24 February 2020 | Tiffany Hionas

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

What’s been in the news?

Investment in decarbonisation

The government has allocated £90m in funding for projects focused on decarbonisation. This money will finance two low-carbon hydrogen production plants and offshore windfarms, producing enough clean hydrogen, which will potentially generate energy to heat over 200,000 homes.

Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth Kwasi Kwarteng said that this large investment will set the UK on the right path to tackling climate change.  He states, 'This is an important part of our world-leading efforts in eliminating our contribution to climate change by 2050 while also
growing our economy, creating up to two million green-collar jobs across the country by 2030.’

 steel and skyscrapers

Investment to boost UK steel industry

Scientists at the Universities of Sheffield and Leeds have received £1.26m to develop low-carbon solutions for the steel sector.

The global steel sector is responsible for producing around 7% of emissions. To tackle this issue on a UK scale, the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS) has funded this project to support the team in developing a low-carbon steel roadmap. This roadmap will assess the policy, financial and technological changes that will need to occur to boost the sector’s transition to net zero.

Professor Gale from Leeds University’s School of Process and Chemical Engineering highlighted the need to manage this project sensitively, ‘The reality is the steel industry in the UK has to decarbonise, but this has to be done sensitively otherwise there is a risk the industry will relocate to where the rules on carbon are laxer.’

 financial investment

Macron argues that EU member states are not investing fast enough

French President, Emmanuel Macron, has urged EU nations to invest more in key technologies of the future. He has called for EU countries to boost research in artificial intelligence, 5G wireless, cloud computing and invest more funding to tackle climate change.

Some of the EU’s main budget contributors including Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden are less willing to invest more money, whilst the member states who are benefitting the most from the Brussels budget argue the EU should spend more on agriculture and prioritise regional disparities in economic development.

Calls for evidence

Deadline: 24 April 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.

Deadline: 01 April 2020

Apply for a share of up to £1 million for early stage projects in smart and sustainable plastic packaging.

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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