31 May 2019

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

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Open access

Plan S implementation extended to 2021

cOAlition S has released updated guidance on the implementation of Plan S, which include plans to extend its deadline to 2021 to ensure that parties are all well prepared for the transition to open access. By this time ‘all scholarly publications on the results from research funded by public or private grants provided by national, regional and international research councils and funding bodies, must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo,’ says the guidance.

Marc Schiltz, President of Science Europe and co-initiator of Plan S said: ‘We are committed to implement what is one of the most significant and ambitious changes to the research system and with the final plan now in place we look forward to more funders, from across the world, supporting the transition to full and immediate Open Access by joining and aligning with cOAlition S.’


English HE system needs £1bn overhaul, says Augar review

An independent review of post-18 education has been published, recommending that the UK needs to strengthen technical education and apprenticeships, increase opportunities for all students and particularly those who are considered disadvantaged, and a change in tuition fees and repayment. The review – led by Dr Philip Augar – called for fees to be slashed from £9,250 to £7,500 and to be paid over 40 years, which is 10 years longer than the current repayment period. Losses should be offset by government grants to universities, the report suggests.

‘Post-18 education in England is a story of both care and neglect, depending on whether students are amongst the 50% of young people who participate in higher education or the rest. The panel believes that this disparity simply has to be addressed,’ Dr Augar told the Financial Times.


Government should adopt 2050 net zero target, urge 120 UK businesses

Over 120 businesses have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May to improve its climate change targets through the adoption of a net zero emissions by 2050 goal. Many high-profile companies feature in the signatories, including BT, Aviva, Iceland and Coca-Cola, which follows the publication of the Committee of Climate Change’s report, Net Zero – The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming. Currently, the UK is aiming for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050.

‘As leading businesses and investors, we are determined to support an affordable transition and drive innovation,’ the letter reads. ‘We are doing this because we see the threat that climate change poses to our businesses and to our investments, as well as the significant economic opportunities that come with being an early mover in the development of new low-carbon goods and services. But we need effective, long-term policies to support the investment and innovation required if the UK is to accelerate the necessary transition and ensure it is delivered fairly.’ 

Calls for evidence

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: 19 June 2019

The Aerospace technology Institute (ATI) Programme is a pot of £3.9m of joint industry and government investment to grow the UK competitiveness in civil aerospace.

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

Companies can apply for a share of this £240,000 Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition to develop innovative AI solutions for radiological diagnosis.

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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