15 June 2022 | Bryony Parker

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

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G7 Flags

Science academies call for urgent action ahead of G7 summit

The science academies of the G7 States are calling for urgent international action on climate protection, energy transition, and pandemic preparedness. The call comes ahead of the G7 Summit, which will take place in Schloss Elmau, Germany, 26–28 June.

Highlighting pandemic preparedness, the G7 science academies stressed the need for long-term support for the development of ‘specific and broad-spectrum’ antiviral drugs, along with an international coordination body for clinical studies and improved coordination in the field of pandemic preparedness.

Also in the area of health, the G7 science academies set out the case for a ‘One Health’ approach to combat the complex problems of disruption to ecosystems, which contributes to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the emergence of zoonotic diseases – conditions that are transmitted from animals to humans.

The One Health approach considers the interdependency of human, animal, plant and wider environmental health. There is also a call for the use of digital technologies for the ‘effective surveillance of zoonoses and AMR’.

USB-C Charger 

European Commission round-up

This week the European Innovation Council (EIC) held a conference in Paris in collaboration with Bpifrance under the French Presidency of the European Union. The aim of the event was to highlight and provide a networking opportunity for thousands of start-up companies in the sustainability the sector.

In other news, the European Commission has welcomed a provisional political agreement surrounding the adoption of a new USB-C charging port for all handheld devices including mobile phones, cameras, headphones, keyboards and mice. The aim is to allow technological innovation and reduce CO2 emissions in different ways such as by cutting e-waste, estimated as a reduction of 11,000 tonnes annually.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age, said: “No more bundles of different chargers in our drawers. One common charger is a real benefit to us as consumers. It will also help our environment. So we welcome today's agreement of the common charger following a swift conclusion of negotiations between the co-legislators.”

Green aviation

Decarbonising the transport sector

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) is to help accelerate the production of biofuels and bioproducts with $59 million of funding to decarbonise the sectors most likely to have higher CO2 emissions.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said “Energy harnessed from plants and waste presents a huge opportunity to reduce emissions from hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as aviation, rail, and shipping, while supporting high-quality jobs across rural America. DOE’s investment in biofuels is a key component of the Biden Administration’s effort to support clean energy technologies that increase our energy independence and move us closer to a net-zero carbon economy.”

In similar news, the UK Government has invested over £31 million to support British industries reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. The funding will also support development of innovative carbon capture and green energy technologies in the UK such as moving away from red diesel (gas oil) and replacing with e-fuels and green hydrogen.

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

The financial sector and the UK’s net zero transition

The Environmental Audit Committee is examining the role of financial institutions, including UK signatories to the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ). The GFANZ is aligned with applications to join the UN Race to Zero.

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.

Horizon Europe Guarantee

This funding is to deliver the UK government’s Horizon Europe guarantee, open to UK-based organisations successful in the first and second wave of Horizon Europe grant awards.

Deadline: No submission deadline

Net Zero Hydrogen Fund – Strand 2 – Capital expenditure (CAPEX)

Strand 2 of the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund will provide CAPEX support for new projects that focus on low carbon hydrogen production facilities to begin deployment in early 2020s. Projects must have a grant request of between £200,000 and £30 million and begin by 1 January 2023, lasting between 6 and 27 months.

Deadline: 6 July 2022

Farming Innovation Programme – research starter pilot - EoI Round 2

Farming, growing or forestry businesses based in England can apply for a share of up to £1 million for feasibility projects. This is an expression of interest competition. Projects must have total costs between £28,000 and £56,000 and last up to 12 months.

Deadline: 6 July 2022

Fast Start: Innovation

UK -egistered small and micro businesses can apply for a share of up to £30 million for affordable innovations in net-zero and healthcare. Projects must have a total cost between £25,000 and £50,000 and start by 1 November 2022.

Deadline: 26 July 2022

Faraday Battery Challenge Round 5 Innovation: Feasibility Studies

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £25 million across two strands, for innovation in propulsion battery technologies for electric vehicles. Total costs must be between £100 000 and £750,000 and last up to 12 months.

Deadline: 17 August 2022

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

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