This programme is designed to fund projects demonstrating innovative approaches to environmental monitoring at a sensor or systems-based level. It aims to connect industry and the growing UK environmental monitoring sector, ensuring that the public and private sectors work in partnership to develop new sensing capabilities.
The programme will accelerate the development of sensors and sensing systems for environmental monitoring.
Research and innovation projects will be funded to develop enhanced monitoring capabilities in areas of joint strategic interest for UKRI and Defra across all areas of the data lifecycle, from data collection and processing through to analysis and visualisation.
This integrated programme spans multiple maturity levels of technology through sensor development and testing, to allow robust and effective deployment of sensing systems in the real world to address environmental challenges.
The sensing systems and capabilities will be of use to those responsible for environmental management, such as governments, industry, non-governmental organisations or researchers.
The sensors and systems may be helpful by, for example:
- increasing the range of variables monitored
- improving the quality of datasets
- optimising how sensors and systems are used together
- developing lower cost sensors for use in a variety of environmental conditions
We will encourage consortia to work closely with delivery bodies, existing monitoring networks or businesses, in order to demonstrate the value of their product.
The programme will:
- support the development of new sensing systems and monitoring capabilities that will either improve existing approaches or introduce new ones, including improving the sustainability and connectivity of data collection, analysis and reporting
- support the testing of these products (including checking the data against direct observations, using existing monitoring regimes) and verify their accuracy and reliability, thus improving their chances of successful deployment at scale in the public and private sectors
- deliver new and strengthened partnerships and collaborations between the public sector, academia and private sector, helping to connect across disciplines, and stimulate innovative approaches
- develop an understanding of the capabilities and principles required for the effective development and real-world deployment of environmental monitoring systems for broader impact and use
The programme will focus on four terrestrial monitoring challenge areas:
- biodiversity and natural capital
- soil health (including measuring soil carbon sequestration)
- freshwater or estuarine water quality
- monitoring greenhouse gas emissions