to Innovation Pilot


The Fast Track to Innovation pilot supports projects from the demonstration stage through to market uptake.

A wide range of activities will be supported including piloting, test-beds, systems validation in real world/working conditions, validation of business models, advanced R&D, standard-setting and advanced performance testing.

The scheme targets relatively mature new technologies. Concepts, processes and business models that need a last development step to reach the market and achieve wider deployment are the focus.

The total budget for FTI in 2015 is EUR 100 million, which will be divided equally among the three cut-off dates in April, September and December. The EC plans to fund 50-70 projects each year and it is expected that the scheme is going to be extremely competitive.

FTI is open to all types of participants, including universities, RTOs, SMEs, large companies, incubators, first time applicants, etc.

Consortia must be comprised of three to five beneficiaries from different Member States or Associated Countries, with significant industry participation.

No typical commercial activities (including marketing activities) will be supported due to EU competition rules but funding can be used to improve an existing marketing strategy to help maximise impact (i.e. developing the marketing strategy to include more countries, etc).

All proposals must include a business plan that clearly describes the market potential and business opportunities for participants, in addition to measures to enhance the probability of potential commercial take-up as well as a credible commercialisation strategy.

Maximum project duration will be 36 months with a maximum EU contribution of EUR 3 million. The Commission expects that the average project duration will be 12-24 months.

29/04/2015, 01/09/2015, 01/12/2015

For further information go to:

Call for proposals: Does human spaceflight affect the perception and uptake of STEM subjects?

UK Space Agency logo  esrc logo

The UK Space Agency, in partnership with the Economic and Social Research Council, invites proposals for the call: Does human spaceflight affect the perceptions and uptake of STEM subjects?

It aims to fund social research into the effects of human spaceflight programmes and the correlation between astronaut programmes and the interest in and uptake of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) among children.

Proposals for studies must address the following areas:

  • levels of engagement with STEM subjects in school, especially at key stages two and three
  • social mobility, namely the increased engagement in STEM from disadvantaged students and schools in underprivileged areas
  • knowledge of societal usefulness of space

It is anticipated that funding in the region of £300,000 to £350,000 will be available, over three years. This may cover research time, research assistants and other resources relevant and necessary to the proposed research.

This call is open to researchers at research organisations eligible for ESRC funding.

Closing date: 13 October 2014

For further information go to:


Experts wanted for EU research and innovation programme

The European Commission needs independent experts for Horizon 2020. As well as attracting the best academic researchers, the Commission wants to boost the number of specialists from the world of business.

Experts are needed for monitoring funded projects as well as evaluating proposals for funding, programme evaluation and policy development. A broad range of fields is covered including science, technology, innovation, social sciences and humanities, business and more, as set out in full in the published call.

The objective is to ensure that EU grants are awarded only to the best research and innovation proposals, based on a rigorous peer-review process.

Interested candidates are invited to apply online.

The call will remain open for the entire duration of Horizon 2020 (2014-2020).

Experts who registered under the 7th Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7, 2007-13) and are interested in applying for Horizon 2020 assignments must signal their interest by selecting the new programme in the online platform, and update their fields of expertise.

Full online support including FAQs is available from the same page.

Royal Society Industry Fellowship

The Royal Society

This scheme is for academic scientists who want to work on a collaborative project with industry and for scientists in industry who want to work on a collaborative project with an academic organisation.

The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine.

It aims to enhance knowledge transfer in science and technology between industry and academia in the UK and provides a basic salary for the researcher and a contribution towards research costs.

The scheme is funded by the Royal Society, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council, Rolls-Royce plc and BP plc.

 The applicant must:

  • have a PhD or be of equivalent standing in their profession
  • hold a permanent post in a university, not-for-profit research organisation or industry in the UK
  • be at a stage in their career when they would benefit from establishing or strengthening personal or corporate links between academia and industry as a foundation for long-term collaboration and development

Applications involving spin-offs or small companies are encouraged.

Applicants should ensure that they meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes (PDF).

The scheme provides the applicant’s basic salary while on secondment. The employing organisation continue to pay national insurance and pension contributions.

Research expenses may be claimed up to the value of £2,000 per year. Awards can be for any period up to two years full-time or a maximum of four years pro rata, i.e. an award could be held at 50% part-time for four years enabling fellows to maintain links with their employing institution more easily.

For further information go to:

Judicial Review: R(on the Application of the HS2 Action Alliance Ltd (Appellant) v Secretary of State for Transport

The Judgment expected this morning in the UK Supreme Court on the HS2 Action Alliance has rejected the HS2 Action Alliance appeal. The points of appeal are listed below. The administrative law procedure for judicial review permits parties in this significant case to challenge the reasonableness of the Government’s decision to go ahead with its plans for a high speed rail network; the challenge in this case appearing to be failure to consult during the environmental assessment process. A serious question was as to whether sufficient time has been allowed to assess environmental issues, including assessment by Members of Parliament; and thus parliamentary procedure would fail to meet the requirements of the environmental directive. This point of appeal also appears to have been rejected.

