Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Accelerating the Green Economy Centres

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Apply for funding to establish an Accelerating the Green Economy Centre to support the growth of emerging green industries, in economic geographies across the UK.

Collaboration and co-creation between researchers, businesses, investors and local stakeholders are essential.

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding.

The full economic cost (FEC) of your project can be up to £5,400,000 resulting in 80% FEC at £4,500,000.

Awards will start 1 July 2024 and last for four years.

Who can apply

You can only apply for this funding opportunity if you were successful at the outline application stage, and we have invited you to submit a full application. The project lead should not change from outline to full application stage.

This funding opportunity contributes to addressing the UKRI Building a Green Future strategic theme and is being administered by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) on behalf of UKRI.

UKRI has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new UKRI Funding Service. For full details, see Eligibility as an individual.

Standard UKRI eligibility criteria apply. Your application should be led by an eligible project lead, who was named on the outline application and based at an eligible UK based organisation in accordance with standard UKRI practice.

For full details, see Eligibility as an organisation.

Who is eligible to apply

For this funding opportunity this includes:

  • higher education providers
  • eligible research institutes
  • NHS bodies
  • approved public sector research establishments (PSREs)
  • approved independent research organisations (IROs)
  • approved Catapults

This funding opportunity is open to research-led consortia and should involve collaboration with a diverse range of stakeholders. We require transdisciplinary research and innovative collaborations that involve co-design and co-creation with businesses and other stakeholders.

We expect the centres to incorporate the full breadth of stakeholders required to enable the translation of research into innovation and commercialisation. These stakeholders could include but are not limited to civic bodies, local government, mayoral offices, investors, innovators, customers, regulators, standards bodies, insurers, supply chains and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

We welcome applications from individuals at any career stage, subject to UKRI eligibility criteria.

For project partners who are third sector organisations (for example, Non-Governmental Organisations, charities, and other non-profit civil society organisations), we will fund a modest contribution towards their costs on the project at 100% of direct costs. Any non-staff costs must be reasonable. Indirect costs and overheads are not allowed. All staff costs must be based on basic salaries (that is, not day rates).

Who is not eligible to apply

The following are not eligible to apply:

  • as an eligible individual you may be involved in no more than two applications submitted to this funding opportunity. Only one of these can be as project lead
  • each organisation may lead on a maximum of two applications. However, organisations may be a partner in multiple applications
  • international project co-leads are not permitted as part of this funding opportunity. International collaborators can be listed as project partners
  • businesses are not eligible applicant organisations as part of this funding opportunity, they are expected to be listed as project partners

Project partners outside third sector organisations fund their own involvement. We will only fund minor incidental expenses, such as some travel costs, if needed for project partners.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all funding applicants. We encourage applications from a diverse range of researchers.

We support people to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at UKRI.

What we're looking for

Aim

The aim of the funding opportunity is to support five co-created centres that accelerate the translation and commercialisation of market-informed solutions to drive the green economy.

Scope

You must demonstrate meaningful engagement, collaboration and integration with key partners which could include businesses, investors, civic bodies, potential customers and other researchers. The partners will be appropriate to the challenge, target location and build a critical mass of capacity and capability within the emerging green market identified.

Accelerating the Green Economy Centres will:

  • attract private investment to be deployed effectively in clean, green solutions as emerging markets mature
  • cluster the local capabilities of towns, cities, rural economies and regions to enhance success
  • accelerate the exploitation and commercialisation of new knowledge, innovations or solutions through co-investment and partnerships
  • tackle specific, emerging industry-led research and innovation priorities to support the scale up and adoption of green economy solutions
  • test and deploy green economy solutions and technologies in geographies across the UK

Accelerating the Green Economy Centres should:

  • be co-created and co-delivered between academia, business and critical stakeholder organisations for example, local government, in response to emerging sector opportunities where the UK can build strategic advantage
  • build upon established research-based collaborations across academia, business, policymakers and the third sector
  • undertake collaborative research projects, proof of concept studies and market development activities with business, working on sector informed challenges, facilitating technology transfer and knowledge exchange among participants
  • be focused on market creation activities that build on the needs and capabilities of a defined location in the UK, the policy and standards requirements, and the investment criteria of private investors
  • be transdisciplinary in nature, collaborating across disciplinary and sectoral boundaries, taking a solutions-focused approach to the opportunity
  • support companies and small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) developing new products, services and business models based on fundamental research and development activities to enable translation through to higher technology readiness levels (TRLs), including the creation of prototypes and operational demonstrators
  • increase the level of industrial and commercial investment in research and development (R&D) activities with existing UK based companies, attract foreign direct investments in corporate R&D laboratories and leverage funding from alternative sources
  • partner with local and national governments to anchor private investment in locations across the UK

