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PoliSCI (w/e 23 November 2018)

Your weekly digest of policy news, funding competitions, and calls for evidence. 23 November 2018 
Compiled by Georgina Hines

European Parliament

European Parliament to review €120bn Horizon Europe plan

A proposal for Horizon Europe is set to be reviewed by European Parliament after approval from its Industry, Research and Energy Committee. The programme’s budget has now increased to €120bn, much higher than previously suggested. However, problems between member states and around industry partnerships persist and discussions are still ongoing.

‘If we are innovative, if we are leading, we can reassure our European system, we can hold up our social system we can hold up our social system in Europe. If we don’t, if we’re falling, the economic consequences will be a disaster.’ said German MEP Christian Ehler, who developed the plan. ‘One of the most important issues is to close the innovation gap in Europe. It can’t be that we have a Europe of two speeds in terms of innovation.’

Concerns over Europe’s competitiveness with the US, Asia, and other growing economies, have driven improvements in next Horizon programme, including the introduction of a fast-track scheme to accelerate project funding.

Medicines 

Medicines manufacturing projects receive government funding

Two new programmes – delivered by BEIS and Innovate UK – have awarded £7.3m to companies working to boost the productivity of medicines manufacturing. £4.3m will go to businesses in Northumberland, Oxford and London that are developing digital and AI solutions for more efficient methods of pharmaceutical production and £3m, allocated through the government’s Life Sciences Sector Deal, has been given to the Advanced Therapy Treatment Centres rolling out new cell and gene therapies across the UK.

Dr Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair of Innovate UK, said: ‘The projects announced today will bring real benefits to patients and boost the knowledge economy as part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy. This is vital for the UK as a global leader in the development of advanced therapies and medicine manufacturing.’

Digital Europe

Third countries to have restricted access to Digital Europe

MEPs have voted for an expanded list of criteria for third countries to access Digital Europe – the EU’s proposed €9.2bn programme to improve digital infrastructure and skills across Europe, including in AI, computing and cybersecurity. An earlier proposal banned third country participation.

Amendments to the draft include third country contributions that are equal to the benefits they receive and the exclusion of these countries in any decision making regarding Digital Europe. Third country participation is allowed solely on the grounds that it benefits the EU’s interests, particularly in regard to cybersecurity. If the UK does not make special arrangements following its exit from the EU, it is likely to be placed in this category.

Calls for evidence

Deadline: 3 December 2018


 Deadline: 17 January 2019


 Deadline: Open – accepting written submission


 Deadline: Open – accepting written submissions

Funding competitions

Deadline: 12 December 2018

Up to £2m from the ISCF is available for feasibility studies focusing on de-risking the scale-up of battery development technology. Projects must emphasise building UK supply chains.


 Deadline: 12 December 2018

A share of £23m from the ISCF is available to UK businesses for R&D projects focusing on de-risking the scale-up of battery development technology. Projects must emphasise building UK supply chains.


Deadline: 19 December 2018

Network Rail and Innovate UK are investing up to £300,000 into the development and demonstration of tools that can automatically plan rail infrastructure.


Deadline: 2 January 2019

Innovate UK are looking to form partnerships with angel groups to help support innovation in UK SMEs and build the capacity of regional angel investor networks. 


Deadline: 9 January 2019

As part of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), Innovate UK will fund organisations providing solutions to reduce non-exhaust and non-road vehicle air pollutant emissions. 


Deadline: 30 January 2019

SMEs can apply for a share of £1.5m from The Office for Life Sciences and Innovate UK to support the evaluation of new medical devices, diagnostics and other regulated digital health products.

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