The Facts

The Secretary of State issued a Command paper titled ‘High Speed Rail: Investing in Britain’s Future—Decisions and Next Steps’ (DNS) setting out the government’s strategy for a new national high speed rail network called High Speed Two (HS2) from London to Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds. The appellants contend that the Decisions and Next Steps (the ‘DNS’) paper is a ‘plan or program’ that is ‘required by administrative provisions’ and ‘sets the framework for development consent’ of HS2 and falls within articles 2 and 3 of Directive 2001/42/EC the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (the SEAD) as transposed by the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004. Justice Ouseley, found at first instance, that the consultation process in respect of the compensation decision was so unfair as to be unlawful. On all other grounds, however, he dismissed the claims, as did the Court of Appeal.

Main points of appeal:

1. Whether plans that may influence the Parliamentary consent process should be effectively excluded from the requirements of strategic environmental assessment by an unduly restrictive interpretation or application of the Strategic Envinronmental Assessment Directive (the SEAD); and contrary to EU environmental law.

2. Whether on the facts the Secretary of State’s ‘Decisions and Next Steps’ (DNS) paper would have a sufficient influence on Parliament to engage the SEAD (the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive) and whether its very potential to influence Parliament is a compelling factor since, by the time the Bill process is underway, it will too late to challenge the decision in the DNS and provide proof of actual influence;

The writer has not followed the appeal closely, however the Case summary and Judgment issued this morning given its topicality and public importancea are linked below.

Press Summary:

Click to access UKSC_2013_0172_PressSummary.pdf


Click to access UKSC_2013_0172_Judgment.pdf

Funding: Use ICT to improve the Learner Experience

JISC are looking to fund projects that will use new technologies to improve the learning experience for students. Following a change to its funding, this is the first call JISC has launched in a long time. The University has had considerable success with JISC funding in the past, and their schemes suit the universities strongly student orientated approach.

Funding Body: JISC

Scheme: Innovation through technology funding call

Overview: Jisc is starting a new million pound funding programme to improve the learner experience and increase the capability and capacity of the workforce across further education and skills providers. Money will be awarded to projects which encourage, support and promote innovation within the sector.

They are looking to fund innovative projects to:

  • Integrate new technologies in learning and teaching, assessment and business activities
  • Overcome barriers to the adoption and use of technology in the sector
  • Develop new uses for technology or innovative adaption and rollout of technologies.

The sorts of things they are looking to fund include:

  • Creating resources, tools or products
  • Developing organisational and collaborative processes using digital technologies
  • Developing apps
  • Creating augmented reality resources
  • Improving or adapting current technologies and resources (some already available through Jorum)
  • Developing new uses for technologies

Budget: £5,000 to £100,000 depending upon the scale of the project and numbers of providers involved in the areas outlined above.

Deadlines: Deadline for submissions is Friday 6 December 2013 at 12:00 noon.

Further Information:,0,0,0,0&dm_i=QHI,1T18W,9V9AP9,6GHJG,1

If anyone is interested in applying please talk to either the External Projects Team or Dave Parks Associate Director- Learn, Tech & Is

Teaching &Technology

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: 

Please contact if you are developing a proposal for this call.

NESTA – Digital makers fund

Image of Digital Makers homepage


The digital makers fund is about getting 1000’s of young people involved in making digital activities. Something we seem pretty well placed to do as a university.

 NESTA expect successful initiatives will use young people’s existing interests, passions and pastimes as a gateway to digital making, inspiring young people to become creators, not just users of digital technologies. NESTA are looking for applications from organisations, or partnerships between organisations, that have the capacity to engage thousands of young people in digital making activities.

Further details:

  • Use different interests and content to reach new audiences – how can digital making tie in with music, fashion, sport, film or brands that will inspire young people to participate?
  • The ‘making’ element is important. NESTA want ideas that lead participants to the creation of a digital product that they can show to and share with others.
  • NESTA are interested in reaching different networks and communities for learning – youth clubs, libraries, after school clubs, interest groups and social networks speak to thousands of young people every day. How can they integrate digital making into their activities?

NESTA take a broad view of digital making that encompasses 3D printing and physical computing, as well as coding and programming, and want to work with partners who are noisy advocates for the importance of digital making; who will use all the channels available to them to shout about and promote their projects.

Deadline: 14 November 2013

Grants between £20,000 and £50,000