09 September 2019

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

What’s been in the news?

 Renewable homes

Scottish government’s plan to meet net zero emissions
The Scottish government has announced a commitment to ensure all new homes must use renewable or low-carbon heat.
First minister Nicola Sturgeon said, ‘Over this summer, the evidence of that has been clear – we have seen the kind of extreme weather events across Europe that will become more and more common, if we fail to rise to this global challenge. The consequences of global climate change will be severe. While in some parts of the world its effects are existential, we will also feel the impact here at home. We must act.’
‘This Programme for Government sets out some of the next steps on Scotland’s journey to net-zero emissions and raises our ambition in light of the emergency we face. We are leading the world in setting challenging targets, but we must also redouble our efforts to meet them.’
The SNP’s new manifesto calls for a change in building regulations to increase the efficiency of construction from 2021. As well as this, £30 million will be invested in renewable heat projects, so that buildings will eventually be using low-carbon sources of energy.


£10M fund for business organisations to prepare for a no-deal Brexit
The ‘Business Readiness Fund’ is made available throughout the UK to business organisations and trade associations of all sizes. It is intended to help business exploit new opportunities and adapt to changes triggered by the UK’s exit from the EU. As well as businesses, the fund is made available to trade associations, chambers of commerce, chartered institutes and other professional membership bodies.

Director of External Affairs at the Federation of Small Business, Craig Beaumont, said, ‘As an organisation representing 165,000 small firms and the self-employed in every local community across the UK, we welcome these funds that target small businesses. It is mission critical to the economy that they have the information they need, to prepare for Brexit.’
Applications for grants are open until 30 September 2019 and the link to apply for a grant is here. The funding can only be used on activities that are due to be delivered by 31 October.

Find out more here.

 Greenland ice

Greenland’s ice sheet has melted by a record amount
Scientists have revealed that Greenland has lost enough ice to raise the global sea level by a millimetre or more. The area of Greenland’s ice sheet is around seven times the area of the UK and 2-3km thick. Were it to entirely melt, the sea level would rise by up to 7m worldwide.  
If the rate of melting increases, even by a small amount, this could cause potential disruption to cities on coasts and threaten populations living in low-lying areas.
Dr Jason Box of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) feels that communities need emergency and disaster planning for preparedness and response, for coastal communities to brace themselves in the event of potential danger.   

Currently, the scientific community is engaging with a critical issue, as they endeavour to understand the mechanisms of the ice sheet, in order to deliver time predictions of the sea level increase.

Calls for evidence

  • Agriculture, achieving net-zero emissions inquiry (Parliament Committee)

Deadline: Open



Deadline: 25 September 2019



  • Electronic waste and the Circular Economy inquiry (Parliament Committee)

Deadline: Open – accepting written submissions



  • Net zero government inquiry (Parliament Committee)

Deadline: Open – accepting written submissions



Deadline: 7 October 2019



  • The new farming programme inquiry (Parliament Committee)

Deadline: Open

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

Funding competitions

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
Opportunity to apply for a share of up to £25 million to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations that can make a significant impact on the UK economy.



Deadline: 30 October 2019
UK businesses can apply for up to a share of £6 million to work on quantum technology innovation projects.


Deadline: 20 November 2019
Up to £3.5 million is available from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to enable data in accountancy, insurance and law.


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