Tag Archives: technology

Royal Society: Brian Mercer Feasibility Award

This scheme is for scientists who wish to investigate the feasibility of commercialising an aspect of their research.

The scheme provides initial support of up to £30,000 to test the feasibility of a project, enabling applicants to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of commercialising an aspect of their scientific research, possibly in conjunction with a third party.

This award and the Brian Mercer Award for Innovation (which is intended for concepts at a more advanced stage) are designed to promote innovation and fill the funding gap between scientific research and the exploitation of an idea through venture capital investment.

The Brian Mercer Awards were established by the Society in 2001 as the result of a generous bequest received from the late Dr Brian Mercer.  Dr Mercer was an enthusiastic inventor and entrepreneur and these awards aim to encourage these qualities in the next generation of scientists.

Eligibility requirements

The scheme covers the built environment, clean technology, energy and nanoscience, nanotechnology and biomedical sciences.

The applicant must:

  • have a PhD or be of equivalent standing in their profession
  • hold a substantive post in either a university or not-for-profit research organisation in the UK
  • expect to be in post for at least the duration of the project

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

Value and tenure

The scheme provides an award of up to £30,000 (including VAT where applicable). Awards are not expected to exceed 12 months in duration.

Application process

Applications are checked by the selection panel chair for eligibility and then reviewed by the members of the panel with the most appropriate scientific expertise. The application is then reviewed by two independent referees suggested by the panel.

The selection panel then considers the applications before reaching a decision. This process takes around six weeks.

For further information, contact Research & Income Generation Support at Research & Enterprise.

TSB: Agri-Tech Catalyst

The Agri-Tech Catalyst supports innovative ideas from any sector or discipline, which can help make the UK a world leader in agricultural technology, innovation and sustainability.

Three categories of grant are available:

These categories are designed to form a pipeline, supporting the development of an idea from concept to commercialisation, from the early-stage exploration of commercial and technical potential through to proving utility in the field and development prior to commercialisation.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for assessment by independent experts. Applicants may apply for the award category most appropriate for their work without having received a prior award.

The Agri-Tech Catalyst will fund proposals relating to:

  • primary crop and livestock production, including aquaculture
  • non-food uses of arable crops (for example, for biomass)
  • food security and nutrition challenges in international development
  • challenges in downstream food processing, provided the solution lies in primary production.

The Agri-Tech Catalyst will not fund equine-related proposals, or proposals relating to forestry or wild-capture fisheries.

Agricultural science and technology is one of the world’s fastest-growing and exciting markets. It is driven by global changes: a rising population, climate change, rapid development of emerging economies with western lifestyle aspirations, and growing geopolitical instability around shortages of land, water and energy. A technology revolution is also taking place. Breakthroughs in nutrition, genetics, informatics, satellite imaging, remote sensing, meteorology, precision farming and low-impact agriculture are driving major global investment in agri-tech.

In order to meet these challenges, businesses and researchers need to work together to develop innovative technologies and processes which provide solutions that are economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. That is the vision of the Government’s UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies, which aims to put the UK at the forefront of the sustainable intensification of agricultural production.

And to help achieve this, the Government is investing £70m in a new Agri-Tech Catalyst. The Agri-Tech Catalyst offers funding for collaborative projects, taking innovative ideas from any sector or discipline with the potential to provide an economic boost to the UK Agri-Tech industry, by tackling challenges in agriculture. These may be domestic or international challenges: funding for the Agri-Tech Catalyst includes an element specifically targeted at contributing to international development.

Funding through the Agri-Tech Catalyst is available to UK businesses of any size, as well as researchers. Funding is also available to partners in developing countries for applications targeting international development challenges.

Support is available for projects arising from any sector or discipline that are aimed at addressing relevant challenges, and multi-disciplinary collaborations are encouraged.

The deadline for applications for the first round is 4 June 2014. In the case of industrial research awards, the deadline for second-stage applications is 11 June 2014.

Department of Health / TSB: Enabling technologies for genomics sequence data analysis and interpretation

The Department of Health and Genomics England Limited are collaborating to launch a new Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition to find enabling technologies for genomics sequence data analysis and interpretation.

The focus of this competition will be on innovative technologies that address the requirements of the 100k Genome Project. These technologies may include developments in the areas of bioinformatics, software pipelines, computer hardware and analysis algorithms.

The Department of Health is investing up to £10m in this competition, which will be managed by Genomics England Limited and which is expected to run in two phases.

Phase 1 is intended to show the technical feasibility of the proposed concept and up to £2m has been allocated for this phase. We expect development contracts in Phase 1 to be for a maximum of 6 months and up to a maximum value of £200k. Only those projects that have completed Phase 1 successfully will be eligible for Phase 2, which is typically intended to develop and evaluate prototypes or demonstration units from the more promising technologies.

The competition opens on 2 December 2013. The deadline for registration is noon on 26 January 2014 and the deadline for applications is noon on 5 February 2014.

Key dates

  • Competition launch: 2 December 2013 
  • Deadline for registration: Noon, 26 January 2014 
  • Deadline for applications: Noon, 5  February 2014
  • Award decision: End March 2014

If you are planning to apply, please contact Research & Enterprise Services at the earliest opportunity.

For more information, please visit the TSB’s website.

Launch of EPSRC Awards Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

To celebrate the incredible innovation that has taken place over recent decades and, in particular, the researchers who have led that innovation, EPSRC, in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering are launching the RISE awards – Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers.

An independent judging panel will select their top 10 established inspirational scientists and engineers from nominees put forward by universities, industry, professional bodies and learned institutes. Each of these ten will then nominate someone they see as a future world-class talent.

EPSRC is at the heart of UK innovation, generating the fundamental knowledge that fuels economic and social prosperity and investing in the skilled people who drive research forward. Together with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the EPSRC supports the very best researchers throughout their careers by fostering their ambition, innovation and adventure.

For more information, please visit the EPSRC’s website.

NERC: Networks of Sensors – Annual Technology Showcase “Pilot Installations and Practical Outcomes”

27th January 2014, Hamilton House, London, WC1H 9BD

The Natural Environment Research Council, supported by the ESP KTN, is running the third and final “Networks of Sensors” Annual Technology Showcase Event.

This year’s Showcase will feature the practical outcomes of three years of research, discussing the installations, hardware, software, and results of six very different types of Sensor Networks. In addition to the presentations, there will be opportunities for attendees to see the hardware and software, and to meet the teams.

The “Networks of Sensors” technology programme is an ambitious project to demonstrate the large scale deployment of high resolution sensor networks for environmental monitoring. The programme pushes the envelope in terms of developing new technological approaches to the realisation of sensor networks and communication systems, some of which may be in remote or hostile environments.  

For more information on sectors of interest, benefits of attendance, venue of the event, or to register, visit the event webpage here.