On 8th November 2007 the Technology Strategy Board announced a new competition for proposals for collaborative research and development, representing a Government investment in innovation of around £100 million.
Submissions are being invited in eight technology areas, phased as follows:
- Phase 1 - Opens: 8 November 2007 and Closes:
14 February 2008
- Materials for Energy
- High Value Manufacturing
- Cell Therapy
- Phase 2 - Opens: 19 December 2007 and Closes: 27 March 2008
- Low Carbon Energy Technologies
- Advanced Lighting, Lasers and Displays
- Technologies for Health
- Phase 3 - Opens: 30 January 2008 and Closes: 8 May 2008
- Gathering Data in Complex Environments
- Creative Industries
The competition is designed to generate innovative proposals in which the business and research communities collaborate on research and technology projects to deliver successful new products and services.
Proposals with potential applications across several business sectors, which build on links between academic and business research and which involve SMEs are especially welcome. Ideally, at least one partner with defi ned end-user needs should also be included.
Materials for EnergyAs part of the drive to reduce CO2 emissions, this call focuses on the development of materials engineering solutions to improve energy generation, transmission and distribution, storage and conservation. It covers a key recommendation of the 2006 Materials Innovation and Growth Team Report. The scope addresses problems such as power and heat loss (insulation), affordability, design, inspection, monitoring and the integration of systems.
High Value ManufacturingThe gross value added (GVA) of the UK’s manufacturing sector has remained approximately static for the past 10 years. This call seeks to stimulate a GVA upturn by increasing focus on the High Value end of manufacturers’ activity: through-life and sustainability considerations, data driven performance enhancement, reducing capital requirements and addressing the impact of off-shore manufacturing. The call should benefit the following sectors: Medical Systems, Food Processing, Drinks, Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals, Construction, Metals, General Engineering, Automotive, Aerospace, Electronics, Electrical Engineering, Infrastructure & Facilities Management, Consultancies, and Service Industries.
Cell TherapyRecent advances in cell-based therapies have the potential to treat (through cell tissue or organ replacement) conditions such as chronic wounds (without scarring) and degenerative illness (spinal cord, brain, organ failure etc.) This call seeks to overcome current obstacles in the commercial exploitation of these techniques, including application methods (patches, dressings etc.), production scale-up, product shelf-life and immunocompatibility.
Low Carbon Energy TechnologiesAlso part of the carbon dioxide reduction activity, this call seeks to encourage improvements in low carbon energy technologies. It will include the development of selected renewable energy technologies, hydrogen and fuel cells, intelligent grid management and the development of carbon abatement technologies. This call has been developed to be complementary to the broader energy funding landscape, in particular that of the Energy Technology Institute (ETI).
Advanced Lighting, Lasers and DisplaysLighting accounts for some 20% of national power consumption, and it is consequently a target area for reducing CO2 emissions. The component elements of low energy consumption lighting, information display and laser devices have been developed, but work is required to allow the integration of these components to produce improved functioning systems.
Technologies for HealthThis call seeks to improve healthcare provision by bringing medical diagnosis (self- or professional), condition monitoring and care, and analytical capabilities closer to the patient community. It applies advanced hardware systems and miniaturisation technologies to develop more portable and lower-cost medical equipment, and new test methods to speed up drug development and evaluation. There are close links between topics in this area and the Assisted Living Innovation Platform launched by the Technology Strategy Board in November 2007.
Gathering Data in Complex EnvironmentsGood decision-making depends upon the ability to gather, and relay to the analysis point, pertinent data in a timely manner. For both near and far dispersed data wireless technology removes the weight associated with hard-wired gathering and relaying. Improvements in the area would allow, for example, enhanced environmental monitoring and disaster management, better traffic management nationally, lighter (and hence more energy efficient) vehicles, predictive maintenance of engineered structures and improved assisted living and health monitoring. Although most of the elements required to exploit this technology exist, they cannot currently be integrated into the robust systems needed in real-life situations - this is the theme of this call.
Creative IndustriesThe UK is recognised as a global leader across most creative industry subsectors, and with a combined GVA of 7.3%, the sector makes a valuable and growing contribution to the success of the economy. However it faces considerable challenges, not least from the rapid change to products, services and business models which technology – particularly convergence – and globalisation have brought about. This call will focus on the underlying technology challenges and opportunities which need to be addressed if the UK is to maintain and extend its role as the world’s creative hub.
Further informationTypical projects would have a two- to three-year duration and require support of around £500,000- £2 million, although no project will be rejected on the grounds of size alone. Projects will generally aim to implement significant business change in a 5-7 year time frame rather than shorter-term payback. Larger projects will be considered but the case must be exceptional. Projects can range from small, highly focused basic research aimed at establishing technical feasibility, through to applied research, and to experimental development projects. It is anticipated that most of the funding will be allocated to proposals in the categories of applied R&D (attracting 50% public funding) or experimental development (25% public funding). Projects involving industry oriented basic research (75% public funding) will also be considered but a robust case must be made to support the requested level of funding. Definitions of the above categories of research and further guidance can be found in the Guidance for Applicants - see www.technologyprogramme.org.uk.
If you have any queries about the technical scope of the competition or the application process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.