MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Data Challenge on Intelligent Mobility

Explore Intelligent Mobility at the Imagine Festival organised by Transport Systems Catapult

Visit our ‘Imovation Centre’, take part in a live Battle of Ideas, contribute to one of our innovation workshops or find out more in a tech talk. One event that maybe of particularly interest is:

Workshop: The Data Challenge
Thursday 19th June 2014
10.00am – 5.00pm
Transport Systems Catapult, Milton Keynes

From making data more accessible to integrating and standardising existing data sets, this one day workshop is aimed at researchers and is designed to explore open data for Intelligent Mobility and what the UK needs to do to enable this.

This workshop is the second in a series of academic engagement events organised by the Transport Systems Catapult. At the first event, ‘Data’ was identified as a key area for innovation and technology development in Intelligent Mobility. In particular, how to engage with data owners in order to access, capture, standardize, manage, integrate, model, validate and audit data.

We aim to attract a broad range of academic disciplines to this workshop – from physical engineering and computer sciences to information theory, design and art. From philosophy (ethics) and sociology to transport planning and engineering….and everything in between!

At this event we will work towards shaping the next steps to address this challenge. We will also introduce you to the facilities at our new ‘Imovation Centre’ and how these can be used.

The day will close at 5pm and be followed by pizza!


Should you have any questions relating to this event, please contact
Denise Byrne:


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Department for Business, Innovation & Skills will shortly launch calls for international Newton Fund



*** The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will shortly be inviting applications for its Newton fund grants. Closing date and bidding information have not yet been released by the funder. ***

The Newton Fund is part of the UK’s official development assistance. Its aim is to develop science and innovation partnerships that promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries.The fund will cover three broad categories of activities:

•  people: improving science and innovation expertise, student and researcher fellowships, mobility schemes and joint centres;

•  programmes: research collaborations on development topics;

•  translation: innovation partnerships and challenge funds to develop innovative solutions on development topics.

BIS will work with the following partner countries for this call: Brazil; Chile; China, via the Newton UK-China research and innovation partnership; Colombia, via the Newton-Caldas fund; Egypt; India, via the Newton-Bhabha fund; Indonesia; Kazakhstan, via the Newton-Al Farabi partnership programme; Malaysia; Mexico; Philippines; South Africa and wider Africa; Thailand; Turkey; Vietnam.

The fund will grant £75 million each year for five years.


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Useful article on Research Professional: “Sustainable prosperity— the ESRC’s next big thing”

ESRC   Research Professional have published a useful interview with  Tom Roberts, a research portfolio manager at the ESRC. He’s talking about their current Large Grants and Centres Call which has ‘Sustainable Prosperity‘ as a steer (and which it is too late to go for with a deadline of 5th June)  but in the course of the article he also gives some indication of ESRC’s long-term thinking in this area and hints at future calls to look out for next year.

“It’s our aspiration to have something on resilience and planning [which should begin in spring 2015], sustainable consumption and behaviour [planning for this will begin in autumn 2014] and to look at governance arrangements [planning for this will begin in autumn 2015]. We’ve also got underway with the scoping stages of an energy-environment-food policy evaluation, which is a complicated one”. 

See the full article here:–Sustainable-prosperity–the-ESRC-s-next-big-thing-.html

You might also take a look at the report “Sustainable Prosperity: New Directions for Social Science Research” published following a scoping workshop held by ESRC in conjunction with the British Academy.

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TSB Funding: Digital health in a connected hospital


The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £6m in collaborative R&D projects that stimulate innovation in the UK digital health sector.

The aim of this competition is to support projects with novel ideas for health informatics – specifically, using data to address healthcare needs within a hospital setting.

The TSB welcome collaborations that focus on one or more of the following areas – accident and emergency (A&E), planned specialist care, health analytics and connected care.

They are seeking proposals that will make secondary care more efficient and empower care providers, patients and their families.

They should also explore how health informatics can revolutionise existing therapies and services and also be an enabler for those that would not exist without digital technology.

Proposals must be collaborative and business-led although project partners can include research and non-profit organisations as well as other businesses. We expect to fund mainly industrial research projects in which a business partner will generally attract up to 50% public funding for their project costs (60% for SMEs).

We expect projects to range in size from £600k to £1m, although we may consider larger projects. Projects should last between 12 and 36 months.

