20 July 2020 | Tiffany Hionas

Your weekly digest of policy news, funding competitions, and calls for evidence.

What’s been in the news?

UK government supports greener food production

Nine innovative projects that apply big data, AI and robotics to UK farming will benefit from a £24 million package to support a more efficient system of food production.

The aim is to support pioneering projects in agri-tech that will achieve net zero emissions in food production and help to jump-start the UK’s economic recovery.

Farming Minister Victoria Prentis said: ‘It’s great to see investment in these outstanding ideas which will help us tackle the farming industry’s greatest challenges, from achieving net zero emissions to investing in sustainable alternative protein for animal feed. Farming has never before been at the centre of such exciting and forward-looking innovations.’

Green apples 

EU will invest in sustainable transport

The EU will inject €2.2 billion into 140 key transport projects to support sustainable transport and boost jobs.

The funding will be invested in inland waterways transport, rail infrastructure projects, improving multimodal connections, and supporting the installation of on-shore power supply for ports to cut emissions from docked ships.

Additionally, the investment will fund the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure, through the installation of 17,275 charging points on roads, as well as the deployment of 335 new buses.

Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean added that the investment will kick-start the recovery, expecting it to generate ‘€5 billion in investments.’

 Green world

Setting out the green road map for the UK’s industrial clusters

The UK’s efforts to decarbonise industry have had a fresh boost with the government setting up the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC). The new centre is led by Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, who spoke to a packed SCI Energy Group webinar held in May, providing an overview of how IDRIC will play an essential role in helping the UK industrial sector prepare for a greener future.

The UK’s industrial clusters are home to energy intensive businesses which need to decarbonise so that they can compete in the low-carbon global economy. It is these clusters that will drive inward investment, protecting jobs and creating new ones,’ Professor Maroto-Valer commented.

Read more here.

Chemical plants

Calls for evidence

Appropriate measures for the biological treatment of waste

Submit your comments on the proposed technical guidance for appropriate measures for permitted facilities that biologically treat waste.

Deadline: 21 August 2020


 Developing a tree strategy for England

Help inform the development of an England tree strategy to support nature recovery, clean growth and the commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Deadline: 4 September 2020 


 A plan to decarbonise transport: call for ideas

Submit your ideas on reducing emissions in transport and creating a decarbonisation plan to reach  net-zero by 2050.

Deadline: 31 August 2020

Funding competitions


Covid-19 rapid response rolling call

DHSC and UKRI have launched a rolling call for proposals for research into covid-19. Research should cover an understanding of the disease, prevention and management of the covid-19 outbreak.

Deadline: 1 April 2021 



 Manufacturing made smarter

UK registered businesses can apply for funding towards an industrial research project in digital technologies help UK manufacturing supply chains. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.


Deadline:7 October 2020



Biomedical Catalyst 2020: round 1

UK registered SMEs can apply for a share of up to £30 million to develop innovative healthcare products or processes.  

Opening: 27 July 2020

Deadline: 07 October 2020



 ATI Programme strategic batch

This is phase 1 of a strategic batch competition within the ATI Programme. Express your interest if your project has a potential application within the civil aerospace sector.

Opening: 3 August 2020

Deadline: 19 August 2020



 Sustainable plastic solutions

Apply to win funding for early-stage, design projects to reduce plastics’ harm to the environment.

Deadline: 16 September 



 The Sustainable Innovation Fund: SBRI phase 1

Apply for a share of up to £10 million to help UK businesses and the public sector recover from COVID-19 in a sustainable way.

Deadline: 5 August 2020

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