Anticipated outcomes and impacts

Through investment in these centres the anticipated outcomes and impacts of the programme could include:

Outcomes:

  • the market starts to emerge related to centre activities
  • utilising and clustering of capabilities in the target location(s)
  • large company leadership, as well as active SMEs
  • local integration and skills development
  • new, clean products, services and business models
  • attracting foreign direct investment in corporate R&D labs in the selected location(s)

Impacts:

  • clean green private investment into the emerging market
  • job creation and retention within the emerging market
  • the emerging market starting to contribute to local, regional and national prosperity
  • UK strategic advantage in the emerging market

Matched contributions

To ensure that research outcomes can be fully exploited by industry, we expect to see clear evidence of genuine, substantive partnerships, including co-creation and co-delivery with business in the development of new products, services, and business models.

It is anticipated that leveraged funding (including in-kind) of at least 25% to every £1 of UKRI funding at full application stage will be required. For example, if UKRI is paying the maximum £4,500,000 award, this should equate to £1,125,000 of cash and in-kind co-investment.

You should demonstrate a plan to reach at least 100% match funding over the lifetime of the grant, along with plans for future self-sufficiency of the centre. Other UKRI funding will not be considered as leveraged investment. Centres will be expected to clearly demonstrate auditable co-investments during the lifetime of the grant. More information can be found in ‘How to apply’.

Regional growth

We seek to foster greater collaboration and networking between researchers, business, investors and civic bodies to deliver research and skills outcomes vital to the long-term prosperity of communities and regions of the UK.

We expect activities to be anchored in geographies across the UK, both in the short term and to embed private investment for long term growth. You should choose a location to anchor activities that provides the best chance of success to facilitate the growth of a new market opportunity.

These regional activities may include but are not restricted to:

  • local and regional skills development, job creation or retention
  • critical mass activities leading to increased private investment, including foreign direct investment, in specific geographies
  • contributions to cluster development, for example through knowledge diffusion, supply chain development, SME growth, generation, or growth of spin outs

You will be assessed on your potential to contribute to local and national development; balancing the capabilities, needs and opportunities the location presents.

Challenge areas

We welcome strategic, bold, innovative applications addressing pressing challenges in any emergent UK green market. The examples below are challenges that could be addressed and are intended to be illustrative, not exhaustive.

Net zero buildings retrofit for improved welfare

Using whole systems approaches to reduce heating demand and improve performance of our built environment, protecting vulnerable people and ensuring resilience of the power grid. Through place-based clustering of activities it is envisaged that utilisation of appropriate solutions will be tailored to local needs, resources and expertise.

We would expect to see energy companies, local authorities, owners and developers of building portfolios, the construction supply chain, health and social care providers and third sector organisations working together to develop solutions. With solutions bringing together net zero technologies, business models and the finance to target help for the vulnerable and reduce fuel poverty, significantly reducing pressure on local health and social care services by accelerating the adoption of accessible and affordable innovations for fabric, heating and provision of energy services.

Local hydrogen development and rollout

Discovering and adopting solutions to exploit the opportunities offered by hydrogen in local economies including local production, distribution and use cases that meet the specific needs of different users.

Partners are likely to include businesses with an active involvement or interest in the hydrogen supply chain and end users of hydrogen and civic bodies including local authorities, councils, or combined authorities, devolved administrations and their agencies, regional and local industrial bodies. With outcomes exploiting the development of a hydrogen value chain(s) to reduce commercial and technical risk and accelerate the journey to end use.

Designing and manufacturing net zero products

Transforming products to be net zero by design through innovative design solutions that secure a reduced carbon footprint and increase energy and resource efficiency throughout product lifecycles.

Key stakeholders could include companies of different sizes across sectors and supply chains, as well as relevant industry bodies and research and technology organisations and critically the procurers of manufactured products and civic stakeholders.

With a focus on net zero products that are designed and manufactured using design and manufacturing capabilities that draw on the specialisations and heritage of the region.

Structure

A typical centre should comprise, but is not limited to:

  • a virtual or physical centre based around a single organisation or multi-organisation with an identified lead organisation eligible for UKRI funding
  • a governance structure that reflects the partnership required to drive the translation of fundamental research through to development and deployment of emerging green solutions by attracting private investment
  • a centre director with a proven track record of managing large investments, excellence within their area of expertise and strong links to UK based businesses and investors and relevant public and civic organisations
  • a broader leadership team representing the disciplinary expertise and stakeholder groups required to successfully address the challenge articulated
  • secondments from other organisations, public or commercial, to further the centre’s mission
  • a management and administrative team, that should include a centre manager and industrial engagement manager, as well as other relevant non-academic staff, to ensure effective running of the centre and coordination with external partners
  • non-academic staff, which could include coordinators, business development officers, research technical professionals, project managers, industrial liaisons, commercialisation experts, technology transfer officers, technicians
  • research and innovation associates working on projects within the centre
  • a core team for the development of prototypes and demonstrators

Governance and monitoring

The host organisation of each centre will be expected to set up appropriate governance arrangements to facilitate successful programme delivery. Furthermore, it is expected that a centre advisory board will be set up to inform the strategy to grow stakeholder engagement, including ongoing development of an effective user engagement strategy.

It is expected that the advisory board should meet at least biannually and include key academics, businesses and investors, relevant policy officials and other stakeholders. A UKRI representative will sit on this advisory board, who will be appointed by UKRI. Membership will include representatives from across the centre’s stakeholders and the UKRI representative. Equality, diversity and inclusion should be considered when setting up the governance structure of the centre.

Monitoring, evaluation and learning will be a key component of the programme, and we will arrange occasions for the centres to share best practice, common challenges and learnings. There will be mid-term review to decide if outputs and outcomes are being achieved and if funding should continue.

Reporting

Grant holders will be required to report on the progress of the centres to UKRI annually through ResearchFish in line with standard UKRI grant terms and conditions. This programme will report into the UKRI Building a Green Future (BaGF) Programme board. Additional programme level reporting may be required as part of the programme delivery phase, including a mid-term review.

For more information on the background of this funding opportunity, go to the ‘Additional information’ section.

Duration

The duration of this award is 48 months.

Centres must start by 1 July 2024.

Funding available

Up to £25 million will be available to support the creation of up to five centres.

The full economic cost (FEC) of your project can be up to £5,400,000 resulting in 80% FEC at £4,500,000. UKRI will pay a maximum of up to £4,500,000 million for your project costs.

We will fund 80% FEC with the following exceptions:

  • justified equipment would be funded at 50%
  • direct costs for third sector and civil organisations engagement will be funded at 100%

Collaboration agreements

Entitlement to the outputs of a project or intellectual property will need to be determined between the parties involved, however any access to project outputs or intellectual property must be in line with any relevant Subsidy Control regulation. Under UKRI terms and conditions for research grants you must ensure at all times that the grant funding awarded to you is compliant with the Subsidy Control Act 2022. Any entitlements will need to be set out in a formal collaboration agreement if a grant is awarded, as per FEC grant condition RGC 12.1.

You do not need to submit collaboration agreements as part of your full stage application.

What we will fund

Resources may be used for activities that initiate, grow, and maintain collaborations with stakeholders (for example academia, business, government and third sector) to meet the aims of the programme, the list below is indicative and not exhaustive:

  • UKRI facilities costs
  • non-academic staff, for example business development officers, project managers, industrial liaisons, coordinators, administrators, technology transfer officers and technicians. They must be undertaking tasks that are specific to the project that are over and above what would be normally expected to be supplied as the general enabling activity that is usually funded from the estates and indirect costs awarded to the project
  • civic bodies including enterprise, development, or skills bodies, local authorities and other local stakeholders to support dialogue between stakeholders
  • secondments
  • staff exchanges
  • travel
  • training
  • staff payroll
  • equipment
  • other standard expenses

What we will not fund

The following costs are not eligible for this funding opportunity:

  • PhD studentships
  • ship-time costs
  • flexible fund pots

Services and facilities

You can apply to use a UKRI facility or resource in your funding application.

