Innovate UK Invests £15 million in the Health & Life Sciences sector

Innovate UK is to invest up to £15 million in innovation projects addressing technical or commercial challenges relevant to the health and life sciences sector that will lead to increased UK SME competitiveness, growth and productivity.

The Health and Life Sciences sector has a focus on agriculture, food and healthcare, underpinned by technologies developed in bioscience and medical research and enabled by expertise in engineering and physical sciences.

The aim of this competition is to stimulate and broaden business innovation in health and life sciences, leading to an increase in productivity.

  • Grants can be awarded to consortia, led by a business of any size, working with other businesses and/or research organisations.
  • All consortia must involve at least one SME and they will particularly welcome projects led by an SME.
  • A project may focus on technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development depending on the challenge identified.
  • Projects can last from 6 to 36 months, with total costs of £50,000 to £2 million, depending on the type of project and activities proposed.

The competition opens on 12 Sept 2016. The deadline for applications is noon on 16 Nov 2016.

Competition Briefing Event

19 September 2016, London or webcast

Click here to register.




UK-Gulf Institutional Links

The British Council has recently announced funding opportunities for UK-Gulf country (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) institutional links around various research areas, including energy, cybersecurity, water, food and nutrition. Grants range from £50k – £400k for up to two years, starting in Spring 2017. The funding can be used to establish new links or develop existing links between research groups, departments or institutions, with potential for longer term sustainability. The deadline has recently been extended to October 7th.


Louis Bonduelle research Award – Nutrition & Food Behaviour

The competition for the Louis Bonduelle Research Award is now open for applications

This €10,000 award is for doctoral candidates or researchers (to help them to complete their thesis or research) in the areas of nutrition or eating habits, regardless of the scientific disciplines concerned (nutrition, psychology, sociology, medicine, clinical, sociological or epidemiological research).

Closing date- Friday 7 November 2014

For further details see the Louis Bonduelle website.


RCUK-Brazil Research Partnerships Call

Brazil 2014 by Adrien Sifre CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Brazil 2014 by Adrien Sifre CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

RCUK has recently released a call for research partnerships with Brazil as part of the £375M Newton Fund, which we blogged about earlier in the year:

RCUK-CONFAP Research Partnerships Call Preliminary Notice – Deadline 17th Oct 2014

What’s the call about?

The aim of this call is to provide flexible short-term support for small-scale research and networking activities, with the objective of establishing sustainable collaborations between UK and Brazilian researchers, helping to build a community that will be better equipped to develop excellent research outcomes through this and future funding opportunities.

What will the awards fund?

The awards will be up to 12 months in duration and funded to a maximum of £50K (direct costs only at 100%) by RCUK with support for matched effort from CONFAP (Brazil). Funds can be used for travel, subsistence and other networking or collaborative activities, such as workshops, summer schools and exchanges (in either direction: from and to the UK). Funds can also be used to support direct research costs; funding for staff time will be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Who can apply?

The lead UK applicant must be a current RCUK award holder and the lead Brazil applicant must be from a state whose FAP has signed up to the Newton Fund MoU. For the UK, there are a couple of exceptions: the AHRC exceptionally allows PIs who have been in receipt of an AHRC award within the last 5 years; the ESRC allows applications from researchers not currently in receipt of RCUK funding as long as they are part of a research group or cluster, in an institution eligible for ESRC funding, with a significant portfolio of externally funded research within the broad theme of the application.

What kinds of research will be funded?

Applications across all research council areas are welcome, as long as they make a strong case for UK-Brazil cooperation, but in particular the following areas have been highlighted as particularly welcome:

  • Health
  • Urban transformations
  • Food energy water environment nexus
  • Biodiversity and ecosystems resilience
  • Economic development and welfare reform

How do I apply?

There is a single form for both the UK and Brazil applicants, available here: This needs to be completed and submitted to (for UK applicants) and to (for Brazilian applicants) by the call deadline (17th October 2014). Potential applicants are encouraged to contact your relevant Research Funding Manager as soon as possible to discuss.


Technology Strategy Board Innovation Voucher Scheme

The Technology Strategy Board has unveiled a new Innovation Voucher scheme which provides funding for businesses to work with an external expert for the first time, to help them gain new knowledge in order to innovate, develop and grow. Businesses can work with a range of expert suppliers including universities.

The vouchers, which should help businesses develop ideas and improve performance, can support all types of innovation – for example, ideas for new or improved products, processes and services, using design to improve ideas or managing intellectual property.

Innovation vouchers are available to SMEs and should be applicable to one of the priority sectors:  Agrifood, Built Environment and Space.  They can provide up to £5,000  to pay for the expertise (up to £8k for Space).

The scheme opens on the 24th September when further information, including full guidance for applicants, will be available from the TSB website.  Please see below the Innovation Vouchers flyer.

If you would like to provide expertise under the scheme, get in touch with Research and Business Services, who can help identify and approach suitable businesses for the scheme.

Contact:  Dr Stephen Oyston, Business Development Manger, Research and Business Services.,  0191 243 7667, 07557 085737.