This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 19 May 2014. The deadline for expressions of interest is at noon on 2 July 2014.

A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 28 May 2014. You can register for this event and other regional events by visiting –

Further details for this call can be found on the TSB webiste

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Science and Engineering – Public Lecture series

JD50Science and Engineering are hosting a series of 6 public lectures given by their Professors and Readers throughout 2014 as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the John Dalton Building. These lectures are designed to be of interest to a general audience, so please feel free to bring family, friends and students, and to circulate the information more widely.

The first of the lectures will be given by Professor Martyn Amos, from the School of Computing, Maths and Digital Technology. Martyn’s research and public engagement activities cross many disciplines, and provide exciting new ways of looking at life.

The title of his presentation is:
‘Nature’s Architects: How living systems can help us plan, build and play’

In the talk, he will describe several case studies, taken from his own research at MMU at the intersection of computer science and biology. These include the application of evolution-based algorithms to the solution of a puzzle game, the use of artificial insect swarms to design structures (including communication satellites), and the development of next generation 3D printed materials using models of tissue development. All work presented resulted from collaborations with either undergraduate or Ph.D. students.

The lecture will take place on 28th May, G33 in the Business School, starting at 5.30 and followed by a drinks reception.

Please book via Eventbrite here.

For up and coming events and further information please see the website

For further details about these events please email Alex Cummins

The Professorial Lectures will continue into 2015 and beyond. If you are a Professor, Reader or PL/SLTF and would like to give one of these lectures, please contact

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Science Europe: Horizon 2020 comes up short on SSH opportunities


Science Europe, whose members include the UK Research Councils, have issued an open letter to Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. In the letter they call for better integration of Socio-economic Sciences and the Humanities (SSH) into Horizon 2020, specifically targeting the development of work programmes for 2016/17 as an opportunity to achieve this. 

The letter also suggests that the level of opportunity and scope for embedding SSH into the programme have fallen short of what has been expected and that changes need to be ‘more than cosmetic rephrasings’.

A deeper analysis is promised in a forthcoming publication – ‘The Human Factor in the Societal Challenges’ – and  Science Europe point to a recent analysis by Net4Society which suggests that less than 25% of the content of Horizon 2020’s Societal Challenges are truly open to SSH.

Here at the Blog we wait with interest to see how the debate unfolds, and importantly, what new opportunities might emerge for SSH as Horizon 2020 continues to develop … 

The full text of the open letter can be read here.

Science Europe was founded in 2011, and is an association of European Research Funding Organisations.

Net4Society is the international network of National Contact Points for both Societal Challenge 6 (‘Europe in a changing world: inclusive, innovative and reflective societies’) and SSH in Horizon 2020. The UK’s NCP is the Economic and Social Research Council.

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Energy Catalyst Awards: TSB, EPSRC and DECC



The Energy Catalyst has been established by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to accelerate innovation in the energy sector from concept to pre-commercial readiness by providing investment and support at the time, in the way and at the scale innovators need it. Funding of up to £25m is available for the first round, opening 19 May 2014.

The Energy Catalyst is open to innovative businesses and researchers from any sector who can address the three major challenges facing the energy sector – the energy ‘trilemma’ of:

  • reducing emissions
  • improving security of supply
  • reducing cost.

These challenges are creating major global market opportunities for which the UK can develop and grow innovative businesses to deliver world-leading solutions.

The Catalyst will support projects that contribute to all elements of the energy trilemma and funding will be available for three stages of technology development:

Early-stage projects must be led by an SME either working alone or collaboratively or by a research organisation collaborating with a business. Mid-stage and late-stage projects must be business-led and collaborative. Total project costs can be up to £300k for early-stage awards, between £500k and £3m for mid-stage awards, and between £1m and £10m for late-stage awards.

The deadline for registration for early-stage awards is 12 noon on 29 October 2014 and the deadline for applications is 12 noon on 05 November 2014.

The deadline for registration for mid-stage awards is 12 noon on 27 August 2014 and the deadline for expressions of interest is 12 noon on 03 September 2014. The second-stage deadline for invited applications is 12 noon on 05 November 2014.

The deadline for registration for late-stage awards is 12 noon on 27 August 2014 and the deadline for expressions of interest is 12 noon 03 September 2014. The second-stage deadline for invited applications is 12 noon on 05 November 2014.

The following Energy Catalyst Brokering Events are being held: