27 January 2020 | Tiffany Hionas

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

What’s been in the news?

The UK and Canada will work together to improve farm productivity

With a growing global population, agriculture is facing its biggest hurdle to feed an estimated 9 billion people by 2050.

Food producers are under pressure to grow more food, whilst also ensuring it is grown in a more sustainable and efficient way.

UK businesses are encouraged to work with partners in Canada on new projects to develop technologies that could transform food production. These projects will combine big data and engineering solutions to drive productivity and reduce pollution.


Decarbonise Britain’s industrial sector

Professor Maroto-Valer, current director of the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS) at Heriot-Watt University, has been appointed to oversee the development of a new Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC).

The future £20m research and innovation centre forms part of the Government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge that commits £170m towards technologies. These technologies, including carbon capture and hydrogen networks, will help decarbonise industrial clusters in Grangemouth, Merseyside, Teesside, Humberside, South Wales and Southampton.

Maroto-Valer said ‘My role is to place the UK at the forefront of the global shift to clean growth. I firmly believe we will be able to safeguard existing jobs and local economies whilst creating new opportunities for prosperity.’

UK Science Minister, Chris Skidmore MP, said: ‘The new centre delivers on our ambitions by bringing together leading experts to generate new ideas to accelerate the reduction of emissions across industrial sectors like manufacturing and automotive.’


AstraZeneca pledges to become carbon-negative by 2030

AstraZeneca announced their plan to become carbon-negative, pledging to switch to 100% renewable electricity and heat across the next five years.

To meet their 2030 target, they will be investing in carbon reduction and carbon capture projects across its supply chain. They will be collaborating with government and NGOs to plant 50 million trees in order for the plants to sequester more carbon annually than the residual operational emissions emitted.

Calls for evidence

Deadline: 24 April 2020

Deadline: 28 February 2020

Deadline: 24 January 2020

14 February 2020

Funding competitions

Deadline: 04 March 2020

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £30 million to develop low carbon propulsion capability in the automotive sector

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: 20 May 2020

Apply for a share of up to £2 million to take part in innovative projects that enhance that enhance agricultural productivity and sustainability.

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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