NERC have given advanced notice of their funding for Innovation Projects and details are available on the NERC website: -
Here is an outline taken from the NERC website: -
"The next Innovation Projects call is likely to open in July 2015 and close in October 2015, projects will then start in April 2016 This call will run in parallel to the Follow on Fund. The aim of the Innovation Projects call is to increase and accelerate the uptake and impact of NERC funded research output by supporting translational and knowledge exchange activity which delivers direct tangible and demonstrable benefits to end users, particularly businesses.
The call will support projects that are likely to generate little or no commercial return, but which will deliver impact. Activities can include products, models, tools, internships or secondments. Ineligible activities are Networks, dissemination websites, events and publications, consultancy, report production, projects focused solely on training, activity between only different sections of the academic research base or between the research base and the general public and commercialisation activities (please see the Follow on Fund).
Project proposals submitted in this current round (deadline 18 December 2014) are expected to start in May 2015 and to last for up to 12 months. A maximum of £125k (£100k at 80% FEC) may be requested. Smaller, targeted activities of three to six months are also welcome and NERC anticipates seeing a range of requests within the £125k limit, reflecting the range of potential projects and activities."
Details of the NERC 'Follow on Funding' scheme are also available now.
"The next Follow On Fund call is likely to open in July 2015 and close in October 2015, projects will then start in April 2016. This call will run in parallel to the Innovation Projects call.
The Follow-on Fund is a simple and straightforward process which helped us ensure our research had the greatest possible impact. Our two grants have enabled us to conduct applied research as well as further fundamental science. They have also raised our profile in the commercial sector, leading to further projects that have created investment and jobs. - Professor Tariq Butt, Swansea University
NERC works together with universities and research centres to sustain world-leading research that delivers value and impact for the UK economy and society. The Follow-on Fund is a 'proof of concept' fund to support the commercialisation of ideas arising from that NERC-funded research. As the name suggests, the Follow-on Fund picks up where research programme and discovery science (responsive mode) grants leave off and enables those research outputs to be further developed so their commercial potential can be realised.
Examples of activities funded include technology licensing, launching technology-based products or services, selling know-how based consultancy services, and the commercialisation of NERC-funded datasets. Proposals are invited for projects pursuing any of these approaches or, indeed, others.
As a pilot, for the autumn call there is the opportunity to apply for up to £250k at 100% FEC (£200k NERC contribution at 80% FEC) for development projects lasting between 3 and 24 months (previously the call was limited to £125k 100% FEC for up to 12 months). The upper limits have been increased in order to provide projects requiring more time or funding with the very best opportunity to achieve commercial uptake of their research outputs. It is anticipated, however, that the previous limits will remain sufficient for many projects.
All awards over £125k (100% FEC) will be subject to an interim progress review by the Proof of Concept Panel. The second half of the funding will be dependent upon appropriate progress being made. More information is provided in the guidance document below, along with an interim progress report form.
All Follow-on funded projects (whatever the level of funding) will be required to submit a final report.
In order to recommend you for a Follow-on award, the Proof of Concept Panel will need to be confident that you have a good understanding of the market environment for your technology, a clear idea of who you believe will be interested in it and why, and that you have a credible plan for driving your project towards an appropriate commercial outcome. If you are uncertain on any of these issues, you are strongly advised to apply for a Pathfinder grant before making an application to the Follow-on Fund. The Follow-on Fund will run in parallel with the Innovation Projects call."