EPSRC is running an Ideas Factory Sandpit on New Industrial Systems in May 2017. The deadline for expressions of interest is 2nd March 2017.
What’s the theme?
The sandpit seeks to address the challenge of competitiveness in the future UK economy by focusing on manufacturing technologies and trends. Four research visions have been identified by the Manufacturing the Future theme:
- Sustainable Industries (e.g. a future where business models take account of resource usage, resilience and security)
- Digital Manufacturing (e.g. simulation and visualisation of design and manufacturing)
- 21st Century Products (e.g. smart and multi-functional products)
- New Industrial Systems, which sits at the intersection of the other three areas
The sandpit aims to build a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges in developing new industrial systems, identify a common language between disciplines, facilitate interactions between researchers and users, and identify and address the key research challenges in this area. It is expected that up to £5M of EPSRC funding will be made available to fund research projects arising from this sandpit.
Who should attend?
EPSRC give the following examples of disciplines which could apply to attend: engineering, design, materials science, physical sciences, mathematics, computer science, economics, social sciences, sustainability, life sciences, energy systems. Attendees need not have worked on the problem before and need not have previously secured EPSRC funding. The emphasis will be on people who are open to explore new ideas and connections with other disciplines.
What will happen at the sandpit?
The Sandpit event itself will take place over five days from 15-19 May 2017 at Stratford Manor, Stratford-upon-Avon. The events will draw on ideas from a broad range of disciplines so attendees should expect to be able to develop relationships with other participants and communicate concepts and ideas in a way that is understandable and engaging to those outside your immediate area.
There is more information in the guidance on how sandpits work, but they are generally very intensive and rewarding experiences which offer an excellent chance of securing funding (as this is restricted to attendees).
How do I apply?
The deadline for expressions of interest to attend the Sandpit is 2nd March 2017. 25-30 participants will be selected and must be available for the full five-day duration. To apply you will need to complete the EoI form on the call page.
Given the high likelihood of securing EPSRC funding as a result of sandpit attendance, these calls are often highly competitive. The assessment will be based on the ability to develop new, adventurous and highly original research; the potential to contribute to research at the interface between disciplines; the ability to work in a team; the ability to explain research to non-experts. You will need to give evidence of your ability to meet these criteria in the EoI.
Please contact your Faculty Research Funding and Policy Manager if you are interested in discussing this further.