08 June 2020 | Tiffany Hionas

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

What’s been in the news?

Pledge to increase vaccine accessibility


The Global Vaccine Summit, hosted by the UK, has raised billions to support the goal of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) ensuring vaccine accessibility worldwide.


World leaders have pledged $8.8 billion to Gavi, this will allow the immunisation of 300 million more children in lower-income countries against diseases like measles, polio and diphtheria by 2025. This new support will also be used to help lower-income countries strengthen their health systems against the challenge of any pandemic, as well as enabling these countries to build an emergency stockpile.


Once a covid-19 vaccine is developed, Gavi will play a role in ensuring equitable access for low- and middle-income countries. Showing support for the programme; Bill Gates said that ‘This commitment means, when a vaccine [is] discovered, everyone who needs it will have access.’




New investment in environmental projects


 Defra, Triodos Bank UK, the Environment Agency (EA) and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (EFF) have entered into a collaboration to tackle climate change and support environmental projects. Four projects have been selected to receive funding in a pilot scheme which hopes to encourage more private sector investment in projects aimed to protect and enhance the environment.

Four projects, evaluated by Triodos Bank UK, and will receive grant funding from Defra, the EA and EFF are:

  • Devon Wildlife Trust’s restoration of the Caen wetlands.
  • Rivers Trust’s work on natural flood management in the Wyre catchment in Lancashire.
  • NFU’s work to reduce nitrate pollution in Poole Harbour.
  • Moors for the Future Partnership’s restoration and conservation of peatlands in the Pennines.

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said: ‘These projects are designed to attract investment into local economies while developing models for businesses to use and scale up around the world.’

Environment protection

COVID-19 Roundup

As Covid-19 continues to spread across the globe, we round up some of the innovative steps being taken by businesses in the pharmaceutical and chemical sector to aid those on the frontline of this global crisis.

Read more here.

Covid-19 virus

Calls for evidence

 Call for Proposals needing rapid access to the Diamond synchrotron. 

Diamond is offering priority rapid access for projects directly related to SARS-CoV-2 virtual proteins. 


Deadline: Not specified 


 The science of covid-19

Investigate the scientific and technological aspects of covid-19, including the transmission and spread of the virus, the development of vaccines and treatments and the application of digital technologies for tracking and modelling.

Deadline: 30 June 2020



This encourages research generation sequencing and other high-end genomics applications and genomic data analysis related to the  COVID-19 epidemic. Submit you proposals or access projects related to the COVID-19 crisis.


Deadline: 30 June 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 

 Support for R&D intensive SMEs

As part of the Chancellor’s £1.25Bn support package, £750m R&D funding (as grants and loans) will be available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme. First payments will be made available mid-May.

Deadline: Not released

 Repurposing of UKRI grants for covid-19 purposes

Apply to repurpose your grant to support research into covid-19.

Deadline: Not specified 

 Future flight

As part of UKRI’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the second phase of the Future Flight Challenge is launched. Funding is now available for innovations to help change the way we fly.

Deadline: Not specified

Sustainable plastic solutions

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

Deadline: 16 September

UK’s low carbon automotive capability

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £30 million for UK-developed late stage R&D, to support the automotive sector and the development of technologies capable of low emissions.

Deadline: 8 July


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