05 August 2019

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

What’s been in the news?


New manifesto to new Prime Minister addresses the UK climate plan

Members of the Aldersgate Group have recently sent a green policy manifesto to new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, entitled ‘building a competitive, net-zero emissions and climate-ready economy.’ The manifesto addresses the next measures to be taken in progressing the UK’s goal to successfully decarbonise and reach net-zero emissions by 2050, whilst growing the UK economy.  

The manifesto includes policies such as a ‘Clean Growth Strategy Plus’ which requests that policies fall in line with the government’s framework, meeting the energy efficiency and emissions targets. The second manifesto urges ministers to finalise an Environmental Bill which will stop the UK from slipping below the policy frameworks of the EU. The third manifesto includes measures to ensure that Government’s published Green Finance Strategy will lead to tangible financial impact.

 ‘If the UK is to attract the large volume of affordable private sector investment required to deliver its environmental and climate ambitions and strengthen its competitive advantage in these fast-growing areas of the global economy, Johnson’s government needs to rapidly flesh out a plan of action for the decade ahead,’ stated the Aldersgate Group’s Executive Director, Nick Molho.  


Expansion of Growth Deals

On 29 July the new Prime Minister visited Scotland where he announced the expansion of Growth Deals across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, outlining how £300 million of funding will help communities within these areas to thrive.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson champions the prosperous future a strong union can bring, stating ‘our Union is the most successful political and economic union in history. We are a global brand and together we are safer, stronger and more prosperous. So, as we prepare for our bright future after Brexit, it’s vital we renew the ties that bind our United Kingdom.’

The Prime Minister is committed to ensuring that benefits from UK Government Growth Deals will also be benefiting Scotland, creating more jobs and boosting local economies.

Welsh Secretary Alum Cairns praises the Growth Deals and the possibilities it may bring to driving forward the development of projects and delivering benefits to companies and people across the region. 

Genome editing  

EU’s stance on genome editing of crop plants

The European Parliament and the European Commission are called upon to rethink the EU’s stance on genome editing of crop plants. They urge this revaluation in order to enable Europe to advance their innovations in agriculture. In 2001, the European Court of Justice tightened regulations and laws around modern precision genome editing, but researchers around Europe challenged this ruling last week, stating that the EU’s ban ‘no longer correctly reflects the current state of scientific knowledge.’

Leading scientists around Europe are backing the campaign for new legislation. Researchers at 120 institutions in Europe agree that new EU legislation is required to enable farmers to use precision genome editing, such as CRISPR/Cas to produce higher yields.

Dirk Inzé, Science Director of the Centre for Plant Systems Biology at the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology in Gent states that ’this is one of the rare examples in which the scientific community across the entire EU has united and unanimously calls for a revision of the European legislation affecting genome editing.' 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson politically backs this campaign, promising to remove the ban on genetically modified crops in the UK, once Brexit has officially taken place. 

Calls for evidence

  • Future of Steel in the UK inquiry

Deadline: 2 September 2019

  • Electronic waste and the Circular Economy inquiry

Deadline: Open – accepting written submissions

  • Net zero government inquiry

Deadline: Open – accepting written submissions

  • The new farming programme inquiry

Deadline: Open

For Parliamentary Calls for Evidence please see the Parliament Committee page.

Deadline: 7 October 2019

Deadline: 16 September 2019

Funding competitions

Deadline: 28 August

Up to £30m of funding is available for projects to deliver ambitious changes in UK manufacturing industry.

Deadline: 18 September 2019

Organisations can apply for a share of £22m across three strands for early stage projects to help provide clean, affordable and secure energy in sub-Saharan Africa and/or South Asia.

Deadline: 25 September 2019

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £19 million for a chance to work on projects involved in developing supply chains for power electronics, machines and drives in the UK.

Deadline:  09 October 2019

Up to £3 million is available for organisations to apply for in order to help with developing technology to deliver improvements in the efficiency of local energy systems

Deadline: 9 October 2019

‘Seed corn’ funding of up to £50,000 is available to consortia of UK businesses and research          organisations for wave 2 of the UKRI Strength in Places Fund.

Deadline: 9 October 2019

‘Seed corn’ funding of up to £50,000 is available to consortia of UK businesses and research organisations for wave 2 of the UKRI Strength in Places Fund.

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