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PoliSCI (w/e 19 October 2018)


Your weekly digest of policy news, funding competitions, and calls for evidence.  
Compiled by Georgina Hines

Horizon Europe 

Horizon Europe considers five research missions

EU Ministers have met to discuss five research missions and 10 industry partnerships proposed to receive Horizon Europe funding. If approved, the missions would cost 40-50% of the overall €94.1bn programme budget. The five missions and associated themes are:

  • Digitisation: To build the first universal quantum computer in Europe
  • Health: To cure paediatric cancer
  • Clean Europe: To eliminate plastic waste in rivers and seas, and to create the first carbon-neutral cities with clean air
  • Food and Agriculture: To restore soil health

These missions remain suggestions, however, and the process is still very much open to debate, say EU officials. ‘Further areas for missions will need to be identified later on, during the lifetime of Horizon Europe,’ a representative from the European Commission said. It is expected that each decided mission will receive €1-2bn and partnerships are expected to account for 30-40% of the budget.

 Green Finance

Government invest £20m in green finance

In an attempt to cement the UK as a global leader in green finance, the government is set to invest £20m into a new venture capital fund – the Clean Growth Fund – that will help fund a new Green Finance Institute in collaboration with the City of London. The funding will be matched with at least £20m from private investors. Working with the Green Finance Taskforce, which has representatives from the London Stock Exchange, Bank of England, and other major banking groups, the government aim to help UK businesses capitalise on the multi-billion-pound investment opportunity that a low carbon economy presents.

The UK’s first Green Finance Strategy is set to be published in 2019, which will include plans to help developing countries through their own low carbon transition and the implementation of green principles in the financial service industry.

The announcement – made alongside the launch of the UK’s first-ever Green GB week – is part of a series of steps the UK government is taking to encourage UK businesses to invest in and work with clean technologies. Other projects that are ongoing include a £60m BEIS-led technical assistance programme that will help support a new UK-China Green Finance Centre and allow the UK to share knowledge of green finance with international partners.

EA report

Environmental performance of UK business rises

An annual report from the Environment Agency (EA) has found that the environmental performance of regulated businesses has improved. 93% of the 14,000 businesses analysed demonstrated good compliance with environmental permit conditions, and those that did not comply faced record penalties. £25.5m in fines were issued by the EA in 2017/18 compared to £8m the previous year. The number of serious pollution incidents is down 18% to 419 and persistently mismanaged sites was also down by 18%.   

‘Our regulation is supporting a healthier environment and safer communities – serious pollution incidents fell by 18%. We closed down over 800 illegal waste sites, and the courts have imposed record levels of fines on companies for environmental offences,’ said Harvey Bradshaw, the EA’s Executive Director. ‘We are committed to supporting businesses to innovate and grow, in return, we expect that businesses take their responsibilities to protecting the environment seriously.’

Calls for evidence

Deadline: 26 October 2018

Deadline: 27 November 2018

Deadline: Open – accepting written submissions

Deadline: Open – accepting written submissions

Funding competitions

Deadline: 14 November 2018

The Department for International Development (DFID) and EPSRC have announced a share of £10m for organisations developing clean, affordable and secure energy for Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Deadline: 14 November 2018

Innovate UK is offering up to £10m in loans to SMEs for innovations with strong commercial potential that will improve the UK economy.

Deadline: 14 November 2018

Organisations working to deliver disruptive innovations that can significantly impact the UK economy can apply for a share of up to £20m from Innovate UK.

Deadline: 21 November 2018

DFID are offering £3m of funding to projects at all stages of experimental development working on agri-tech and food chain innovations with partners in eligible African countries.

Deadline: 6 December 2018

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK are offering a share of £2m to UK businesses developing technologies that will accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles.

Deadline: 6 December 2018

One high-value project will receive up to £4m from The Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK to develop technologies that accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles.


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