MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Metropolitan University

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Horizon 2020 – Inside ICT 2013

ICT2013The Blog was lucky enough to catch up with a couple of attendees at the recent ICT InfoDay ‘ICT 2013’: Dr Bamidele Adebisi from the School of Engineering and Daphne Lai, project manager of the TRUCE* project (led by Prof. Martyn Amos). Both were happy to share a few observations:

There is a big focus on ‘disruptive’ technologies and the Commission are encouraging those involved in ICT related research to ‘go on challenging’.

There’s a strong push towards de-siloing (Ed – no, we’re not sure if it’s a word or not, but it’s being used!), which is reflected in the way in which ICT is spread throughout Horizon 2020 and the way in which the Commission are trying to use ICT to solve challenges in other areas (e.g. priorities around Smart Cities).

ICT features in most areas of Horizon 2020. It has a key role to play in enabling new advances in a range of areas including rethinking energy (e.g. storage, renewables and advanced exploration), machines working for us (e.g. robotics, autonomous vehicles and 3D printing) and game changing technologies (e.g. new generations of genomics and advanced material).

The Commission are thinking of ICT across four clusters: Mobile Internet; Cloud Technology; Internet of things and Automation of Knowledge/Work.

Impact will be important, and the ICT community is being encouraged to ‘get into the world and tell people what’s going on’. There is much more emphasis on people and society and the new focus on the ‘Human-Centric Digital Age’ reflects this.

It’s no longer about innovation push, it’s all about innovation pull.

As opportunities for ICT are spread across Horizon 2020, the Commission have published a ‘Guide to the presence of ICT in Horizon 2020’, which will help you to navigate the opportunities more easily.

You can also catch up on the presentations from ICT2013 at the conference website.


*The TRUCE project is a Framework 7 Project that is bringing together research in the field of Unconventional Computation (UCOMP). The project is running a number of activities and events over its lifetime and is currently inviting submissions to participate its Speculative Fiction Collection, which will bring together short story writers and scientists to provide their thoughts on UCOMP in 2070.

For more information about TRUCE take a look at the project website (pictures from ICT2013 are available from the TRUCE Gallery!)


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Sustainable prosperity: the social science and economy of the nexus – Expressions of Interest: scoping workshop

ESRC   British Academy 

Location: British Academy, London SW1Y 5AH
Date: 20 February 2014

The ESRC and the British Academy are co-hosting a unique scoping workshop designed to explore issues around sustainable prosperity. This interactive event aims to bring a diverse range of people and perspectives together to discuss novel ideas and fresh approaches to the issue of building an economy that fosters sustainable prosperity.

This call is for Expressions of Interest (EoI) to attend the scoping workshop which will be held on 20 February 2014 at the British Academy.

The ESRC and BA are keen to encourage expressions of interest from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives, expertise and backgrounds and welcome applicants who are excited about contributing to a step change in thinking in this area.

The closing date for expressions of interest to attend is 12.00 on 7 January 2014.


For the ESRC, this event on sustainable prosperity is a key part of a suite of research initiatives around the social science challenges of the energy, environment and food nexus which ESRC is taking forward, working with a range of partners. For the British Academy the event forms part of a series of work being undertaken by the Academy over the next few years to reconsider fundamental questions around society’s wellbeing and new democratic settings.

The objectives of this event are as follows:

  • To foster a debate around sustainable prosperity, informed by a diverse set of perspectives and disciplines, including a broad range of interested stakeholders from academia, policy circles, business and the third sector
  • To explore new potential framings of established economic, social and governance models in the context of the issues raised by sustainable prosperity
  • To identify new conceptual and practical tools that might support sustainable prosperity
  • To gauge the state of current knowledge and capacity, and to identify new forms of research, and learning that is needed to transform understanding of this space
  • To inform policy and practice about the challenges and opportunities of sustainable prosperity.

For further details, see the Background document below.

Applying to attend and selection procedure

Those wishing to attend this workshop should complete the online Expression of Interest form by 12.00 on 7 January 2014. We are unable to accept applications after this deadline.

The selection panel will take place in January and applicants will be notified of the decision by 13 January 2014.

Further information

If you have any further queries, please email

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Understanding the Challenges of the Food System – new funding call

fsa bbsrc-global-food-security ESRC

Understanding the Challenges of the Food System

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have come together under the auspices of the Global Food Security programme, to jointly fund four to six research grants relating to understanding the challenges of the food system. Joint funding of up to £1.87 million at 100 per cent full economic costing (fEC) is available for this call.

The UK food system is embedded in a wider system that is increasingly globalised and seemingly prone to periodic scares and crises. The FSA and ESRC have identified an area of mutual interest around the challenges that this presents to the UK agri-food system, food safety, food fraud/crime and consumer trust. The funders are keen to support research around the safety and confidence effects of different approaches to food provision, supply chain management and organisation, and how any findings might lead to policy interventions and influence consumer, regulator and industry behaviours.

The closing date for proposals will be 16.00, 30 January 2014. Proposals should be submitted electronically using the Research Council’s Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) form.


  • Call opens – 27 November 2013
  • Call closes – 16.00, 30 January 2014
  • Panel decision meeting – w/c 28 April 2014
  • Decisions – May 2014

All the detailed Call information can be found here:

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CARPE – stimulating discussion and interesting connections

CARPE LOGOAs described in Man Met Life, the CARPE conference held earlier this month provided a productive forum for partners to connect and exchange ideas. 

