13 August 2019

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

What’s been in the news?


Commission provides funding to 20 cities to strengthen their security and innovative projects

Twenty urban projects have been put forward by cities to protect and reduce the vulnerability of public spaces. These urban projects will be financed by The European Regional Development Fund (EDFR) with a budget of 82 million euros, which will also support innovation solutions in digital transition, urban planning, and in finding solutions to fight against poverty in cities. Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, stated that ‘no one is better placed than cities themselves to design the solutions that will transform life in urban areas. This is why the Commission has been directly awarding EU funding to cities so they can test ideas that will make them great places to live in, work and innovate.’

The EU funding will ensure that security measures will be improved, helping to protect cities and local authorities whilst retaining the open character of public spaces.

The last call for proposals under the Urban Innovative Actions will be in September 2019, which will remain the last opportunity for cities to seek financing for innovative actions in an array of fields including culture, circular economy, air quality, demographic change and cultural heritage.


Cutting-edge vaccines centre at Harwell Campus

Financed by a £67 million grant from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the UK’s first Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC) will be set up and located at Harwell Campus. VMIC, founded by three academic institutions and supported from industrial companies including MSD, Johnson and Johnson, and GE Healthcare, aims to improve vaccine research in the UK. VMIC endeavours to build the early-stage clinical development whilst also being able to develop vaccine stockpiles. In case of an epidemic, emergency response, emerging infectious disease or the release of biological agents, the UK will be able to support and protect the public.

Dr Duchars, the newly appointed Chief Executive of VMIC stated that ’this is a great time to join such an exciting and prestigious venture. We are assembling a team of leading experts in vaccine science and manufacturing, as well as building a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. This will make a real difference as we fight to prevent some of the most dangerous diseases from infecting people, both at home and around the world.’

UK London 

Business Secretary holds Brexit roundtable with businesses

Meeting in Westminster on 31 July 2019, senior representatives from businesses including Tate and Lyle Sugars, JML Group, Tangle Teezer, Laing O’Rourke, Scottish Power and 50 Cycles told the Business Secretary how they were ready and determined to seize the opportunities of a post-Brexit Britain. They explained that while there were some concerns about readiness for a no-deal Brexit, none of the issues were insurmountable and that they were keen to take up the chance to trade both with EU member states, and countries outside the EU.

Meanwhile, the head of the Wellcome Trust, Lady Eliza Manningham-Buller, recently urged the Prime Minister that a no-deal Brexit 'threatens' the UK science industry. And Robert-Jan Smits, the EU’s former top R&D official, warned that there is no chance of the UK becoming an associate member of the bloc’s next R&D programme if it leaves the union without a deal.

Read the full article, here

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

  •  Commercialising quantum technology: feability and industrial research projects round 1si
  • Deadline: 30 October 2019

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

    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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