STFC Visions

What is STFC Visions?

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Visions aims to identify ground-breaking, early-stage concepts that have the potential to be developed into ambitious initiatives and infrastructures, transforming the research and innovation landscape and shaping the future of our economy and society.

All concepts must:

  • have the potential to create a step change in national or international level capability
  • hold appeal beyond any individual research group
  • be compelling to the wider research and innovation communities that would deliver and, or, benefit from the concept.

Why STFC Visions

STFC Visions will better position STFC to respond quickly to, and shape emerging opportunities such as a new area of strategic focus, fiscal event or funding opportunity, outside of core STFC activities.​ It aims to identify ambitious concepts with a focus on interdisciplinarity including cross council working and delivering on government priorities.

Although Visions is not a funding opportunity and there is no direct funding attached to it, by developing a pipeline of concepts, STFC will be able to support its communities by being better placed to respond to strategic opportunities as they arise.

The most compelling concepts will be prioritised for further development and will be used in the development and delivery of STFC strategy and may contribute to cross-UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) initiatives as appropriate.

What does a Visions concept look like?

A Visions concept will look like one of the following:

Research and innovation concepts

To ensure relevance to future cross-UKRI opportunities, it is anticipated that research and innovation concepts will be of a scale greater than £5 million and are also likely to be one or more of the following (please note this is not an exhaustive list):

  • interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary, requiring new collaborations to uncover ground-breaking science and innovation
  • driven by one or more clear strategic programme objectives, delivered by inter-connected and co-dependent research strands or work packages
  • focused on applying STFC’s science or technology to a well-defined government priority, which may also have significant interest from public and industry.

Infrastructure concepts

Both multidisciplinary and single discipline projects for significant research and innovation infrastructure investment will be in scope for Visions providing they meet the following criteria:

  • be focused on development of research and innovation infrastructure, for which there is key benefit that can be articulated for the research and innovation community
  • must provide national or international level capability that will provide access or related services to the wider UK community outside of the home institution or site of the infrastructure itself
  • will lead to a large capital project with the total costs of the UK contribution likely exceeding £15 million.

Submitting a concept to Visions

To submit a concept:

Originators should contact the team to discuss the concept prior to submission.

Please keep your concept to a maximum of four pages.

Further information

STFC will be considering future priorities for the UKRI infrastructure fund in autumn 2022 and will be utilising STFC Visions as the primary mechanism for prioritising projects to be developed.

If you have a developed infrastructure concept, please get in touch to discuss suitability and for more information on timings for this opportunity.

Last updated: 23 September 2022

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