Category / Business Engagement

Funding opportunity – Innovation in health and life sciences 2

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Innovate UK – Innovation in health and life sciences 2 – Call now open!

Innovate UK is investing up to £15 million in projects addressing technical or commercial challenges in health and life sciences (H&LS).

The H&LS sector focuses on agriculture, food and healthcare. It is supported by bioscience technology, medical research and engineering and physical sciences expertise. The aim is to increase competitiveness for UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Grants can be awarded to projects led by a UK-based business of any size. In certain circumstances a research and technology organisation (RTO) may also be eligible to lead. (See section 5 of the briefing document.)

SMEs are encouraged to lead on projects. An SME can apply on its own for funding up to £100,000. All consortia must involve at least one SME.

We expect projects to last from 6 months to 3 years and range in size from total project costs of £50,000 to £2 million.

There are 2 options for applications to this competition:

  • £5 million for projects that last from 6 months to 1 year with total project costs from £50,000 to £100,000
  • £10 million for projects lasting from 1 year to 3 years with total project costs between £100,000 and £2 million

Key dates:

  • Competion opens 6 February
  • Register by midday 5 April
  • Apply before midday 12 April

Competion brief and more information: Click here.

If you are interested in submitting to this  call you must contact your  RKEO Funding Development Officer with adequate notice before the deadline.

For more funding opportunities that are most relevant to you, you can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in  RKEO or view the recent blog post here.

If thinking of applying, why not add notification of your interest on Research Professional’s record of the bid so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.

Spotting an opportunity – A research journey from face blindness to super recogniser

Sarah Bate image

“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” – Peter Drucker[1]

What’s your job? is a question I’m regularly asked by family and friends. For me, one of the easiest ways to explain this is to use some of the research and project collaborations I have the chance to be involved within my role at the university; as examples.

Managing the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) portfolio at BU means I have the chance to work with many innovative and sometimes “quirky” projects. HEIF whilst not the only fund that encourages innovation and knowledge exchange often provides funding where there may not be such a natural fit from some of the more traditional funding sources. Many project teams use HEIF to leverage further research and grant opportunities, having developed relationships and networks with organisations as part of their HEIF project.

Research into Prosopagnosia (Face Blindness) formed part of Dr Sarah Bate’s early years as both a student and academic. Funded by the ESRC and MRC Sarah’s doctoral research examined eye – movement  strategies in people with prosopagnosia.(2009)

Much of  Sarah’s work examines the nature of face-processing difficulties in both adults and children, with a particular focus on ‘prosopagnosia’ or ‘face blindness’, where people cannot recognise others from their faces alone. Including a Roundtable discussion in the House of Commons, development in this area of research subsequently informed policy  with the NHS recognising this as a condition  – NHS Choices Website.(2014)

Sarah’s more recent research  has progressed to the other end of the facial recognition spectrum moving from prosopagnosia, the inability to recognise familiar faces, to super-recognisers who have exceptional face processing skills.

In 2009, the first report of people with extraordinary face recognition skills (so-called “super-recognisers”) was published, followed by a further investigation in 2012. Both papers examined the performance of super-recognisers on laboratory-based tasks, using tests that are typically used to assess those with prosopagnosia.

These so-called “super-recognisers” may be of particular use in policing and national security settings, such as passport control or when hunting for a wanted or missing person. The lab at BU is now developing a specific line of expertise in forensic face recognition.  Funding from HEIF has helped with this development. (2015 – 2017.) Collaborations with organisations such as the police have progressed from  local to national and international  relationships, in addition to the security agencies.

Being agile and adaptable to  look at different  funding opportunities and changes within the external environment has provided Sarah with the opportunity to consider how her research can make an impact beyond the NHS as her research goes form strength to strength to address the practical applications and need,  utilising super-recognisers for policing and border control.

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[1] https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/my-top-10-quotes-on-opportunity

 

Visuality – using imagery and digital media in Higher Education teaching

events

Event date: Friday 24 February

  • Time: 9.30am – 4.00pm
  • Location: University of Chichester Business School, Bognor Regis Campus
  • Theme: Visuality – using imagery and digital media in Higher Education teaching

Co-ordinated by the Higher Education Entrepreneurship Group (HEEG) this event is free to BU members of staff (BU fund membership to this group and the subscription to HEEG allows any staff member of  the institution to attend events without an extra charge).

