04 November 2019

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

What’s been in the news?


The government looks for most effective ways to reduce emissions

The government is looking to help businesses save up to £1 billion a year on energy bills by 2030. As businesses account for a quarter of UK greenhouse gas emissions, improving the energy efficiency of commercial buildings will reduce industrial emissions by approximately two million tonnes between 2028 and 2032.

In June the UK government became the first major economy to announce they will be cutting emissions from industry to nearly zero to tackle climate change. Eight industrial sectors (cement, ceramics, chemicals, food and drink, glass, iron and steel, oil refining, and pulp and paper) currently emit around two thirds of carbon emissions.

Business, Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said, ‘we’re bolstering our investment in clean growth’

‘Ensuring energy intensive businesses are equipped with the latest low-emission technologies will not only helps our transition to net-zero, but will also ensure these companies are more agile and competitive going forward -- creating new skilled, well-paid jobs.’

Energy grid


New energy projects

The European Commission has announced new Projects of Common Interest (PCI) for a connected European energy grid. The Energy Union is a major driver for delivering clean, affordable and sustainable energy in Europe. Through the Projects of Common Interest, their goal is to build well-connected networks across Europe to enhance security of supply.

Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: ‘Europe's energy transition is well underway, with record levels of clean and renewable energy and rapidly falling costs. But Europe's energy infrastructure must advance in the same direction and with the same speed to fully support this transition. That is why we are focusing the new list of projects on key electricity interconnections and smart grids.’

Satellite Technology


Space Data Challenge supports the clean-up of UK nuclear sites

The Nuclear Decommissioning Space Data Challenge encourages smaller businesses and research institutions to develop satellite-enabled technologies to support the UK’s goal to clean up nuclear sites.

The Space Data Challenge, which aims to use space technologies to improve efficiency in the public sector, is searching for new ideas to support:

  • Rooftop inspections
  • Building site plan updates
  • Bulk container identification
  • On-site traffic management

Emily Gravestock, Head of Applications Strategy at the UK Space Agency said:

‘The Space for Smarter Government Programme is a fantastic opportunity for public sector organisations to access satellite imagery to explore the art of the possible with their colleagues.’

‘This partnership with the NDA (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) is a great example of how this data can be used in a novel way, with the potential to support one of the most important environmental restoration projects in the world.’

Calls for evidence

  • Plastic food and drink packaging inquiry

Deadline: Open

  • Commercial genomics inquiry

Deadline: Open

  • Electronic waste and the Circular Economy inquiry

Deadline: Open – accepting written submissions

  • Net zero government inquiry

Deadline: Open – accepting written submissions

  • Financing energy infrastructure inquiry

Deadline: Open - accepting written submissions

  • The new farming programme inquiry

Deadline: Open

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


Funding competitions

Deadline: 27 November 2019

Up to £30 million is available to build regional centres which will be used by industry and researchers to drive the development of power electronics, machines and drives technologies.

Deadline: : 4 December 2019

Apply for a share of up to £2.5 million to develop innovative aerospace technologies.

Deadline: 11 December 2019

UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £2 million for 5G collaborative R&D projects.

Deadline: 22 January 2020

Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is funding an opportunity to apply for a share of up to £5.4 million. This involves taking part in the application of whole genome sequencing to analyse cancers.

Deadline: 8 January 2020

Apply for a share of up to £25 million to deliver commercially viable innovative ideas that will have a large economic impact.

Deadline: 20 November 2019

Up to £3.5 million is available from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to enable data in accountancy, insurance and law.

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