22 January 2020 | Tiffany Hionas

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

What’s been in the news?

System control room

Science to play vital role in government

A new review from the Government Office for Science highlights the benefits science and engineering can bring to government policy. The report evaluates the government’s current capabilities and suggests ways to further the role science plays in policy-making.

Sir Patrick Vallance, government Chief Scientific Adviser said:
‘There is an opportunity to recharge and redefine science capability in government to improve the evidence base for decisions and create opportunities for innovation and growth.’

‘We need to drive the changes that are required for us to realise our ambitions as a government by creating an expert, efficient and leading S&T system.’

Heat pump

Government investment in heat pumps

The Ground Source Heat Pump Association urges the government to invest in ground source heat pump infrastructure to support low-carbon heating.

The existing framework, the Renewable Heat Incentive, runs out next year and might be replaced with a new target of 1 million heat pump installations a year by 2035.

Bean Beanland, president of the recently rebranded Ground Source Heat Pump Association said ‘It is critical that installers start to invest the time to repurpose and retrain from fossil fuel technologies to heat pumps.’

Subsea system

Subsea autonomous systems

Partners across industry and governments are developing projects to support the next generation autonomous subsea systems. These underwater systems will improve sensor and planning capabilities which will support mission duration, sensing and communications.

These systems ensure safe and efficient operations which can run over long periods of time without human intervention. In line with this strategy, this project will be encouraging collaboration among the civil and military sectors to improve the standard of operations in offshore energy, aquafarming, deep-sea mineral exploration and maritime defensive security operations.

Calls for evidence

Deadline: 24 April 2020

Deadline: 28 February 2020

Deadline: 24 January 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: 12 February 2020

Apply to take part in a 5-day collaborative workshop to develop proposals for autonomous subsea systems.

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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