Session Summary:

Enterprise and entrepreneurship education is now recognised as essential to the university experience for all students whether ot not they wish to start up a business. Enterprise education is imbedded into programmes as diverse as Fine Art and Sport. Committed teaching, careers and enterprise centre staff make learning enterprise skills fun. The challenge remains to keep sessions current and to reflect industry practices in order to develop skills that employers want. A further challenge is to build resilience so that the employers want. A further challenge is to build resilience so that students are better prepared to face the sometimes-lonely world of the entrepreneur. The current generation of students also seek a more entertaining and technologically based learning experience, demand involvement by co-creation of the curriculum and seek greater control over their own learning.

This workshop explores how educators and practitioners use imagery and digital media in the classroom, to develop blended learning opportunities. It explores the use of visual cues outside of the classroom as a way to enhance the student learning experience.

Students feature as speakers, and will share their views on visuality and its impact on their learning and preparedness for the workplace. This will be a chance to experience first-hand how easy it is to work with images and discover a free and easy to use online software tool to enhance your teaching materials and in-class exercises. This session will finish with a digital feedback gathering exercise.

To book and for more information click here.

Funding opportunities – Quantum Technologies

 

IInnovateUK_LogoA_Interim_RGBx320govuk[1]Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are to invest up to £13 million in quantum technologies.

The aim of this competition is to encourage collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects and feasibility studies that will either:

  • develop prototype devices and demonstrators of quantum technologies or their component technologies
  • improve the understanding of the technical, business or market challenges of taking a new device or service to market

The devices may be:

  • clocks
  • sensors
  • imaging
  • communications
  • computing
  • other devices that use quantum effects of superposition or entanglement

Proposals must be collaborative and a UK-based business must lead the project.

This is a single-stage competition. Two streams are running to support technologies at different stages of development:

  • feasibility studies: Projects should last between 6 and 12 months with costs from £50,000 to £500,000
  • collaborative R&D: Projects should last between 12 and 18 months with costs from £500,000 to £2 million

To lead a project you must:

  • be a UK-based business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO) working within the limits that are provided in the guidance for applicants
  • carry out the  project in the UK
  • work in collaboration with others (businesses, research base or third sector)

Key dates:

  • Competition opens: 30 January
  • Register: Midday 29 March
  • Apply before: Midday 5 April

For more information:

Competion guidance and project briefs click here

If you are interested in submitting to this call you must contact your  RKEO Funding Development Officer with adequate notice before the deadline.

For more funding opportunities that are most relevant to you, you can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in  RKEO or view the recent blog post here.

If thinking of applying, why not add notification of your interest on Research Professional’s record of the bid so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.

Funding opportuntity – Innovation in health and life sciences

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Innovate UK – Innovation in health and life sciences 2 – opens soon!

Innovate UK is investing up to £15 million in projects addressing technical or commercial challenges in health and life sciences (H&LS).

The H&LS sector focuses on agriculture, food and healthcare. It is supported by bioscience technology, medical research and engineering and physical sciences expertise. The aim is to increase competitiveness for UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Grants can be awarded to projects led by a UK-based business of any size. In certain circumstances a research and technology organisation (RTO) may also be eligible to lead. (See section 5 of the briefing document.)

SMEs are encouraged to lead on projects. An SME can apply on its own for funding up to £100,000. All consortia must involve at least one SME.

We expect projects to last from 6 months to 3 years and range in size from total project costs of £50,000 to £2 million.

There are 2 options for applications to this competition:

  • £5 million for projects that last from 6 months to 1 year with total project costs from £50,000 to £100,000
  • £10 million for projects lasting from 1 year to 3 years with total project costs between £100,000 and £2 million

Key dates:

  • Competion opens 6 February
  • Register by midday 5 April
  • Apply before midday 12 April

Competion brief and more information: Click here.

If you are interested in submitting to this  call you must contact your  RKEO Funding Development Officer with adequate notice before the deadline.

For more funding opportunities that are most relevant to you, you can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in  RKEO or view the recent blog post here.

If thinking of applying, why not add notification of your interest on Research Professional’s record of the bid so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.

 

Prize – commercialisation of innovative research in Materials Science

Innovate 2011v4

The application period is now open for the 2017 Armourers & Brasiers Materials Science Venture Prize.

The prize is worth £25,000 in the form of an investment and is awarded to take forward the commercialisation of innovative research in Materials Science.

This is the tenth year of the competition.  Previous successful projects reflect the broad range of research in Materials Science and include biomaterials, ceramics, conductive materials and protective coatings.  In many cases the award of the prize has helped to attract additional funds from other investors very promptly. The prize has been awarded to projects originating from the following universities: Cambridge, Liverpool, UCL, Sheffield Hallam, Oxford, Queen Mary University of London, Aberdeen, Bristol and Swansea.   More information about previous winners is available on the website.

