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Funding calls

TSB Relaunch Grants for R&D as Smart Awards

Solutions for business

Smart (previously known as Grant for Research and Development) is a Technology Strategy Board scheme offering funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge.

The Smart scheme will support R&D projects which offer potentially significant rewards and could stimulate UK economic growth. Smart funding is available to single companies.

Three types of grant are available:

Proof of market – Projects will last up to 9 months, have a maximum grant of £25k, and up to 60% of total project costs may be funded.

Proof of concept – Projects will last up to 18 months, have a maximum grant of £100k, and up to 60% of total project costs may be funded.

Development of prototype – Projects will last up to 2 years and have a maximum grant of £250k; up to 35% of total project costs for medium enterprises, or up to 45% for small and micro enterprises, may be funded.

The scheme will be a rolling call with batch assessment deadlines approximately every two months.

More details of the scheme can be found on the TSB website here. For more information on how the Polymer Centre can help with finding research collaboration partners and writing grant applications, please contact us.

Sheffield SPARK awards

KTN Materials logo

Working with the Materials KTN, the University of Sheffield has made  funding available for companies wishing to work with us for the first time to undertake initial technology-based projects.

Based on the strength of its research excellence in advanced  materials, the University of Sheffield  has been awarded a £5.7m EPSRC-funded Knowledge Transfer Account (KTA),  designed to turn the university’s research into benefit.

Sheffield’s KTA team is to manage the assignment of individual awards of up to £5000 for UK based companies to fund problem solving, proof-of-concept technology demonstration and other  development activities involving materials. Application for the awards  is fairly straightforward and a rapid decision can normally be given.

The research work must be carried out by or in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, and a fundamental requirement for such an award is  that projects reach completion within a maximum of 4 months from the start date of the project (normally the date of confirmation of SPARK  funding).

Although projects are not expected to qualify on all the grounds below, priority will be given to proposals which:

  • Promise rapid results beyond completion of the work.
  • Have high leverage of future value for the company.
  • Have the potential to generate significant future collaborations.
  • Develop novel and/or innovative products or technologies.
  • Will deliver value back into the UK materials community.

Further details and how to apply can be found via the link below.

Sheffield EPSRC KTA

BBSRC announces Industrial CASE scheme

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, BBSRC, has announced its 2010 competition for Industrial CASE Studentships.

Industrial CASE PhDs provide research training in an area of relevance to an industrial partner and are an excellent means of knowledge exchange between the academic and commercial worlds.

BSBRC’s Industrial CASE Studentship Competition will award Doctoral Training Grants (DTGs) for start in October 2011 to support collaborative postgraduate research training leading to a PhD.

Proposals for Industrial CASE studentship funding can be submitted by either the industrial company or an individual academic supervisor (citing an industrial partner). The 2010 competition is open until July 28.

What are the benefits to the company?

  • An opportunity to have a high quality PhD student undertaking basic research relevant to company objectives
  • The freedom to choose academic partners and opportunities to explore new research collaborations
  • Direct supervision of a high quality graduate providing insight into potential company recruits

What is the company required to provide?

  • A student placement of between 6 and 18 months
  • Development opportunities for the student in wider business-related skills
  • An enhancement of just £2,500 pa to the student’s stipend and a contribution of £1,400 to the costs incurred by the academic department

Full details of the competition are on the BBSRC website at the link below. Companies wishing to explore opportunities for biotechnology and biological science-related collaboration with the Polymer are invited to contact our Business Development Consultant, Dr Joe Gaunt.

FP7 Info Sessions Planned for April

Nanofactory and Enterprise Europe Network – Yorkshire announce two information sessions to help regional companies and academic groups access financial support for research and development work through the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme.

The sessions, to be held at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham on the afternoon of April 27, and at Novotel Leeds on the morning of April 28, will each offer:

  • Insights into the likely content of the 2011 FP7 call in nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies (NMP)
  • Perspectives on how to influence the content of future calls
  • Information on the support available from Nanofactory and EEN in building project consortia and designing winning bids for grant support
  • Networking opportunities to grow the links between companies interested in nanotechnology and the academic research base in Yorkshire

For more information on EEN – Yorkshire and Nanofactory, the upcoming events and how to register, please visit the links below.

Nanofactory Events

Enterprise Europe Network – Yorkshire

University supports local businesses with graduate scheme

The University of Sheffield, along with other universities in the Yorkshire and Humber region, is launching a new round of internships this week (Thursday 11 March 2010) which are set to help local businesses and graduates during the economic downturn.

This scheme will offer financial support to organisations that could benefit from employing a recent graduate in a short-term placement. The University of Sheffield has received funding from the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) for a record 60 internships to be offered from now until September 2010.

The scheme is being promoted to employers over the next few weeks on a first-come, first-serve basis and certain industrial sectors will be targeted.

Funding is available to help organisations with the cost of employing a graduate to work with them on a three-month internship. Graduates would be paid £300 per week over a 12 week period and a £100 per week subsidy is available to organisations that have a suitable project for a graduate to undertake.

Many University of Sheffield graduates who participated in the internship scheme last year, were offered permanent positions with their employers. One of these interns was Lauren Ivory, a 2009 graduate who completed an internship with the Sheffield-based social enterprise, Patient Opinion. She was then offered a position with FutureGov, a consultancy and social innovation incubator that helps to shape the future of government through digital engagement and public service transformation.

Lauren said: “I applied for the graduate internship scheme knowing that I needed vital work experience on my CV. My intern project was to organise and co-create a national conference for Patient Opinion and due to the success of the conference I was recruited by FutureGov. None of this would have been possible without my excellent, well suited and brilliantly run internship. I’d thoroughly recommend it to any graduate.”

Steve Fish, Director of the Careers Service, said: “We are delighted that the University is able to offer this scheme to 60 businesses who will gain from the valuable contributions graduates could bring to their organisations.”

The Sheffield Internship Scheme

EPSRC supports industry-focussed PhD studentships

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has opened their competition for Industrial CASE PhD studentships to commence in 2010/11. Industrial CASE provides funding for PhD studentships where businesses take the lead in arranging projects with an academic partner of their choice. Funding for around 40 3.5-year PhD studentships is available. EPSRC aims to award at least 10 of the available awards to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), depending on the overall number and quality of applications.

Studentships (current estimated value per student of £66,838) will be awarded to companies with the EPSRC funding provided to the host university through Industrial CASE Accounts. Companies must contribute a minimum of one-third of this (ca. £22k) in addition over the three years and may contribute more depending on the requirements of the proposed research. More information is available from the EPSRC at the link below.

The University of Sheffield and the Polymer Centre have a strong track record in developing commercially-relevant PhD studentships to meet strategic needs of companies through world-leading research using the Industrial CASE scheme. Companies who wish to discuss a potential idea are invited to contact Dr Joe Gaunt, Polymer Centre Business Development Consultant.

EPSRC Industrial CASE

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