Innovate UK: Digital Health Technology Catalyst Open for Applications

Enhanced MRI scan of the head by Mark Lythgoe and Chloe Hunter CC BY-NC-ND

As part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Innovate UK has today issued a call for feasibility studies and industrial research & development projects to address the challenges posed and opportunities offered by digital healthcare:

Digital health is evolving at a rapid pace and this is having a profound impact on healthcare delivery. Digital health uses data and technology to:

  • improve patient outcomes
  • improve access to healthcare
  • make more targeted and personalised health interventions
  • transform service delivery
  • deliver new treatments and translational medicine

The aim of this competition is to speed up the development of new digital solutions to healthcare challenges and grow the industry.

Feasibility studies are smaller scale projects of up to one year for between £50k and £75k. Industrial research and experimental development projects are larger, from £500k – £1M and for up to 3 years. Different levels of grant are available to businesses depending on the type of research and size of the company.

Both types of project should be led by a UK-based SME. A business can be involved in up to 3 applications but may only lead on one.

Research organisations can participate as collaborators, but are limited to 50% of the total project costs. In addition all projects must show how they will improve the competitiveness and productivity for at least one UK SME invovled in the project.

A briefing webinar is taking place tomorrow, 1st August, and the competition closes to applications on 11th October.

Please contact your Faculty RFPM at an early stage if you’re interested in applying.




EPSRC: Feasibility Study in Energy Research

Solar Panel 2 by Mike Baker CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Solar Panel 2 by Mike Baker CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council have just announced a new scheme open to UK academic staff to submit feasibility studies underpinning science and engineering energy research.

Feasibility Studies in Energy Research

Proposers should examine a topic within EPSRC’s Energy remit, review past and current activity, and identify key research challenges that need to be addressed. The proposed research must be novel, innovative, have the potential to lead to high impact outcomes and strengthen the UK’s position in within the international energy community.

Up to £3M is available for the call and each proposal can be a maximum of £200k. There is a strong steer in the call document that any potential project should be aligned with UK energy strategy as reflected by national level groups and organisations such as Supergen Hubs, End Use Energy Demand Centres, UK Energy Research Centre, Energy Technologies Institute and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.  Submissions must also demonstrate collaborations with established energy groups/organisations (academia, industry, non-governmental organisations, Government etc.) who are willing to support the research proposal and provide a potential route for exploitation.

This call operates a pre-proposal EoI stage, deadline 8th December 2016, and the EoI form is available on the EPSRC website. The full proposal deadline is 5th January 2017, but proposals which have not submitted an EoI will be office rejected.

Please get in touch with your Faculty RFPM at an early stage if you’d like to discuss a bid to this call.


TSB wants feasibility studies for energy efficient computing

The Technology Strategy Board, together with EPSRC and DSTL, have issued a call for feasibility studies to encourage technologies which can promote energy efficient computing and communications devices.

For many years, electronic and computing systems and the software which runs on them have been designed with a view to ever-improved performance. However, there is now greater focus on improving energy efficiency of the system as a whole. By devising more energy efficient computing devices and software, we can reduce the global energy burden of such systems and increase customer satisfaction by extending battery life, reducing device size and other measures.

This collaborative demonstrator competition focuses on the design and development of energy-efficient hardware and software, not only for large-scale systems relying on computing capacity but also for mobile devices and embedded chips.

Who’s eligible and how do I apply?

Proposals for feasibility studies must be made by a consortium of at least two partners led by a business of any size. One of the partners can by an academic organisation.

£1.25M is available and each grant must not exceed £100K in total so this is for short-term focused demonstration projects rather than longer-term research and development.

The competition is one stage and closes on 5th December 2012. However, applicants must register an intention to submit by 28th November 2012. A competition briefing will be held in London on 23rd October to explain the process and TSB strongly recommends that potential applicants attend this.

What are they looking for?

The competition brief [PDF] has the full details, but in summary they are looking for demonstration projects which address the following challenges which are a mixture of hardware- and software-based issues:

  • design and development of novel computer architectures to optimise energy efficiency
  • enabling energy-optimised software through new techniques and algorithms
  • developing low-power designs for digital signal processing, energy-efficient chip-to-chip interconnects and cross-layer chip optimisation

Priority will be given to demonstration projects able to showcase prototypes that have a clear and unambiguous energy
consumption measure, with a view to setting a standard of device and software efficiency. TSB will welcome projects which address both hardware and software issues together.

For further advice and discussion, Northumbria researchers should contact RBS at an early stage.


Developing the civil nuclear power supply chain

The Technology Strategy Board is leading a consortium of funders (including EPSRC and DECC) in a major funding call to stimulate innovation in the civil nuclear power supply chain. The call comes in the context of the UK coalition government’s draft energy bill, which is expected to prioritise investment in nuclear energy and gas.

The call “will support the development of innovative technologies that can be used in the assessment, construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance, waste management and decommissioning of nuclear plant in a safe, economic and sustainable manner”. There are three mechanisms through which funding will be allocated:

  1. Feasibility Studies: 6-12 months duration and must be SME-led and collaborative. Total grant size expected to be £100-125K.
  2. Collaborative R&D: 2-3 years duration and business-led. Project size anticipated to be between £500K and £2M.
  3. KTPs: a complementary call to support transfer of academic knowledge and skills into industry.
Further details are available on the Competitions page of the TSB website (search “nuclear”). Members of Northumbria staff interested in developing a KTP application should contact KTP Manager, Bill Frain for support.