28 April 2022 | Bryony Parker

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

What’s been in the news?

Funding for transport

The UK Government has awarded £1.95 million, through the Department for Transport, to projects which will development greener and more efficient transport. One of the aims of the backed projects includes a proposal for reducing carbon emissions in HGVs. The projects form part of the Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG) programme. Other innovations include a handheld device to scan an area and provide touch feedback, to support visually impaired people using public transport.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: ‘Innovation funded as part of TRIG could be the key to unlocking a more efficient and safer transport system for tomorrow. I support the ingenious ideas of this year’s cohort every step of the way and wish the successful applicants all the very best. I look forward to seeing the ideas develop to boost our green agenda and create high-skilled jobs across the UK.’

In similar news, further funding has been made available for cutting-edge rail transport. A total of £7.6 million will go to projects submitted to the competition ‘First of a Kind’, in partnership with Innovate UK. Applications opened on 20 April and will close 8 June 2022.

Rail Minister Wendy Morton said: ‘I am incredibly excited to launch the sixth round of our First of a Kind competition. In partnership with Innovate UK, we have already invested £35.4 million into over 100 ground-breaking projects.’

Cars and lorries on motorway

Space sector creates jobs

Employment in the UK space sector has risen in the past two years, up by 6.7%. Boosting the UK space sector is a key aim for the UK Space Agency and there are now many space organisations across the UK.

Science Minister George Freeman said: ‘The £16.5 billion space sector is a major contributor to a strong and secure UK economy, and it’s promising to see it generate thousands of new high-skilled jobs in the face of global economic headwinds. We’re backing this innovative and resilient industry through the largest ever increase to R&D spending, which includes a significant uplift to the UK Space Agency’s budget, and the delivery of the UK’s first National Space Strategy.’

Woman at a computer research space satellites

IEA report on clean energy spending

The IEA has reported that Governments have increased their clean energy spending following on from the Covid-19 crisis. It is estimated that over US$ 370 billion is to be spent before the end of 2023. However, this is not the case for emerging and developing countries.

Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director said “Countries where clean energy is at the heart of recovery plans are keeping alive the possibility of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, but challenging financial and economic conditions have undermined public resources in much of the rest of the world. International cooperation will be essential to change these clean energy investment trends, especially in emerging and developing economies where the need is greatest.”

Atlantic Road Norway Car lights

Calls for evidence 

UK-EU trading relationship
The International Trade Committee has launched an inquiry into the UK-EU trading relationship and is seeking views on issues relating to trading arrangements such as the impact on businesses and other stakeholders.
Deadline: Open for submissions

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

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.

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

SBRI: FOAK 2022 cost efficiency and performance priorities for a reliable railway
Organisations can apply for a share of over £7 million to deliver innovations that support low emissions and greener transport across the railway sector. Projects must end by 31 March 2021 and last up to 6 months.
Deadline: 8 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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