You should discuss your application with the facility or service at least two months before the funding opportunity’s full application closing date to:

  • discuss the proposed work in detail
  • receive confirmation that they can provide the services required within the timeframe of the funding

Some facilities may require you to provide a technical assessment that includes the calculated cost of providing the service. Some services and facilities must be costed within the limits of the funding, the facility will advise you on this.

You should not submit the technical assessment with the application, but you must confirm you have received it. Extension to grants will not be given due to unavailability of facilities intrinsic to the project. You should make sure that the facility will be able to provide access or services during the period of your grant.

Links to available facilities and resources by council:

High performance computing (HPC), and the large research facilities at Harwell have their own policies for access and costing.

Equipment

Although this funding opportunity is not designed for significant capital expenditure, it is recognised there may be setup costs, particularly during the initial years. Applicants should clearly distinguish between the set up and running costs of the Centre, and the funding that will be used for market development activities. The following costs are allowable within the budget:

  • between £10,000 and £138,000 (£115,000 excluding VAT) for individual items of equipment (noting these must be listed with additional information including evidence of an evaluation of the use of existing capital assets)
  • more than £138,000 (£115,000 excluding VAT) for individual items of equipment must be fully justified in the justification of resources section

Equipment thresholds only apply to individual assets rather than an accumulation value, except where they will be used as a combined asset.

Supporting skills and talent

We encourage you to follow the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the Technician Commitment.

International collaboration

If your application includes international applicants, project partners or collaborators, visit UKRI’s trusted research and innovation for more information on effective international collaboration.

Data management

UKRI expects you to make your research data openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner. The UKRI expectations for sharing and managing research data arising from your project are outlined on Making your research data open including:

  • you should determine if, how and where your data should be shared based on good practice for the type(s) of research data that will be generated
  • refer to the research council research data sharing policy(s) and guidance most applicable to the type(s) of research data that will be generated from your research. These policies include best practice and preferred repositories for some types of data, for example the ESRC-supported UK Data Service and the NERC-supported Environmental Data Service
  • our guidance on best practice in the management of research data, also provides general guidance about sharing and managing your research data in line with our common principles
  • UKRI’s Good Research Resource Hub includes some external resources that you may also find helpful when deciding how to share and manage your research data

Ensure you include costs in your funding application.

UKRI supports costs associated with research data management and sharing. You should ensure costs for these activities are included in your funding application, including if you intend to use NERC’s Environmental Data Service or the ESRC-supported UK Data Service. If you are considering using the Environmental Data Service, you can contact data@nerc.ukri.org for further information.

Some additional information on research data costs is provided in the guidance on best practice in the management of research data. Guidance on costs may also be provided with the funding opportunity in Funding Finder.

Responsible research

We are fully committed to develop and promote responsible research and innovation that makes a positive contribution to society and the environment. Not just through research outputs and outcomes but through the way in which research and innovation is conducted and facilities are managed.

Research and innovation has the ability to not only produce understanding, knowledge and value, but also unintended consequences, questions, ethical dilemmas and, at times, unexpected social transformations.

We recognise that we have a duty of care to promote approaches to responsible innovation that will initiate ongoing reflection about the potential ethical and societal implications of the research and innovation we fund and encourage our community to do likewise.

All centres will be expected to adhere to UKRI responsible innovation policies and guidance.

Sustainability

UKRI’s environmental sustainability strategy lays out our ambition to actively lead environmental sustainability across our sectors. This includes a vision to ensure that all major investment and funding decisions we make are directly informed by environmental sustainability, recognising environmental benefits as well as potential for environmental harm.

Environmental sustainability is a broad term but may include consideration of such broad areas as:

  • reducing carbon emissions
  • protecting and enhancing the natural environment and biodiversity
  • waste or pollution elimination
  • resource efficiency and a circular economy

We expect you to embed careful consideration of environmental sustainability at all stages of the research and innovation process and throughout the lifetime of the accelerating the green economy centres.

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)

As focal points in the community, the accelerating the green economy centres will be expected to champion and embed EDI in all their activities throughout the lifetime of the investment.

If funded, centres will be expected to develop a clear and feasible strategy to ensure EDI throughout the delivery of the centre activities, including knowledge exchange and engagement with the research projects and other related initiatives.

