This opportunity aims to accelerate our progress towards the realisation of a just, prosperous, sustainable, and resilient net zero transition by accelerating the exploitation of outputs and outcomes of prior EPSRC-funded research to directly benefit society. We are looking to provide follow-on funding to projects that are ready to move beyond fundamental research but are not yet ready to be taken up as a solution by users. This funding will ‘bridge the gap’, ensuring that the benefits from EPSRC research can be truly realised to drive forward the transition to net zero.
This follow-on funding opportunity is a pilot for EPSRC. We will conduct review and evaluation activities during and after the opportunity.
Engineering and physical sciences research is critical to the discovery, development and deployment of the solutions needed to create a sustainable future, and the scale and urgency for these solutions is growing. Our Engineering Net Zero priority aims to address this by increasing the speed of deliverability of net zero and shifting us to more sustainable and circular industries and processes. This includes pioneering new technologies and the rapid scaling and evolution of current technologies, as well as driving the realisation of a just, prosperous, sustainable, and resilient net zero transition. This is a wide-ranging challenge that will require contributions from many different disciplines and research areas to realise.
This follow-on funding opportunity is open to applications from all EPSRC disciplines and research areas, provided they can demonstrably deliver benefits aligned to the opportunity aim. Applications will be expected to reference a current or previously funded EPSRC project and describe why this follow-on funding is the most appropriate route to exploit the outcomes and breakthroughs of that project.
Applications should clearly demonstrate how they will enable research outputs to be further developed beyond fundamental research into practical applications to deliver benefits and impact relevant to Engineering Net Zero. You should consider a broad range of possible benefits, including economic, societal, policy and environmental benefits. Your project should involve appropriate users and beneficiaries to deliver the proposed impact.
We would not expect to see significant new fundamental research in your proposal; instead, applications to this scheme should have a primary focus on the translation of research or knowledge, or both, to deliver defined benefits, making projects focused solely on delivering training, new research or extending an existing research grant ineligible.
This follow-on funding sits alongside a suite of other impact driven funding that EPSRC supports, for example the Impact Acceleration Accounts and flexible funding delivered via EPSRC hubs or centres. This follow-on funding opportunity is intended to complement, not duplicate, other sources of support, so we would not expect to see applications that would be more appropriately funded through other EPSRC funding routes, or that are at a stage where they could already be funded by commercial partners or Innovate UK.
The opportunity will support a wide range of activities, from early-stage projects aimed at de-risking innovative ideas, to later-stage projects that encompass significant translational milestones.
The duration of this award can be up to two years.
The FEC of your project can be from £100,000 up to £800,000.
EPSRC will fund 80% of the FEC.
We are keen to support a broad portfolio of projects and value for money will be a key consideration. As such, we encourage applications of different sizes, across the full range of funding available, and do not expect all funded projects to be awarded the maximum allowable budget. You should apply for the minimum amount of funding required to achieve your objectives.
What we will fund
This opportunity will award follow-on funding for activities to take a project from the fundamental research stage onto the next level, where it could then be picked up by users. These activities could include, but are not limited to:
- knowledge exchange
- commercialisation or proof-of-concept
- public engagement
- active dissemination
The follow-on funding can also be used to enable engagement between researchers and a variety of user communities, including business, third sector, public policy, voluntary and community groups, and the public, to deliver greater benefits from the prior research. The follow-on funding should build on any existing impact activities, taking them in a new direction or engaging new audiences, rather than extending previous or current activities.
The activities must deliver benefits aligned with supporting the transition to net zero.
What we will not fund
Applications to this scheme should have a primary focus on the translation of research or knowledge, or both, to the next stage. The following would be ineligible:
- projects focused solely on delivering training
- new research or extending an existing research grant
- applied or contract research conducted on behalf of commercial organisations
- applications outside of our remit
- supporting the direct costs associated with applying for intellectual property (IP) protections, for example patent filing
- projects not built on prior EPSRC research
- projects at a stage where they could already be funded by commercial partners or Innovate UK