Applications are invited from UK-based scientists and should be submitted on the Venture Prize Application Form by 24th March 2017.

Please click on this link for more information about the objectives of the prize and to download the application form.

For further information:

Funding opportunities : Biomedical catalyst

theme - health

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £10 million to develop innovative ideas that will help solve healthcare challenges. The project must be carried out in the UK.  Projects must be led by a micro, small or medium business enterprise (SME) with companies applying either individually or in collaboration with other SME businesses or research organisations. See more information on academic led applications.

The aim of this competition is to develop innovative healthcare technologies and processes that will help provide:

  • disease prevention and proactive management of health and chronic conditions
  • earlier and better detection and diagnosis of disease, leading to better patient outcomes
  • tailored treatments that either change the underlying disease or offer potential cures

This competition has 2 awards:

Application deadline is midday Wednesday 29 March.

Feasibility studies award

Total project costs of up to £200,000. Projects should last between 3 months and 1 year. Projects must start by 1 August 2017 and end by 1 August 2018.

Primer award

Projects are likely to range in size from total project costs of £200,000 to £1.5 million. Projects should last up to 2 years. Projects must start by 1 August 2017 and end by 1 August 2019.

The Biomedical Catalyst supports innovative solutions to healthcare challenges. Innovate UK, the Medical Research Council and Scottish Enterprise fund Biomedical Catalyst awards.

If you are interested in submitting to to this call you must contact your  RKEO Funding Development Officer with adequate notice before the deadline.

For more funding opportunities that are most relevant to you, you can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in  RKEO or view the recent blog post here.

If thinking of applying, why not add notification of your interest on Research Professional’s record of the bid so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.

 

 

Funding opportunities: Design foundations

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Are you working with a business ? have business connections that would be interested in this funding? This call is now live.

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £1 million for early-stage design projects working on identifying opportunities and generating ideas.

Innovate UK is to invest up to £1 million in early-stage design projects to help businesses identify high-value innovation opportunities and generate ideas. These should be for new products, services or business models that align with customer demand.

Proposals should use design-led methods from first principles to understand customer motivations and behaviour, inspire new ideas, support decision-making and inform strategy.

Projects are likley to  to range in size from total costs of £20,000 to £100,000. Projects should last between 3 and 9 months.

A single UK business must lead the project:

  • applications must be business led. Only individual UK based businesses are eligible to apply
  • up to a maximum of 70% of the total eligible project costs can be allocated for the sub-contracting of design services to one or more other UK registered businesses

For more information click on the relevant links below:

Background to this call – previous blog post

Competiton brief

Competition guidance

Funding competition: EUREKA Eurostars

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EUREKA Eurostars is a European programme for SMEs that supports and funds international collaborative research and development projects.  This funding competion is aimed at innovative SMEs wanting to take part in collaborative research with partners across Europe and associated countries. Innovate UK manage UK applications. Small businesses working on high-quality research and development projects across national borders often find it difficult to attract public-sector funding. Eurostars was set up to overcome this barrier to innovation. (The guidance has been updated to refelect  a change to UK eligibility criteria for the competition.)

Academics/universities, Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) and large companies can participate, but must fund their own participation or use funds from other sources.
Click here for more information including details on the latest funding call criteria and  competition guidance.
The closing dates for proposals are 2 March 2017 and 14 September 2017.

Emerging & Enabling Technologies funding, news & events

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Innovate UK have shifted their focus to build on  momentum to accelerate sector growth. To  achieve this, in terms of innovation funding,  a number of  sectors are being addressed including Emerging and Enabling Technologies. These include:
  • Electronics
  • Sensors
  • Phototonics
  • ICT
  • Quantum Technolgies
  • Forensic Science

KTP calls are also refelecting these sectors.

There are a number of ways in which you can keep up to date with what is happening in these areas providing up-to-date information on funding opportuntites, news and events happening.

Useful information :

Innovate UK Delivery Plan 2016/2017 (Page 12 more information on the key sectors)

Knowledge Transfer Networks – stay connected

Review of Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)

SBRI

SBRI is a cross-government programme, managed by Innovate UK (the UK’s innovation agency), that enables small businesses to bid for government contracts to develop new products and solutions for the public sector. Since 2010, SBRI contracts to companies  have increased from below £15m a year to currently over £50m a year, though usage varies across departments. SBRI plays a vital role in supporting small businesses to commercialise their innovative ideas. (In her November 2016 speech to the CBI Annual Conference on a modern Industrial Strategy, the Prime Minister announced a Review of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), led by David Connell, an industry expert with a background in the UK’s science and technology sector.)