You should request the appropriate resources to develop and deliver the centre EDI strategy effectively. The Centre will identify at least one person who has responsibility for leading on EDI within the Centre to reflect the importance of EDI in the Accelerating the Green Economy centres.

Research disruption due to COVID-19

We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major interruptions and disruptions across our communities. We are committed to ensuring that individual applicants and their wider team, including partners and networks, are not penalised for any disruption to their career, such as:

  • breaks and delays
  • disruptive working patterns and conditions
  • the loss of ongoing work
  • role changes that may have been caused by the pandemic

Reviewers and panel members will be advised to consider the unequal impacts that COVID-19 related disruption might have had on the capability to deliver and career development of those individuals included in the application. They will be asked to consider the capability of the applicant, and their wider team, to deliver the research they are proposing.

Where disruptions have occurred, you can highlight this within your application if you wish, but there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.

How to apply

We are running this funding opportunity on the new UKRI Funding Service. You cannot apply on the Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system.

You are only able to apply if you have been invited to submit a full application.

The vision for the accelerating the green economy centre and the project lead will not be allowed to change between the outline and full application stages. We encourage the addition of further collaborators and project partners between outline and full application stages.

The project lead is responsible for completing the application process on the Funding Service, but we expect all team members and project partners to contribute to the application.

Only the lead research organisation can submit an application to UKRI.

Watch our recording on how to apply for an opportunity in the Funding Service.

To apply:

Select ‘Start application’ near the beginning of this Funding finder page.

  1. Confirm you are the project lead.
  2. Sign in or create a Funding Service account. To create an account, select your organisation, verify your email address, and set a password. If your organisation is not listed, email support@funding-service.ukri.org
  3. Answer questions directly in the text boxes. You can save your answers and come back to complete them or work offline and return to copy and paste your answers. If we need you to upload a document, follow the upload instructions in the Funding Service. All questions and assessment criteria are listed in the ‘How to apply’ section on this Funding finder page.
  4. Allow enough time to check your application in ‘read-only’ view before sending to your research office.
  5. Send the completed application to your research office for checking. They will return it to you if it needs editing.
  6. Your research office will submit the completed and checked application to UKRI.

Where indicated, you can also demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. You should:

  • use images sparingly and only to convey important information that cannot easily be put into words
  • insert each new image onto a new line
  • provide a descriptive legend for each image immediately underneath it (this counts towards your word limit)
  • ensure that files are smaller than 5MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

Watch our research office webinars about the new Funding Service.

For more guidance on the Funding Service, see:

Deadline

We must receive your application by 17 April 2024 at 4:00pm UK time.

You will not be able to apply after this time. Make sure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines.

Following the submission of your application to the funding opportunity, your application cannot be changed, and applications will not be returned for amendment. If your application does not follow the guidance, it may be rejected.

Personal data

We will need to collect some personal information to manage your Funding Service account and the registration of your funding applications.

We will handle personal data in line with UK data protection legislation and manage it securely. For more information, including how to exercise your rights, read our privacy notice.

Publication of outcomes

If your application is successful, we will publish some personal information on the UKRI Gateway to Research.

Summary

Word count: 550

In plain English, provide a summary we can use to identify the most suitable experts to assess your application.

We usually make this summary publicly available on external-facing websites, so make it suitable for a variety of readers, for example:

  • opinion-formers
  • policymakers
  • the public
  • the wider research community

Guidance for writing a summary

Clearly describe your proposed work in terms of:

  • context
  • the challenge the project addresses
  • aims and objectives
  • potential applications and benefits

Core team

List the key members of your team and assign them roles from the following:

  • project lead (PL)
  • project co-lead (UK) (PcL)
  • researcher co-lead (RcL)
  • specialist
  • grant manager
  • professional enabling staff
  • research and innovation associate
  • technician
  • visiting researcher

Only list one individual as project lead. The project lead should not change from outline to full application stages.

The project lead is responsible for setting up and completing the application process on the Funding Service.

Find out more about UKRI’s core team roles in funding applications.

