14 June 2019

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

What’s been in the news?

Total UK quantum technologies investment passes £1bn

Since its launch in 2014, the National Quantum Technologies Programme has reached £1bn in investment. This includes joint government and industry investment of over £350m to take projects from the research stage to product testing, and a further £153m as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), which has been matched by the private sector. It is hoped that this funding will help make commercial quantum technologies a reality.

‘This milestone shows that Quantum is no longer an experimental science for the UK,’ said Science Minister Chris Skidmore. ‘Investment by government and businesses is paying off, as we become one of the world’s leading nations for quantum science and technologies. Now industry is turning what was once a futuristic pipedream into life-changing products.’


Delivery plans for UKRI outline 2.4% GDP ambitions

UKRI and its nine councils have published Delivery Plans that detail how the UK will meet its 2.4% GDP target by 2027 and ensure that world-leading research and innovation is supported. The plans detail how UKRI will maintain the UK’s competitive innovation landscape by increasing R&D investment, fostering skills within our future workforce, improving research and innovation culture, and strengthening research in all regions of the UK.

Its councils, which include Innovate UK, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), each have their own Delivery Plan that will help deliver UKRI’s overarching aims. UKRI’s flagship innovation programme – the ISCF – has gone from strength to strength, with £1.7bn invested into programmes such as the Faraday Battery Challenge and Transforming Food Production in the first two waves of funding.

Read the full article here.


UK remains top European destination for foreign investment

Figures released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development show that the UK remains the top destination in Europe for foreign direct investment, with inward investment totalling £1.48tn by the end of 2018. The UK’s total is more than Germany (£834bn) and France (£733bn) combined. From 2014 to 2018 there were 6,714 greenfield projects in the UK, which was also the most out of all European countries.

‘The UK’s pro-business environment is what makes it one of the most prosperous countries in the world to invest in. From our booming tech industry to our world-leading financial services sector, investors from all over the world see Britain as their destination of choice for relocation,’ said International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox. ‘Despite global headwinds getting stronger, the British economy continues to demonstrate its resilience to operate in an increasingly uncertain global economic environment.’

Calls for evidence

  • BEIS Committee: Future of Steel in the UK inquiry

Deadline: 20 June 2019

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

Deadline: 4 July 2019

Deadline: 12 July 2019

Funding competitions

Deadline: 3 July 2019

A share of £1m is available for proposals that can reduce the risk of common chemicals used in household and personal care products.

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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