The Review is looking at how  the use of SBRI can be extended across government and other parts of the public sector and increase its impact. It will identify existing barriers and make recommendations to improve the programme.

As part of the Review,  views on how we the SBRI funding can  help more small businesses turn their innovative ideas into technology-based products.  The closing date for responses is  3 February 2017.

(Collaboration with another company or university is not required as part of this initiative, but subcontractors may be used where appropriate.)

For more information on this review: Click here.

Using design to drive innovation – funding available

 

Technology prize

Businesses can apply for a share of £1 million to support human-centered design activities that inspire new ideas for products and services.

Innovate UK has up to £1 million to support business projects that use early-stage design activities to help them identify innovation opportunities and generate new ideas. The aim is to encourage businesses to use design-led methods to understand customer motivations and behaviour, inspire new ideas, support decision-making and inform strategy. Early-stage design activity can help businesses to tackle the right problems and to generate ideas that are more likely to meet the needs of their customers. According to the Design Council, £1 invested in early-stage design can deliver as much as a £20 increase in revenues for a business. However, many businesses rarely or never use design, or tend to use it as a last finish. The competition will support businesses exploring ideas for physical or digital products, services and business models. They may be in any sector but proposals are particularly encouraged in Innovate UK’s priority areas of health and life sciences; manufacturing and materials; infrastructure systems; and emerging and enabling technologies.

Competition information:

  • the competition is open, and the deadline for registration is at midday on 15 February 2017
  • projects must be led by a single business of any size but it can sub-contract design services worth up to 70% of the total project cost
  •  projects are likely to range in size from £20,000 to £100,000 and to last between 3 and 9 months
  • businesses could attract up to 70% of their project costs

Press release in full.

Policy paper – Innovate UK: design in innovation strategy 2015 to 2019.

Competition information and how to apply.

Funding opportunity – Innovation in infrastructure systems

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Innovate UK is to invest up to £15 million in projects to stimulate innovation that creates UK business growth in infrastructure systems. Innovate UK want  businesses to collaborate to develop new integrated solutions and new business models and they are looking to fund a portfolio of projects. These may include technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development projects.  It is expected that  projects  will range in size from total eligible costs of £25,000 to £5 million. Projects should last between 3 months and 3 years.

Projects must show significant innovation in one of the  priority areas:

  • ‘smart’ infrastructure
  • energy systems
  • connected transport
  • urban living

Proposals must improve business growth, productivity and/or create export opportunities for at least one UK small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) involved in the project.

There are 2 competition options:

  • £5 million for projects that last from 3 months to 1 year with costs from £25,000 to £100,000
  • £10 million for projects lasting from 1 year to 3 years with costs between £100,000 and £5 million

Projects will need to be led by a business but they can collaborate with other organisations including businesses and universities.

Click here for more information including the competiton brief and guidance documents.

Industrial strategy themes – selection underway

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Innovate UK and the research councils are seeking feedback from researchers and entrepreneurs on  a number of  areas that have been earmarked to receive support from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Workshops across the UK are running during January at which time feedback will be requested.
Areas that are likley to be supported to begin with  include:
  • bioscience and biotechnology
  • healthcare and medicine
  • manufacturing processes and materials
  • energy technologies including battery storage and grid technologies
  • satellite and space technologies
  • quantum technologies
  • robotics and artificial intelligence
  • transformative digital technologies

Another two themes are also being considered:

  • integrated and sustainable cities
  • technologies for the creative industries
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is expected to publish a green paper on the industrial strategy, which covers the fund, in the week beginning 23 January.

Immerse UK – connecting the worlds of virtual reality, augmented reality and immersive technologies

Flying planes in a computer game

This is a new Knowledge Transfer Network that was launched in November 2016.  The network now has just under 400 members. Around 70% are  business, 20% are from universities and research centres, 5% from government or public sector backgrounds, and a further 5% from not-for-profit and cultural organisations.

Over 100 people from across those groups came to the  first members’ meeting on December 7th at the Digital Catapult. Following presentations from some of Immerse UK’s founding partners as well as two of the key platform providers (HTC and Holovis), there was a series of roundtable conversations about the priorities.