Application questions

Vision

Word limit: 1,500

What are you hoping to achieve with your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how your proposed work:

  • is of excellent quality and importance within or beyond the field(s) or area(s)
  • has the potential to advance current understanding, or generate new knowledge, thinking or discovery within or beyond the field or area
  • is timely given current trends, context, and needs
  • impacts world-leading research, society, the economy, or the environment

Within the Vision section we also expect you to:

  • identify the potential direct or indirect benefits and who the beneficiaries might be
  • explain how the project meets the aim of the funding opportunity
  • define the emerging market opportunity and existing challenge in the geography to ensure clear tangible benefits to the target location(s)
  • demonstrate how the centre will establish and maintain world leading research, translation, and commercialisation activities, to grow and strengthen the flow of private capital investment

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

Approach

Word limit: 1,500

How are you going to deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you have designed your approach so that it:

  • is effective and appropriate to achieve your objectives
  • is feasible, and comprehensively identifies any risks to delivery and how they will be managed
  • uses a clearly written and transparent methodology (if applicable)
  • summarises the previous work and describes how this will be built upon and progressed (if applicable)
  • will maximise translation of outputs into outcomes and impacts
  • describes how your, and if applicable your team’s, research environment (in terms of the place and relevance to the project) will contribute to the success of the work

Within the Approach section we also expect you to:

  • demonstrate how you will build a critical mass of capacity and capabilities appropriate to the challenge within a target location to enhance success
  • demonstrate clear evidence of genuine and substantive partnerships to identify and co-deliver the emerging industry-led research and innovation priority
  • define the extent to which the application represents a balanced portfolio with respect to the targeted emerging sector, and geographical focus
  • demonstrate access to the appropriate services, facilities, infrastructure, or equipment to deliver the proposed work
  • provide a detailed and comprehensive project plan including milestones and timelines in the form of a Gantt chart or similar
  • demonstrate a clear approach to EDI throughout the delivery of the centre activities.

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word limit: 1,500

Why are you the right individual or team to successfully deliver the proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence of how you, and if relevant your team, have:

  • the relevant experience (appropriate to career stage) to deliver the proposed work
  • the right balance of skills and expertise to cover the proposed work
  • the appropriate leadership and management skills to deliver the work and your approach to develop others
  • contributed to developing a positive research environment and wider community

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the service.

The word count for this section is 1,500 words: 1,000 words to be used for R4RI modules and, if necessary, a further 500 words for Additions.

Use the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) format to showcase the range of relevant skills you and, if relevant, your team (project and project co-leads, researchers, technicians, specialists, partners and so on) have and how this will help deliver the proposed work. You can include individuals’ specific achievements but only choose past contributions that best evidence their ability to deliver this work.

Complete this section using the R4RI module headings listed. Use each heading once and include a response for the whole team, see the UKRI guidance on R4RI. You should consider how to balance your answer, and emphasise where appropriate the key skills each team member brings:

  • contributions to the generation of new ideas, tools, methodologies, or knowledge
  • the development of others and maintenance of effective working relationships
  • contributions to the wider research and innovation community
  • contributions to broader research or innovation users and audiences and towards wider societal benefit
Additions

Provide any further details relevant to your application. This section is optional and can be up to 500 words. You should not use it to describe additional skills, experiences, or outputs, but you can use it to describe any factors that provide context for the rest of your R4RI (for example, details of career breaks if you wish to disclose them).

Complete this as a narrative. Do not format it like a CV.

UKRI has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the Funding Service.

For full details, see Eligibility as an individual.

Governance

Word limit: 500

How will you manage the centre to successfully deliver its objectives?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how the proposed award will be managed, demonstrating that it:

  • will be effectively governed, including details about advisory structures
  • will be effectively and inclusively managed, demonstrated by a clear management plan
  • has clear leadership team roles and responsibilities
  • will manage and encourage partnerships with non-HEI organisations across government, industry and civil society
  • has plans for monitoring your progress as well as self-evaluation throughout the lifetime of your award
  • Will put in place appropriate governance and administration to deliver the range of devolved funding opportunities

Within this section you can also:

  • demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant.

Project partners

Provide details about any project partners’ contributions.

Project partners are mandatory. Add details about any project partners’ contributions.

A project partner is a collaborating organisation who will have an integral role in the proposed research. This may include direct (cash) or indirect (in-kind) contributions such as expertise, staff time or use of facilities.

Add the following project partner details:

  • organisation name and address (searchable via a drop-down list or enter the organisation’s details manually, as applicable)
  • project partner contact name and email address
  • type of contribution (direct or in-direct) and its monetary value

If a detail is entered incorrectly and you have saved the entry, remove the specific project partner record and re-add it with the correct information.

