MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Horizon 2020: FET Open, Info Days and Shift2Rail


In a bid to try to clarify the purpose and expectations of Horizon 2020’s (highly popular) Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Open scheme, the European Commission have released a short promotional video available here.

For any of you thinking about applying to the scheme for either of the 2017 deadlines (17 January and 29 September) it’s well worth taking a few minutes to watch to make sure that your ideas are suitable.

Information Days

Presentations are now available from the Information Day for the 2017 call for Societal Challenge 6 (Europe in a Changing World) held in Brussels. These include presentations from representatives of the EC, an existing Horizon 2020 project, and the ESRC.

The EC together with National Contact Points will host an information day and brokerage event on 8 December in Brussels. The event will cover the following calls from Societal Challenge 5 (Climate Action):

  • Nature based solutions for inclusive urban regeneration
  • Heritage-led rural regeneration
  • Nature-based solutions for hydro-meteorological risk reduction

An agenda and details of registration are available via the event website.


The Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (S2RJU) has announced a call for proposals aligned with the ‘Smart, Green and Integrated Transport’ Societal Challenge. Certain elements are restricted to S2RJU members, but amongst the topics open to non-members are:

  • Smart metering and asset management of railway systems
  • Future stations and autonomous monitoring systems
  • Smart technologies for improved travel companion and trip tracking

Full details of the call including descriptions of topics are available in the S2RJU 2017 Annual Workplan.

As ever, if you’re thinking of making an application or want to know more about any of the above we’d love to hear from you (




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Improving the Rail Customer Experience through Data

The Rail Research Association UK is making up to £200k available to academic-led feasibility studies related to the challenge “Data to Improve the Rail Customer Experience”.

A competition briefing document will be available at the end of February and an information day will be held on 9th March (1pm – 4:30pm) in London and also via webinar.

Briefing day agenda

The RRAUK is encouraging cross-departmental collaboration for this competition, particularly those from the following departments:

  • Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Data Science
  • Behavioural Science
  • Human Factors
  • Business School

Relevant research questions:

  • How can we make the customer’s journey personalised to their needs?
  • How could we predict and communicate train capacity and usage?
  • How can rail services be made more accessible?
  • How can data be used to increase the confidence of disabled users with rail travel?
  • How can customers interact seamlessly with other modes of transport?
  • How would future customer information systems work?
  • How can data be managed to give confidence to data owners regarding its use and security?

If you are interested in bidding, please inform Michael Daw ( for support and coordination.