27 May 2020 | Tiffany Hionas

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

What’s been in the news?

Clean Growth Fund


The government is joint-funding a £40 million venture capital fund to supercharge the development of clean-low carbon technologies.


This fund will enable UK clean growth start-ups to scale up low-carbon solutions and drive a green economic recovery.

Potential examples of projects the fund could support include areas in power and energy, buildings, transport and waste.

Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, added; ‘The need for innovative and ambitious ideas across green industries has never been greater. I am pleased that with the help of this fund, promising clean growth start-ups will be able to step up to accelerate the UK’s recovery, while supporting our path to Net Zero by 2050.’

 Clean growth

EU plans to boost farming and biodiversity R&D


The European Commission is looking to further invest in green farming technologies and biodiversity as part of the overarching goal to put the economy on a greener and more sustainable path.


As part of the plan, the commission will make €10 billion available under Horizon Europe to fund projects on food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and the environment.


The commission is currently establishing various plans to boost farming and preservation of biodiversity, including the set-up of a ‘biodiversity partnership’ to translate scientific knowledge on ecosystems into policies.


Frans Timmermans EU’s executive vice-president for the European Green Deal said, ‘The coronavirus crisis has shown how vulnerable we all are, and how important it is to restore the balance between human activity and nature.’


‘These strategies are a crucial part of the great transition we are embarking upon.’




COVID-19 Roundup

As Covid-19 continues to spread across the globe, we round up some of the innovative steps being taken by businesses in the pharmaceutical and chemical sector to aid those on the frontline of this global crisis.

Read more here.

Covid-19 virus

Calls for evidence

 Call for Proposals needing rapid access to the Diamond synchrotron. 

Diamond is offering priority rapid access for projects directly related to SARS-CoV-2 virtual proteins. 


Deadline: Not specified 


 The science of covid-19

Investigate the scientific and technological aspects of covid-19, including the transmission and spread of the virus, the development of vaccines and treatments and the application of digital technologies for tracking and modelling.

Deadline: 30 June 2020


This inquiry looks into the technological innovations which could tackle climate change, looking into specific technology currently in use or in development. The second session of inquiry looks at hydrogen production and distribution.

Deadline: 19 June 2020

Funding competitions

Covid-19 rapid response rolling call

DHSC and UKRI have launched a rolling call for proposals for research into covid-19. Research should cover an understanding of the disease, prevention and management of the covid-19 outbreak.

Deadline: 1 April 2021 


Support for R&D intensive SMEs

 As part of the Chancellor’s £1.25Bn support package, £750m R&D funding (as grants and loans) will be available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme. First payments will be made available mid-May.

Deadline: Not released


 Repurposing of UKRI grants for covid-19 purposes

Apply to repurpose your grant to support research into covid-19.

Deadline: Not specified 


Future flight

As part of UKRI’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the second phase of the Future Flight Challenge is launched. Funding is now available for innovations to help change the way we fly.

Deadline: Not specified


 Innovate UK smart grants

Grant for innovative or disruptive ideas including those in science and technology, and can be ready for rapid commercialisation. Projects can be single (SMEs only) or collaborative. Funding limit depends on duration of project, ranging between £25K and £2m.

Deadline: 27 May 2020


 NATEP: helping SMEs innovate in aerospace, Spring 2020

UK micro enterprises and SMEs can apply for funding to develop innovative aerospace technologies. The total project grant must be less than £150,000. Projects must focus on one or more of the value streams within the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy.

Deadline: 17 June 2020

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