03 February 2020 | Tiffany Hionas

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

What’s been in the news?


Fast-track visa scheme for top scientists

On 20 February, a new fast track visa scheme will be open to the world’s top scientists and researchers.

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said: ‘To keep the UK at the forefront of innovation, we are taking decisive action to maximise the number of individuals using the Global Talent route including world-class scientists and top researchers who can benefit from fast-tracked entry into the UK.’

The Global Talent route which commences 20th February 2020, will promote collaboration and investment to fund research and will ensure the UK thrives in developing the best real-world technologies, including safer air travel, smarter phone technology, the use of AI and greener energy systems.

Coastal flood

Coastal flooding will cause major economic losses

A team at IIASA has evaluated the economy-wide effects of sea level rise in G20 countries whilst considering the different climate mitigation and adaptation assumptions. They compared two different climate policy scenarios; meeting the aims of the 2015 Paris Agreement (keeping warming below 2 °C); and overshooting this target. In the overshooting case, two adaptation scenarios were assessed ‑ no adaptation and full adaptation to sea level rise.

The results show that if adaptation measures are put into place, the residual economy-wide effects could drop below 1% of GDP for individual G20 countries. This would also reduce impacts on coastal countries and communities vulnerable to tropical storms. With stronger mitigation measures, the model results reveal that GDP loss could even be reduced to 0.5%, despite adaptation costs. Read more here.

Half EU and half UK flag

Preparing for the future

A costly post-Brexit UK chemicals registration system could lead to many chemicals disappearing from the supply chain. This was one of the concerns raised by chemical producers at a conference days before UK’s EU exit.

Attempting to calm the troubled waters Dave Bench, Director, EU Exit - Chemicals, Health & Safety Executive, told delegates that negotiations on a UK chemicals framework were set to start during the second quarter of 2020 and that they would be done in a ‘rapid way.’ ‘By the middle of [2020] we expect to have more clarity about the UK’s position regarding a chemical’s framework,’ Bench said. ‘The UK’s exit from the EU will provide challenges but also opportunities where the regulatory landscape is concerned,’ Bench added. Read more here.

Calls for evidence

Deadline: 24 April 2020

Deadline: 28 February 2020

Deadline: 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: 01 July 2020

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

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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