MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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SONY Research Award Program

The Sony Research Award Program provides funding for cutting-edge academic research and helps build a collaborative relationship between faculty and Sony researchers. With awards up to $150,000 USD* per year for each accepted proposal, both the Faculty Innovation Award and the Focused Research Award create new opportunities for university faculties to engage in pioneering research that could drive new technologies, industries and the future.

Faculty Innovation Award
Global research and development at Sony enables us to foster innovative ideas, which could ultimately lead to future technology advancements and company growth. In order to speed up and expand the creation of new ideas, we would like to partner with universities. This partnership will help cultivate advanced concepts and fertilize our own research and development. The Sony Faculty Innovation Award provides up to $100K USD* in funds to conduct pioneering research in the areas listed below. Click here to see bulleted keywords under each category title.

  • Information Technology
  • Devices and Materials
  • Biomedical and Life Science

Focused Research Award

Solid research is the underlying driving force to crystallize fearless creativity and innovation. While we are committed to run in-house research and engineering, we are also excited to collaborate with academic partners to facilitate exploration of new and promising research. The Sony Focused Research Award provides an opportunity for university faculty and Sony to conduct this type of collaborative, focused research. The award provides up to $150K USD* in funds, and may be renewed for subsequent year(s). A list of candidate research topics appears below. Please select the Focused Research Theme for which your submission is written.


  • Manipulation Secure Image Sensing
  • Self-supervised Learning for Spiking Neural Networks with Event based Vision Sensor
  • Deep Learning and Deep Fusion towards Automotive Scene Perception
  • Designing and Implementing Camera ISP Algorithms Using Deep Learning and Computer Vision
  • Robust Mesh Tracking for Volumetric Capture
  • Advanced Image Processing enabled by AI
  • Novel Actuator
  • Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence for Wireless Communications
  • Reconfigurable Reflector Type Materials
  • Individual Treatment Effect Estimation
  • Acoustic Metamaterials
  • Novel Technologies for GaN-based VCSELs
  • Intelligent Sensing of Patient-Reported Outcomes

Click here for submission guidelines.


Submissions must be completed by 11:59 pm PDT (Pacific Daylight Time; GMT-7) on September 15, 2020 / 8:59 am CEST (Central European Summer Time; GMT+2) September 16, 2020.


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Innovate UK – Biomedical Catalyst 2020: round 1, early and late stage awards

UK registered SMEs can apply for a share of up to £30 million to develop a product or process that is an innovative solution to a health and care challenge.

See full details


This competition is open to single applicants and collaborations.

To lead a project your organisation must:

Open now

Opened: 27 July 2020

Closes: 7 October 2020

Online Briefing

An online briefing for this funding scheme will be held on 4 August 2020 at 1pm. Join the event here

If you are interested in this funding scheme, please contact your Faculty Business Development Manager, or a member of the central RKE team at

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REMINDER: Online Event: H2020 European Green Deal

UKRO and Horizon 2020

As part of our subscription to UK Research Office (UKRO), we’re delighted to welcome Dr Branwen Hide (our European Advisor at UKRO) to talk to Manchester Met staff about the forthcoming Horizon 2020 Green Deal Call due to be launched in early autumn. The session will take place on Monday 13 July between 2.00pm and 3.30pm, and registration in advance will be essential.

As some of you may be aware, this call will support projects aligned with the European Green Deal, tackling challenges in areas such as climate action, greening industry, ensuring biodiversity and sustainable and smart mobility.

These calls are the last set to be launched under Horizon 2020, and will be one of our last chances to access EU R&D funding through the current programme.

If you’re interested in finding out more about these calls please register a place at the event via our Eventbrite page, and we will provide an online link to the event.

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NIHR – artificial intelligence for multiple long-term conditions (AIM) Deadline September 2020


The NIHR has launched a new funding call: Artificial Intelligence for Multiple Long-Term Conditions (AIM), which will spearhead the use of advanced data science and AI methods, combined with existing methodology and expertise in clinical practice, applied health and care research and social science, to systematically identify or explore clusters of disease and trajectories to develop insights for the prevention, identification, management and treatment of multiple long-term conditions (multimorbidity) or MLTC-M.

The call is organised into two main funding streams:

1.     Research Collaborations: up to £2.5m is available for Research Collaborations delivered over a period of up to 30 months.

2.     Development Grants: up to £150k for up to 9 months is available to undertake preparatory work to develop a future programme of research (e.g. develop collaborations, data access and linking, proof of concept/feasibility work) but broader ranging development work is permitted.

A third funding stream is expected to be included to establish an expert Research Support Facility that will provide centralised technical (e.g. AI focussed), methodological and organisational support to successful applicants.

