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PoliSCI (w/e 14 September 2018)


farmlandDefra publishes ‘landmark’ post-Brexit Agriculture Bill

As part of Brexit preparations, Defra has published its new Agriculture Bill that outlines how the UK farming and agriculture sectors will look after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019. As part of the bill, a new Environmental and Land Management system will see farmers and land owners paid for ‘public goods’ such as better air and water quality, improved soil health, and higher animal welfare standards. This will replace the current Direct Payments system that pays farmers based on the amount of land farmed.

‘The introduction of the Agriculture Bill is an historic moment as we leave the EU and move towards a brighter future for farming,’ said Environment Secretary Michael Gove. ‘This Bill will allow us to reward farmers who protect our environment, leaving the countryside in a cleaner, greener and healthier state for future generations. Critically, we will also provide the smooth and gradual transition that farmers and land managers need to plan ahead.’

NHS buildingHealthcare UK Export Catalyst to improve NHS trade

A new Catapult centre has been launched in collaboration with the NHS and the Department for International Trade to support NHS organisations wanting to access global healthcare export opportunities. The Healthcare UK Export Catapult expects the NHS will target up to £7bn of opportunities annually over the next decade.

Over the last two years, the pilot service has already helped NHS organisations secure over £100m of export business. Now, the service will provide personalised support for individual NHS units, training courses, and connections to the governments international trade network.  

Chair of NHS England Sir Malcolm Grant said: ‘In the next year, the mission will be closely focused on providing a showcase for great British healthcare services, building a strong brand across the globe and realising the amazing export potential of our world-class health system.’

data miningMEPS vote for greater data mining freedoms

New legislature has been introduced to the European Parliament that will give researchers greater freedom to use test and data mining to analyse millions of research papers concurrently. However, lobbying groups have said restricting data mining to scientists in basic research will restrict the ability of universities to commercialise their findings.

SMEs, including start-ups, rely heavily on large amounts of data during the early stages of development and will not be given access if the legislature passes as it is now agreed. If more companies were included in this bill, it would lead to a significant increase in mining tool innovation, argues Leonard Koschwitz, Director for European Affairs with Allied for Startups. ‘Rather than creating legal certainty, the Parliament today opted for fragmentation and a backseat for Europe’s innovators,’ he said.

The final vote will take place in January.

Calls for evidence 

BEIS: Balance and effectiveness of research and innovation spending inquiry

Deadline: 28 September 2018

Funding competitions

Investment accelerator: innovation in precision medicine

Deadline: 26 September 2018

Up to £6m of grant funding is available to UK businesses working on early-stage innovations in precision medicine.  

APC 11: advancing the UK’s low carbon automotive capability

Deadline: 3 October 2018

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) is investing £20m in collaborative match funding for late stage R&D projects in low carbon propulsion technologies for the automotive industry.

Biomedical Catalyst 2018 round 2: primer award

Deadline: 3 October 2018

UK SMEs can apply for a share of £5m to solve healthcare challenges including disease prevention, early detection and diagnosis, and personalised treatments

Biomedical Catalyst 2018 round 2: late stage

Deadline: 3 October 2018

UK SMEs can apply for a share of £10m for projects in a clinical setting or late-stage environment to solve healthcare challenges including disease prevention, early detection and diagnosis, and personalised treatments.

Digitalisation of medicines manufacturing: Challenge Fund

Deadline: 3 October 2018

£8m from Innovate UK is available for capital projects to improve medicines manufacturing through the application of digitally-enabled technology.

Productive and sustainable crop and ruminant agricultural systems

Deadline: 24 October 2018

Businesses can apply for a share of £20m from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to develop precision agriculture technologies.

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