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Just over 4 days left to apply for an Algal Bioenergy SIG SPARK Plus Award

ABSIG SPARK Plus awards closing date: 16.00 on 22 May 2015

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Innovate UK are to invest £50,000 in early-stage R&D projects aimed at encouraging collaborations between the research community and industry.


What is a SPARK Plus Award?

The objective of the SPARK Plus Award is to enable an SME to collaborate with an academic partner on an early-stage R&D project. The £10,000 award will be paid to the research organisation when the work is finished. The SME must contribute a minimum of £5,000 to the project costs; the cost of the project should be a minimum of £15,000 and this contribution can be in-kind or in staff time. 

What sort of projects are in scope?

Projects must focus on early-stage R&D of macro- or micro- algal derived fuels or energy for commercial applications, and can include biotechnology and/or non-biotech or synergistic technologies, so long as the technology improves efficiencies.

Projects must be based on an assessment of ecosystem services to address one or more of the following:

  • Optimising process technologies or methodologies for enhanced or more efficient chemical, oil or gas yields
  • Developing upstream technologies, processes or methods for enhanced or more efficient chemical, oil or gas yields (e.g. synthetic biology, culturing, genomics)
  • Reducing costs and improving efficiencies in downstream processing (can include techno-economic analyses or business models as well as engineering solutions)
  • Post-process analytical and profiling techniques
  • Innovations in process control systems or technologies

Key dates

  • Deadline for submissions: 4pm Friday 22nd May 2015*
  • Applicants notified: 4th to 10th June 2015
  • Project start date: 10th June – 10th July 2015
  • Project completion: Friday 29th January 2016*
  • Reporting requirements submitted: Friday 19th February 2016*

* Non-negotiable

Find out more

You can download the call document from the SPARK Plus page on the ABSIG website and apply today.

Michelle Carter ( will be happy to help answer any additional questions: 07825 727712.

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Webinar on funding opportunities for Industrial Biotech & SynBio

This KTN webinar provided an update on the upcoming funding opportunities for industrial biotechnology & synthetic biology, with particular focus on the remit of each competition and where applications are likely to fit best. 

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Watch the webinar recording >>

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