PoliSCI (w/e 10 May 2019)

10 May 2019

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

What’s been in the news?

New Future Leader Fellows to tackle global challenges

UKRI has announced the first 41 Future Leaders Fellowships, awarded to the next generation of researchers and innovators tackling global challenges. The Future Leaders Fellowships will support ‘rising stars’ across research and business to meet a diverse array of challenges – from the revolution of mobile networks to building artificial tissues.

The £900m programme is led by UKRI and will guarantee the Fellow with four to seven years of funding for their research, plus ongoing support after their Fellowship. Over the next three years, UKRI will host six competition rounds and award funding from the programme to around 200 new Fellows annually. Researchers from diverse backgrounds and career paths are encouraged to apply for the Fellowships, as long as their research fits within UKRI’s remit.

Read the full article, here.


Second wave of Strength in Places Fund announced

Applications for the next wave of the £236m Strength in Places Fund are now open. Successful researchers and businesses are able to bid for up to £50,000 in early-stage funding over six months to support their ideas before potentially scoring £10-50m to fully develop their ‘ground-breaking’ innovation. The UKRI-led scheme was launched to support local areas in building their research and innovation strengths, and to grow local expert networks.

‘With only 0.9% of the world’s population and the UK boasting 6% of global research publications, we are committed to building on our world-leading reputation,’ said Science Minister Chris Skidmore. ‘The Strength in Places Fund is part of our modern Industrial Strategy, ensuring places across the UK have the opportunity to develop their science, research and innovation capabilities and create the high-skilled jobs of the future.’

The deadline for submission is 9 October 2019 and successful applicants will be announced in Summer 2020.


Japan and the EU to strengthen research collaboration

EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas and Japan’s Science Minister Takuya Hirai have held discussions at a bilateral summit in Brussels to discuss the future of their research relationship. Japan and the EU could collaborate on large-scale exploratory ‘moonshot’ projects and the ethics of AI, and Japan – ranked third globally in innovation – could be set to join the EU’s Horizon Europe programme as an associate member. These discussions follow on from the implementation of a trade deal between the two in February of this year, which removed 97% of the customs duties on EU exports to Japan. 

Currently, Japan’s Science & Technology Agency pays its researchers to participate in small, EU-led projects, but associate membership would mean Japan would be able to participate in projects under the same preferential conditions as EU member states under European Commission plans to offer more flexible entry terms to Horizon Europe.

Speaking to Science Business, Japan’s Deputy Director General of Science, Technology & Innovation Fumikazu Sato said: ‘[Japan is] proposing a moonshot programme. The EU is proposing missions. They are both relevant for each other. We are very willing to have a European contribution [to our moonshots].’

Calls for evidence

Deadline: 31 May 2019

Deadline: 12 July 2019

  • Science & Technology Committee: Technologies for meeting Clean Growth emissions reduction targets inquiry

Deadline: Open – accepting written submissions

For Parliamentary Calls for Evidence please see the Parliament Committee page.

Funding competitions

Deadline: 29 May 2019

Up to £3m is available from the Global Challenges Research Fund for UK businesses and research organisations working on agri-tech and food chain innovations with eligible African partners.

Deadline: 5 June 2019

The UK and South Korea have announced a joint funding competition for up to £1m for R&D projects under the EUREKA programme.  

Deadline: 3 July 2019

UK-based SMEs can apply for a share of £1.5m to develop innovative medical devices, diagnostics and regulated digital technology to evaluate their product in a real-world clinical setting.

Deadline: 10 July 2019

Up to £25m of collaborative match funding is available to support late-stage R&D in advanced low carbon propulsion capability in the automotive sector.

Deadline: 15 July 2019

A £2m pool of funding is available to UK businesses developing photonic technologies in partnership with organisations from EUREKA countries.

Deadline: 24 July 2019

A share of £25m is available to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations with significant potential for impact on the UK economy.

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