05 July 2019

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

What’s been in the news?


Opportunity to boost economy by creating UK automotive battery supply chain

A significant opportunity to boost the economy and extend the automotive battery supply chain is being presented to the UK with the arrival of new advanced technology. As Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) announced today that it plans to invest close to £1bn to build electric cars in the UK, the JLR CEO, Professor Dr Ralf Speth, highlights the importance of building a local competitive supply chain.

SCI supports the call by JLR for a giga-scale battery production plant in the UK to put the country at the leading edge of electric mobility. As transport shifts towards electrification, UK giga-scale battery production is essential for the next generation of battery technology in order to create smaller, denser, cheaper batteries, and currently the UK is missing out as other countries are investing in developing local supply chains.

Read the full article, here.


University research to receive £91m funding boost

Universities and Science Minister Chris Skidmore has announced an extra £91m for university-led research, meaning English universities will receive £2.2bn in the 2019/20 academic year to support research. This additional funding will amount to a 2.3% real-term uplift for quality-related (QR) funding. Projects benefiting from this investment include research into clinical care and treatment for cancer patients at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre and innovation in cyber security at Royal Holloway, University of London.

‘I am delighted that for the first time since 2010, we have a significant uplift in QR funding for universities. One of my personal priorities has been to place universities at the heart of innovation for the future and I’m pleased to have worked to deliver on this,’ said Skidmore. ‘This announcement today marks an important recognition of university research and the need to invest more in flexible, curiosity-driven research that has tremendous benefits to developing our international standing as a research powerhouse.’

Green Finance

Government launch Green Finance Strategy

The UK has announced its ‘landmark’ Green Finance Strategy, which plans to increase investment into sustainable projects and infrastructure, alongside a new Green Finance Institute that will be co-funded by the government and the City of London Corporation. The Strategy aims to build the financial risks and opportunities associated with climate change into financial decision making and capitalise on the economic opportunity of the UK’s commitment to net zero by 2050.

‘The UK has a long history of leading the way in tackling climate change, but we need to do more to protect our planet for future generations,’ said Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister, John Glen. ‘The City [of London] has a vital role to play in securing a greener future for us all. By investing more in sustainable projects it can not only protect our environment, but also help establish London as the preeminent international centre for green finance.’

Calls for evidence

Deadline: 12 July 2019

Deadline: 6 August 2019

  • Future of Steel in the UK inquiry

Deadline: 2 September 2019

  • Electronic waste and the Circular Economy inquiry

Deadline: Open – accepting written submissions

  • Net zero government inquiry

Deadline: Open – accepting written submissions

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

Funding competitions

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.

Deadline: 7 August 2019

UK organisations can apply for a share of £30m to develop clean, cheap local energy systems for communities across the country.

Deadline: 21 August 2019

Up to £1.7m is available for UK businesses who partner with US organisations to develop innovative technologies for global composites.

Deadline: 9 October 2019

‘Seed corn’ funding of up to £50,000 is available to consortia of UK businesses and research organisations for wave 2 of the UKRI Strength in Places Fund.

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