Posts By / jcodling

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.

Funding competition: Aerospace Technology Institute R&T programme

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Are you working with a business in this sector? This competition offers innovation funding to businesses to sustain the UK’s position in aerospace design and manufacture. Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) competitions are run throughout the year. You can view all the important dates for applications on the ATI website.

Specific strategic themes

A set of market, value stream, and enabler strategies complement the strategy document and can be requested from the ATI:

  • aircraft of the future: Strengthening the UK’s whole-aircraft design and system integration capability, positioning it for future generations of civil aircraft
  • smart, connected and more electric aircraft: Developing UK advanced systems technologies to capture high-value opportunities in current and future aircraft
  • aerostructures of the future: Ensuring the UK is a global leader in the development of large complex structures, particularly wings
  • propulsion of the future: Advancing a new generation of more efficient propulsion technologies, particularly within large turbofan

To apply you must be:

For more information click here.

 

Firms putting more of their assets under IP

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UK industry is investing more than £70 billion a year in intangible assets covered by intellectual property rights, the national agency responsible for regulating patents and copyright has said.
In its booklet Fast Facts 2017, the Intellectual Property Office—the government agency formerly known as the Patent Office—reveals a steady growth in industry investment in IP rights. Companies spent £70bn on assets protected by IPR agreements in 2014, compared with £47 billion in 2000.

The booklet contains facts and figures which describe the intellectual property landscape and provides information on:

  • patents
  • trade marks
  • designs
  • copyright
  • enforcement
  • the IPO

Further information including a printable version of the Fast facts 2017 can be found here.

Digital Agenda Impact Awards

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The Digital Agenda Impact Awards, celebrating innovations that make a positive impact on the way the UK lives, learns and does business, are open for entries. The awards, sponsored by Nominet Trust, take place at London’s Barbican Centre on Thursday March 2, 2017.

The Impact Awards are open to any business, government or non-profit using digital products or services to make the world a better place. The awards are free to enter and open until January 20 2017.

There are 12 award categories under three broad headings – people, places and business.

People

  • Education
  • Employment and skills
  • Health
  • Money

Places

  • Cities
  • Climate
  • Food
  • Smart

Business

  • Business transformation
  • Sharing and partnership
  • Social and economic transformation

Click here for more information and to apply.

 

 

Artificial Intelligence(AI) – IBM Watson AI Prize

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UK innovation centre supports artificial intelligence competition designed to change the world for the better.

As part of its wider strategy to support market-led technology and innovation, Digital Catapult will support IBM Watson AI XPRIZE via its technical experts as resources and mentors for competing teams. Digital Catapult will also form a hub for UK teams by hosting events, meet-ups and take a lead in helping to showcase the best competitors to come out of the UK.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning fall under one of the four priority technology areas that are strategically important for Digital Catapult and also aligns to Innovate UK’s emerging and enabling technologies strategy. The organisation will be supporting the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE as part of its mission to help the UK achieve the full potential of digital technologies.

XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, aims to accelerate adoption of AI technologies and spark creative, innovative and audacious demonstrations of the technology that are truly scalable. The call for teams to enter closes on 19 January 2017.

For more information about the XPRIZE competition, visit the website, and/or project page and follow them on Twitter @xprize. Digital Catapult @DigiCatapult.   

Announcement in full.

Challenge Project – Home Office

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The Home Office, through the Joint Security and Resilience Centre, invites responses for its call on challenge project. This aims to capture strategical and tactical barriers which inhibit the security sector and develop project work against proposed solutions. Projects must provide demonstrable effort towards at least one of the following:

•deliver a joint response to the UK’s national security challenges;

•drive the delivery of the right solutions;

•growth of the security sector.

Suggestions for future areas of research are welcome.

10 awards, each worth between approximately £25,000 and £50,000, are available.

Click here for more information including how to apply.

Closing deadline is 22 January 2017.

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.

 

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

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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.

Connecting people to accelerate innovation

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The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is Innovate UK’s networking partner and provides information on funding, events and news on a number of different sectors to support Innovate UK with its mission to drive UK growth and productivity.

A number of LinkedIn groups which cover Innovate UK’s thematic areas have been set up:

You can join as many groups as you like. This allows you to keep-up-to date with funding, events and news in a variety of sectors helping you to stay on top of potential opportunities and develop future collaborations.

These are replacing the _connect networking groups.

Design Foundations: helping companies with early stage innovation

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There is a great deal of evidence demonstrating that businesses that use a strong early-stage design process generate increased revenue, market share and exports, as well as having a faster and more cost-effective innovation process.

Early-stage design will give companies  (and investors) greater confidence in your ideas, help to streamline development and reduce the likelihood and cost of rectifying problems later on. Brand equity and business resilience can also be improved through design.

Design Foundations is a great opportunity to develop your organisation’s innovation capability and lay the foundations for compelling, high-value propositions that will help attract investors and customers.

What is it?

Design Foundations is a new £3m grant-funding programme from Innovate UK aimed at helping companies to identify high-value innovation opportunities and generate better propositions for new products, services and business models.

The funding supports companies explore future possibilities in collaboration with a design team; bringing new tools and approaches to the plate. It offers up to 70% funding of projects up to £100,000 for any UK company, irrespective of scale or maturity, operating in any sector. There are three rounds of funding across 2017, opening for applications on January 9.

For more information including how this can help businesses , the application process and what makes a good application can be found using the links below.

More information.

Launch event 17 January 2017 – London.

 

 

Innovate UK – latest funding opportuntity

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Innovation in infrastructure systems – round 2

Innovate UK is to invest up to £15 million in projects to stimulate innovation that creates UK business growth in infrastructure systems. We want businesses to collaborate to develop new integrated solutions and new business models.

Innovate UK are  looking to fund a portfolio of projects. These may include technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development projects.  Projects are likley to to 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 our 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. The proposal needs to include at least one SME either working alone or in collaboration with others (business, research base and third sector).

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

Click here for more information.

Click here for all live calls.

If you are interested in submitting to any of the above calls 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.

The Personal Data & Trust Network is seeking new members

Data-science-history

The Network aims to build and nurture a community that brings together industry, the public sector, funders, research organisations, individual researchers and innovators to support the UK in becoming the global leader in trust and responsible innovation with personal data.

To find our more click here

It’s free to join