The key topics identified as ones where Immerse UK can make a difference are:
– access to finance, funding and investment
– content, production and user experience
– connecting industry and universities (skills and research)
– industrial applications
– mapping activity in the UK

Access to Finance and Funding
Immerse UK will work with investors and funders in the UK and other countries to make them aware of the opportunities and needs of SMEs building businesses on the applications of VR/AR and other immersive technologies across a range of markets. As well as advising public sector agencies such as Innovate UK and Horizon 2020, where we’ve already had significant success, we’ll work to connect members with angels, VCs, and commissioners.

An event is being planned  with VCs for the first quarter of 2017 in collaboration with PwC; we’ll send out more information about this early in the New Year. Immerse UK are also working with a European network, the NEM Initiative, to explore the feasibility of establishing a pan-European network of financiers focussing on VR/AR.

Mapping Immersive activities in the UK
One of the objectives of ImmerseUK is to map current expertise and activities related to VR/AR technologies. This map will support understanding of current UK expertise and facilities, to help companies gain access to the support they need, and also to link members.

Immerse UK would ideally like to create a web-based map to show the following information for each member: academia/industry; VR/AR facilities; application areas; expertise; sector; etc. and also to provide a search facility. The map must be: 1. easy to update/populate; 2. accessible; 3. visually attractive; and 4. easy to understand and use. If anyone has such expertise, or has experience of creating/using a suitable off-the-shelf software, please contact glyn.lawson@nottingham.ac.uk.

Content, Production and User Experience
Two main themes were raised in the members’ discussion around content: standards and “how can AV/VR be explored to the boundaries of its potential experience, rather than using the grammar and content of games, web or 2D content”. What are the specific affordances of AR and VR that are more than the sum of the parts from TV, Film, Games and internet?

In the conversation around production, issues raised included the reduction of costs, and the need to educate and engage content providers working in other media.

The working group in this area is also being co-ordinated by the Digital Catapult and KTN. If you are interested in being involved in the development of this please contact  Frank Boyd at the KTN 07964 563152
@frnboy

Connecting industry and academia (skills and research)
Universities were well represented at the meeting and Immerse UK continues to attract members from across academia. Glyn Lawson from Nottingham, who has submitted a bid to the EPSRC to fund networking across the academic community and between universities and business, is also leading the working group for this activity. If you would like to be involved in this aspect of the  programme, please contact him: glyn.lawson@nottingham.ac.uk.

Industrial Applications – co-ordinated by IET and High Value Manufacturing Catapult
The discussion on industrial applications of vr and related technologies was hosted by Ahmed Kotb who co-ordinates the IET’s Applied Visualisation Community. The IET will be working with the High Value Manufacturing Catapult to lead much of Immerse UK’s activity in this area.

Immerse UK are currently collaborating on an Applied Visualisation Forum which will be held at the British Motor Museum on January 26th. The forum will encourage those working in the field of visualisation and virtual reality (VR) to share their expertise, good practice, hardware and software advances and application in VR, Augmented Reality (AR) and Data Capture and Visualisation.

Immerse UK are also in the early stages of planning an event focused on the construction industry which is likely to be held in April or May 2017.

Communications
We’ve now completed the first iteration of the Immerse UK website, established groups on LinkedIn, a Facebook page, and a presence on Twitter. Please do join these groups and contribute to the conversations in them.

If you have news about activity or events that you’d like to share with the Immerse UK community, please send it to Frank Boyd or to fiona.kilkelly@ktn-uk.org.

Innovate UK funding
Innovate UK is launching two new competitions for funding in the New Year which may be relevant to Immerse UK members.
 
1. Design Foundations 
This new competition aims to support businesses in identifying high-value innovation opportunities and generate propositions for new products, services and business models. It is open to any UK company, regardless of size or sector and will provide up to £70,000 of project funding to help you address key business challenges.This programme runs for the whole of 2017. If it sounds of interest, do register for the launch event which is on 17 January 2017. You’ll get further insight into how to apply and you can also network to find the right collaborators, if you don’t already have someone in mind. There are further rounds in May and August so these may be appropriate if you need more development time.

Further details on the programme are on KTN’s website.

2. Transforming products and services
Innovate UK has up to £15 million to support the best business-led and innovative ideas for new products, processes and services. This competition is the second of 2 annual Innovate UK open competitions that support good ideas with market potential from any technology area.Projects that are likely to lead to a sustainable growth in productivity or access to new overseas markets will be given priority.

More information  can be found here.

Events:
Immerse UK members are organising a number of events over the next few weeks.

The newly opened Realities Centre is launching a programme of conferences including:
EdTech Conference, Jan 19th – London
EdTech Hackathon – Jan 21/22nd – London

You may also be interested in:
VR Connects London conference, 16th-17th January 2017
More information can be found at here.