For those of you who aren’t aware, CARPE is a network involving MMU and four like-minded institutions in Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. As a group our institutions are forming collaborations around a number of common areas of interests to share best practice and pursue joint projects.

Speaking to the Blog, conference organiser Prof Chris Fox, shared his thoughts on what the event had achieved, what value the network has in underpinning our European research activities and how colleagues can get more involved with CARPE.

Chris, from the feedback on the CARPE twitter feed, the conference was obviously well received. In your opinion, what did the event achieve?

The conference represented a valuable opportunity for staff from the different CARPE universities to come together and share knowledge and expertise about research and teaching. Perhaps even more importantly it was a chance for all of us to get to know our CARPE partners better, to renew links we have already made and form new working relationships with like-minded staff in other CARPE institutions.

As we look towards European opportunities in research, knowledge exchange and teaching and learning, what role do you think CARPE can play?

One of the keys to effective work in Europe whether it is research, knowledge exchange or teaching and learning is having strong pan-European networks and partnerships in place. I know from my own experience of bidding for large European research projects that a strong consortium with good European coverage is a pre-requisite for a successful bid. CARPE provides staff at MMU with the potential to develop such links and partnerships relatively quickly and with institutional backing.

CARPE however, is more than an asset to help develop effective European partnerships. Its emphasis on applied research and professional education, combined with the strong regional emphasis provides the basis for developing novel and innovative solutions to some of Europe’s more intractable problems whether those take the form of innovative, mixed method research projects or original, multi-disciplinary approaches to teaching and learning.

If colleagues are interested in getting more involved in CARPE, what steps can they take?

There is information about the network and its priorities on both the CARPE website and the CARPE pages on our website, so I would suggest colleagues take a look to see what areas they might be interested in. (Ed – colleagues might find the summary of Conference Papers a useful starting point). Obviously, I’m very happy to discuss ways of getting involved with CARPE, so colleagues should feel free to contact me directly (

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Countdown to Horizon 2020 – two weeks to go!

CountdownAs we get closer to lift-off on 11 December 2013, the launch events for various areas of Horizon 2020 are coming thick and fast. For those of you who haven’t been able to attend, you might be interested in catching up on proceedings for your area – warning the Blog takes no responsibility for the user-friendliness of external sites!

Watch out for more updates from forthcoming events on Energy and Transport, which should be available in December.

And for those of you who like an equation …

… a handy tip from the Health InfoDay (via video link) on calculating the number of projects likely to be funded in your topic:

(Budget for topic) / (Suggested project value for topic) = Likely number of  funded projects

Rocket science it ain’t, but it does give you an idea of the likely level of competition. In case you want to try this at home, you can find the numbers in the draft work programme for your area. ‘Suggested project value’ appears in the ‘Scope’ section of the description of your topic and the ‘Budget for topic’ in the ‘Conditions for this Call’ section which follows each group of topics.

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Call for research projects issued by the Graphene Flagship – deadline 5 February 2014

GrapheneFlagshipAs anticipated in our earlier posting, the Graphene Flagship (funded through the European Union’s FP7 Programme) has now announced a competitive call for proposals with a deadline of 5th February 2014. The scheme is open to single organisations or consortia and unlike many other schemes, there is no need for your consortium to be transnational. Participants can’t already be in receipt of funding from the Flagship and successful applicants will become members of the Graphene Flagship.  

Research Topics

There are 13 topics (12 research (GF01-GF12) and one support (GF13)) associated with the call:

GF01    Standardisation

GF02   Chemical sensor, bio-sensors and bio-interfaces

GF03   Membrane technologies: from nanofluidics to nanoresonators

GF04   Catalysts for energy applications

GF05   Functionalized materials for composites and energy applications

GF06   Functional coatings and interfaces in high-performance, low-weight technological applications

GF07   Integration of graphene and related materials (GRMs) with semiconductor devices: a scalable back-end approach

GF08   New layered materials and heterostructures

GF09   Passive components for RF-applications

GF10   Integration with Si photonics

GF11   Prototypes based on graphene, related two-dimensional crystals, hybrid systems

GF12   Open topic

GF13   Updating the Science and technology roadmap for graphene, related two-dimensional crystals and hybrid systems 

Detailed information about the topics is available here.

If you are interested in applying please let us know ( and importantly, please do make sure you consult the Guide for Applicants!

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Interactive Academic Engagement with Policy Stakeholders: Knowledge Exchange Trials

uom-logo  ESRC 2  The University of Manchester’s Institute for Social Change are running a series of “interactive knowledge exchange workshops to bring together academics, policy and program stakeholders to facilitate the exchange of ideas, expertise and research” supported by the ESRC.

Four events will take place in London and Manchester during December, themed around labour markets, localism rights, cities and climate change, and integrated healthcare.

These events offer academic researchers a rare and valuable opportunity to engage with senior public policy officials and academics highly experienced in working in policymaking. Places are limited and demand is expected to be high.

The workshops are intended for academics at all stages in their careers, administrative, managerial and knowledge exchange staff from higher education and research organisations, and policy managers from the public or voluntary sectors.

Further details of the four workshops are provided below:

For further queries, please email with the workshop title and date in the subject field.