06 January 2020 | Tiffany Hionas

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

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Fish populations might face over-exploitation

Ministers across Europe agreed to set fishing quotas at sustainable levels in 2020, however this longstanding agreement has now been stalled. Consequently, Europe’s fish populations are at risk of being over-exploited.

Andrew Clayton of the Pew Charitable Trusts expressed his concern, stating that key species will be under unsustainable pressure, with certain fish populations having fallen to critical levels.

However, the UK's Fisheries Minister, George Eustice, pledged that the sharing quota decided by the EU will be reconsidered post Brexit. The UK will be able to set its own policies to ensure the country will fish sustainably.


UK satellites will help tackle climate change

On the 30 December, ministers announced backing for research using satellite images. A new £5 million satellite data centre will bring together the best PhD researchers to analyse the measurements from satellites on rising sea levels, greenhouse gases and shrinking glaciers. Their analysis will help to predict the risk to communities of flooding and pollution.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: ‘This new satellite data centre will give us instant images showing us the true impact of climate change and in doing so, help us to develop innovative new ways of tackling it.’

Marine fuels

0.5% sulphur cap for ships

As of January 2020, the EU has taken firm action to limit sulphur oxide emissions by launching a new cap on sulphur content in marine fuels. Sulphur oxide emissions can cause cardiovascular diseases and are harmful to the respiratory system. This new cap will ultimately reduce air pollution and ensure healthy environments.

Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: ‘Maritime transport is a global business, and reducing its emissions requires global solutions. It will contribute to further reduce emissions of harmful air pollutants, directly benefiting cities and communities around the globe, including important ones on our Southern European shores.

Calls for evidence

  • There are no bills currently accepting written evidence

Funding competitions

Deadline: 6 February 2020

This competition is aimed at UK SMEs who can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million to work on R&D projects with partners across Europe.  

Deadline: 22 January 2020

Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is offering 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:  22 April 2020

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

Deadline: 22 January 2020

Apply for a share of up to £5 million to develop new integrated precision farming technology with Chinese partners.

Deadline: 19 February 2020

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £12 million for solutions in smart and sustainable plastic packaging.  

Deadline: 26 February 2020

Apply for a share of up to £250,000 to test the solutions that can transform food production.

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