23 March 2020 | Tiffany Hionas

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

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Carbon offsetting rules will be tightened for the aviation sector

The UNs International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will enforce stricter rules on carbon offsetting for airlines in the next year in an effort to help the environment.  

This decision will mean that airlines and businesses will need to purchase carbon credits through a verified scheme to help minimise gaps within the carbon offsetting space. Due to the negative impact aviation has on biodiversity, firms in the aviation sector will be obliged to comply with the new rules in order to reduce climate pressure and meet the net-zero emissions target.    

President Salvatore Sciacchitano of Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), said, ’This decisionrepresents an important environmental milestone. 


Upcoming inquiry into UK readiness for disease outbreaks 

 The capability and readiness to deal with disease outbreaks will be examined by the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee on 25 March.

The committee announced plans to analyse evidence from researchers and individual experts involved with the response to COVID-19. The aim of this examination is to review the UKability to deal with global outbreaks. 

Areas for analysis include; contribution of R&D in understanding ability and capability of institutions and researchers to respond, capacity to make and distribute treatments and drugs, capturing of data to inform the scientific community and the overall country's readiness for future outbreaks.

The committee added that by capturing evidence during the course of the pandemic, they will be able to assess the place of UK research, science and technology in dealing with such outbreaks, as well as how the government and research responses can be improved.  



Coronavirus strategies shifted following epidemiologistss report.   

 Researchers from Imperial College London, UK, have recently analysed the impact of different public health measures on reducing the spread of the virus using a simulation model.   

The research showed that policy strategies which aim to suppress the rate of transmission might reduce death and peak healthcare demand by two-thirds, but to suppress transmission to low levels, stronger mitigation interventions will be necessary.

 Read more here



Calls for evidence

Deadline: 24 April 2020

Deadline: 28 February 2020

Deadline: 01 May 2020

Funding competitions

Apply to investigate new methods for preventing and controlling COVID-19, particularly in low-and middle-income countries.

Apply for a share of £20 million which has been made available for novel coronavirus research  

Deadline: 22 April 2020

Apply for a share of up to £25 million to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations.

Deadline: 01 July 2020

Applicants are invited to spend up to 36 months (full or part time) on secondment in the biomedical sciences sector.

Deadline: 13 May 2020

Apply for funding in innovation projects across 3 streams. 

Deadline: 15 April 2020

Apply for a share of up to £4 million for collaborative R&D projects addressing major cyber security challenges.

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