Further information can be accessed here

Network and engagement event – 17 July. To register your interest, apply here:


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NIHR Senior Investigators Competition


The NIHR Senior Investigator award is in recognition for outstanding contribution to clinical and applied health and social care research.

Leading researchers funded by the NIHR (and who are employed by a NHS Trust, university or charity based in England) are encouraged to apply.

NIHR Senior Investigators will receive a 4 year award on the recommendation of an Independent Selection Committee.

The deadline for this call is 1pm, 26 August 2020.

Further details can be accessed here

Please contact the research development team if you would like to find out more.


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Webinars to support NIHR Global Health Research programme. 8th July 2020


The NIHR are hosting two webinars for their NIHR Global Health Research for the Units and Groups funding streams on the 8th July 2020.

The NIHR Global Health Research Units and Global Health Research Groups awards form a key part of the NIHR Global Health Research commitment to ODA. The Global Health Research Units and Global Health Research Groups offer is unique for NIHR in that it provides funding to support not only delivery of research that will improve health outcomes for people living in LMICs, but also strengthens crucial research capability in resource-poor settings, in particular, training and capacity-building in both academic research and programme support functions. Together these provide a vital and sustainable platform for future research in those countries.

These awards will provide funding to collaborations of specialist researchers within universities and research institutes in LMICs and the UK who wish to establish new programmes of applied health research.

Global Health Research Units will have an existing track record of delivering internationally recognised applied global health research and wish to consolidate and expand this work. Units will address unmet global health needs through equitable research partnerships and must have Joint UK and LMIC Lead applicants, clear plans to strengthen research capacity and support future sustainability of research in partner countries.

To find out more about the NIHR Global Health programme, the Global Health Research Units and Groups active portfolio and our new Call, the application process, and finance/ budget information. Please sign up to information webinar on 8th July at 9.30am or 3pm.

Register for the 9-30 am session or the 3-00 pm session.

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Innovate UK Sustainable Innovation Fund. Q&A session 1pm 3rd July

Two opportunities have opened as part of Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund, which will fund research and development projects to aid all sectors rebuild after the effects of COVID-19.

This fund aims to help sectors recover, grow and create new opportunities in ways that are clean and environmentally sustainable. This competition is for single or collaborative research and development projects with total eligible costs of between £100,000 and £500,000. Each funded partner can claim a maximum of £175,000 against their eligible project costs. This is round 1 of a potential 3.

The Sustainable Innovation Fund: Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)
phase 1 
(Closes 5 August)

Phase 1 (of 2) explores the feasibility of proposals to develop and demonstrate new products or services which will aid clean and sustainable recovery from the impact of COVID-19. Projects can funded up to £60,000.

If you are interested in applying for either fund, please contact your Faculty Business Development Manager or email

KTN is holding a Q&A session at 13:00 on 3 July for organisations interested in bidding into the competition. This is not a formal briefing event but a chance for you to ask questions of the panel about areas like:

  • What makes a great innovation project for this competition?
  • What are the likely pitfalls?
  • Should I apply for this competition or hold out for another call?

Chaired by KTN’s Access to Funding and Finance expert Charlotte Thompson, the panel includes Emma McKenna, KTN’s Knowledge Transfer Manager, Emerging Technologies and Industries, Ian Meikle, Director for Clean Growth and Infrastructure, Innovate UK and Jonny Voon, Innovation Lead – Next Generation Services, Innovate UK.

Register here for the Q&A


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Highlighted BBSRC and EPSRC Call: Transformative Research Technologies for the Detection and Diagnosis of Plant and Animal Diseases


Application deadline: 8th October 2020

The 2020 TRDF call has a strategic highlight on transformative research technologies for the detection and diagnosis of plant and animal diseases, and in particular infectious agents with zoonotic potential. It is expected that these technologies will lead to a step change in the ability of researchers to investigate UK plant and animal health problems caused by endemic or emerging pathogens or pests. Applications not related to the detection and diagnosis of plant and animal diseases will be considered out of the scope of the 2020 TRDF call.

Funding is available for projects up to 18 months in duration with a budget of up to £150K.

Please contact the research development team if you are interested in this funding opportunity.

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Maximising physiology’s impact on the economy and society

The National Centre for Universities and Business are working with the Physiology Society to develop an evidence base on the impact of physiology to knowledge exchange (KE).

“We know that the MacMillan Review found that UK universities were competitive in tech transfer practice but require stronger leadership in KE. Therefore, we are supporting the Society’s work to improve their (and in turn, our) understanding of the current role of KE within the discipline of physiology. Together, we hope to support and build a successful and better KE ecosystem for our researchers.”

If you or a colleague within are a physiologist, please take the time to fill out this survey to help inform our understanding.

Find more information, and the survey click here.”