18 January 2022 | Bryony Parker

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

What’s been in the news?

Advances in Artificial Intelligence

The UK Government will launch a pilot initiative aimed at leading global technical standards for Artificial Intelligence (AI). Led by the Alan Turing Institute and supported by the British Standards Institution (BSI) and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the initiative will form part of the Government’s National AI Strategy. It will create tools for businesses to help organisations benefit from global standards.

George Freeman, BEIS Minister for Science, Research and Innovation said: ‘The transformative impact of AI is quickly becoming central to our economy and society, already playing a key role in everything from climate science and medical diagnostics to factory robotics and climate change mapping.’

In similar news, the Science and Technology Committee will hold the third evidence session into reproducibility and research integrity in the field of AI on 19 January 2022.

PoliSCI - 18 January 2022 - image of virtual Artificial Intelligence graphic

New scheme for hydrogen production

A UK Government scheme, backed by £5 million of funding, will support new technologies focused on hydrogen production via biomass and waste. The scheme will also support carbon capture and storage technology.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said: ‘This innovative technology offers incredible potential for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, crucial to reaching our net zero goals. This government funding will help support the development of this new technology in the UK, boosting green jobs and investment while slashing carbon emissions.’

Projects run by small businesses and large companies will be eligible for a share of the funding and can bid as part of the Phase 1 of the Hydrogen Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) Innovation Programme.

PoliSCI - 18 January 2022 - image of Hydrogen molecule

Plastic waste and industry emission reduction

Several Research and Development (R&D) projects which look to upcycle plastics to produce more valuable materials which can then be recycled or are biodegradable have received funding from the US Department of Energy (DoE) Funding of $13.4 million  will go towards such next generation plastics including those used for food packaging, reducing the energy intensive processes that currently exist for end of life plastic management.

Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said; ‘By advancing technologies that repurpose single-use plastics and make the materials biodegradable, we can hit a trifecta of reduced plastic waste, fewer emissions from the plastics industry, and an influx of clean manufacturing jobs for American workers.’

PoliSCI - 18 January 2022 - image of bundled up plastic waste

Calls for evidence 

UK trade negotiations
Submissions are welcomed on UK trade negotiations with the EU including views on the objectives of the Department for International Trade for Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

Deadline: Open for submissions


Trade and the environment
The International Trade Committee is seeking evidence around how well the free trade agenda and environmental policies are aligned.

Deadline: 28 February 2022


Hydrogen and carbon capture in Scotland
The Scottish Affairs committee is seeking views on the UK Hydrogen Strategy and what should be the focus of the UK Government to ensure the Scottish industry is a world leader in green hydrogen for domestic use and export.

Deadline: 1 March 2022

Further information can be found on the UK Parliament website.

Funding competitions

Horizon Europe
To find more on eligibility for Horizon Europe funding for your sector, you can view the national contact points on the Government website as well as search for the European Funding and Tenders. Further information on the UK’s association to Horizon Europe is available in the UK participation in Horizon Europe document.

Further information on the SME and start-up fund can be found on the European Commission website.


Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2021 to 2022, round 5
UK registered academic institutions, RTOs or Catapults can apply for a share of up to £8 million to fund innovation projects with businesses or not-for-profits. Innovation projects must last between 12 and 36 months and tackle challenges faced by the business partner.

Deadline: 2 February 2022


Driving the Electric Revolution – Building Talent for the Future 2: EoI
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £4.5 million for innovative skills, talent, and training projects for Power Electronics, Motors and Drives (PEMD). Projects must start by 1 October 2022 and last between 6 and 30 months.

Deadline: 2 February 2022


SBRI – Climate and Environmental Risk Analytics for Resilient Finance: Phase 1
Organisations can apply for a share of up to £1.5 million to develop solutions that integrate climate and environmental factors in the financial services industry. Projects must start by 1 June 2022 and last up to 3 months.

Deadline: 16 February 2022


APC 20: Developing automotive technologies and growing capability towards net zero
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of £25 million for projects that help accelerate the UK towards a net zero automotive future. Projects must last between 18 and 42 months and start by 1 September 2022.

Deadline: 2 March 2022


UK-Singapore Collaborative R&D
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £3 million for developing innovative proposals with Singapore. Projects must start by September 2022 and last between 24 and 36 months.

Deadline: 20 April 2022

You can find further details of the funding calls on the Government website

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