19 April 2022 | Bryony Parker

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

What’s been in the news?

UK and EU energy roundup

The following is a roundup of news surrounding Energy Security and investment in future energy technologies.

The UK Government has announced a £375 million funding package to accelerate technological advances and innovation in the energy sector, strengthening the UK’s energy security. A large portion of the funding will go towards the production of hydrogen as low-cost energy technology as well as £5 million being invested to developments of carbon capture.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: ‘This investment will unlock the enormous potential of hydrogen, advanced nuclear reactors and carbon capture to level up the UK energy landscape and deliver for businesses and households.’

In addition, the UK Government has committed to supercharge clean energy and accelerate deployment of low carbon electricity by 2030. Great British Nuclear, a new government body, will be established to support the development of projects in the nuclear energy space to produce clean and reliable power.

In similar news, the European Commission has set up a new body known as the EU Energy Purchase Platform, which aims to secure the purchase of gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen whilst phasing out dependency on Russian gas. The Platform will support the identification of infrastructural requirements for future hydrogen use.

SCI PoliSCI newsletter - 19 April 2022 - graphic of energy halo

UK hosts Nato Defence

A report from the Ministry of Defence reveals that the UK, in partnership with Estonia, will host the European Headquarters of a programme for NATO allies to address new technologies used in critical defence and alliance deterrence. The programme, Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA), aims to maintain NATO’s technological edge. The collaboration between the two countries will support start-up companies via accelerator networks, as well as provide services to test technologies such as ‘deep tech’ test centres.

UK Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace said: ‘The UK and Estonia are two of the most innovative countries in NATO and our hosting of DIANA will harness that innovation for the benefit of all Allies tackling future military threats. The UK has a vibrant tech community, combining the academia, financiers, and high-tech start-ups that make it an ideal place to develop the next generation of military technologies.

SCI PoliSCI newsletter - 19 April 2022 - image of UK and Estonian flag next to each other

Entrepreneurship investment to tech start-ups

The UK Government has launched a competition for a £12 million grant to support tech start-ups in facing challenges and accelerating innovations across the country. The grant, known as, Digital Growth Grant, will also provide training and advice to those successful in the competition.

Digital Minister Chris Philp said: “Start-ups and scale ups are hugely important to our thriving tech sector. This funding is dedicated to growing these innovative businesses wherever they are in the country, providing the support and skills they need to succeed and create good jobs and generate wealth. The successful applicant will play a vital role in making the UK the best place in the world to start and scale a tech business.”

In similar news, SCI’s Bright SCIdea Challenge recently awarded cash prizes to the top three winners of the competition. Read our post-event news article for more information on this year’s winners or visit the Bright SCIdea webpage for more information on how SCI supports the next generation of entrepreneurs.

SCI PoliSCI newsletter - 19 April 2022 - image of a group of entrepreneurs around a table

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


Accelerating the transition from fossil fuels and securing energy supplies
The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) is seeking views on examining the Government’s policies for securing energy supplies and accelerating the transition from fossil fuels.

Deadline: 6 May 2022


Critical national infrastructure and climate adaptation
The National Security Strategy (Joint Committee) is seeking views on the resilience of UK critical national infrastructure (CNI) and climate adaptation.

Deadline: 31 May 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.


Driving the Electric Revolution: Building Talent for the Future 2
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 have a total cost of no more than £50,000 and start by 1 October 2022.

Deadline: 27 April 2022


NATEP helping SMEs innovate in aerospace: Spring 2022
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million through UKRI, ATI and BEIS to carry out industry led civil aerospace collaborative R&D projects. Total costs must be between £150,000 and £300,000 and last between 12 and 18 months.

Deadline: 18 May 2022


Biomedical Catalyst 2022 Round 1: Industry-led R&D
UK registered SMEs can apply for a share of up to £15 million to develop innovative solutions to health and healthcare challenges. Total project costs must be between £150,000 and £4 million.

Deadline: 25 May 2022


Innovation in time resilience, dissemination and application – feasibility
UK registered organisations can apply for up to £4.7 million for business led innovation. Projects must have a total cost between £50,000 and £250,000.

Deadline: 1 June 2022


Canada-UK Net Zero Value Chains – Transportation
UK registered businesses and Canadian SMEs can apply to collaborate on joint R&D projects that contribute to net zero goals. Projects must start by 1 January 2023 and last between 12 and 24 months. A total of up to £4 million will be invested.

Deadline: 29 June 2022

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

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