Proposals should target any current or future manufacturing system that can deliver product function with maximum material recovery.
Proposals must address at least one of these three key manufacturing research challenges:
- resource efficiency and multi-level optimisation, to reduce manufacturing resource use to just the amount required
- design and manufacturing for a more circular economy including re-use, repair, disassembly and remanufacture
- more efficient recycling and recovery of products and materials, to retain value in the manufacturing system.
This funding opportunity will fund a portfolio of novel research that addresses one or more of the above, whilst building new capabilities and processes.
Proposals must lie within the remit (minimum 50%) of the EPSRC Manufacturing the Future theme.
To fit within the remit, your research must focus on one or both of these:
- new research into technologies and processes that support sustainable manufacturing
- the design or operation of such manufacturing technologies or processes.
Proposals deemed by EPSRC to lie outside this remit or the scope of the funding opportunity may be rejected without reference to peer review.
In either case, it must be clear how the research to be conducted supports the vision of sustainable manufacturing.
A number of broader economic, social and environmental challenges may also arise when considering the development of sustainable manufacturing processes. Proposals that focus primarily on addressing these challenges will fall outside the remit of the EPSRC manufacturing the future theme and therefore the scope of the funding opportunity.
However, applicants are encouraged to consider any broader, multidisciplinary challenges relevant to their project and to demonstrate in their application that their research vision supports these considerations.
Inclusion of project partners is encouraged, although not a formal requirement of this funding opportunity. All applicants are however encouraged to think more broadly about industrial engagement, including building in plans to engage with a range of relevant manufacturing companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), throughout the project.
A user engagement strategy describing this approach must be submitted as part of the full proposal, and the appropriateness of this will be assessed under the ‘applicant and partnerships’ criterion.
Full proposals should not differ significantly from the associated outline proposal. EPSRC reserves the right to reject, without reference to peer review, any proposals where this advice has not been followed.
Funding is available for projects up to 36 months in duration.
Grant size is expected to be in line with usual standard research grants and must be within 10% of the total amount indicated at the outline stage. Applicants intending to request a particularly large grant (more than £2 million) are strongly advised to contact EPSRC in advance of submission to discuss this.
Equipment over £10,000 in value (including VAT) is not available through this funding opportunity. Smaller items of equipment (individually under £10,000) should be in the ‘directly incurred – other costs’ heading.
Find out more about equipment funding (EPSRC website).