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

Subsidy control

Word limit: 500

How will your project meet the rules of effective collaboration and be compliant with the Subsidy Control Act 2022 (and EU State Aid Regulations where relevant to your project)?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Within this section you should evidence how

  • all parties are pursuing a common objective
  • you have jointly defined the project scope
  • you are contributing jointly to the implementation of the project
  • project risks will be shared, including financial, technical and scientific
  • the research results will be shared and disseminated
  • the intellectual property is jointly determined between the parties and in line with Subsidy Control regulation

The assessors are looking for information relating to the nature, goals and conditions of the collaboration and any restrictions or rights to the project results that could be claimed by the project partner. This is to confirm that you meet the rules of Effective Collaboration and that through this funding your industry or company partners are not receiving a specific benefit or receiving a subsidy.

By ‘industry or company’ we mean an enterprise that puts goods or services on a market and whose commercial activities are greater than 20% of their overall annual capacity.

Facilities

Word count: 250

Does your proposed research require the support and use of a facility?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you will need to use a facility, follow your proposed facility’s normal access request procedures. Ensure you have prior agreement so that if you are offered funding, they will support the use of their facility on your project.

For each requested facility you will need to provide the:

  • name of facility, copied and pasted from the facility information list (DOCX, 35KB)
  • proposed usage or costs, or costs per unit where indicated on the facility information list
  • confirmation you have their agreement where required

Data management and sharing

Word limit: 500

How will you manage and share data collected or acquired through the proposed research?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Provide a data management plan that clearly details how you will comply with UKRI’s published data sharing policy, which includes detailed guidance on making your research data open.

Indicate:

  • which UKRI data centres are required to archive the data
  • whether the total volume of data is likely to be larger than 1TB
  • any other detail on how you will comply with UKRI data policy
  • how data accessibility for both private and public end users will be enhanced

References

Word count: 1,000

List the references you have used to support your application.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Include all references in this section, not in the rest of the application questions.

You should not include any other information in this section.

We advise you not to include hyperlinks, as assessors are not obliged to access the information they lead to or consider it in their assessment of your application.

If linking to web resources, to maintain the information’s integrity, include persistent identifiers (such as digital object identifiers) where possible.

You must not include links to web resources to extend your application.

Resources and cost justification

Word count: 1,000

What will you need to deliver your proposed work and how much will it cost?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Justify the application’s more costly resources, in particular:

  • project staff
  • significant travel for field work or collaboration (but not regular travel between collaborating organisations or to conferences)
  • any equipment that will cost more than £10,000
  • any consumables beyond typical requirements, or that are required in exceptional quantities
  • all facilities and infrastructure costs
  • all resources that have been costed as ‘Exceptions’

Assessors are not looking for detailed costs or a line-by-line breakdown of all project resources. Overall, they want to be assured that:

  • all resources are comprehensive, appropriate, and justified
  • the project will make optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes
  • maximise potential outcomes and impacts

If you have equipment costs, input these under the ‘Directly Incurred’ heading on the Funding Service. This will allow them to be costed at 50% at the awarding stage (and ignore the 80% FEC displayed on the Funding Service).

If you have project partner direct costs, input these under the ‘Exemptions’ heading on the Funding Service. This will allow them to be costed at 100% at the awarding stage.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

We will assess your application using the following process.

Applicant interviews

For applicants invited to submit a full application, an expert interview panel will conduct interviews with applicants after which the panel will make a funding recommendation.

We expect interviews to be held May 2024.

Full details of the interview process will be sent to candidates before the interviews.

The interview will assess whether the proposed centre meets the assessment criteria sufficiently.

The panel may recommend conditions for the funders to impose before funding is awarded. Based on the panel’s recommendations, the funders reserve the right to seek further information from the applicants before awarding funding.

Timescale

Applicants will be notified of the outcome following interview by the beginning of June 2024.

Feedback

We will give feedback with the outcome of your application.

Principles of assessment

We support the San Francisco declaration on research assessment and recognise the relationship between research assessment and research integrity.

Find out about the UKRI principles of assessment and decision making.

We reserve the right to modify the assessment process as needed.

Assessment criteria

The criteria against which your application will be assessed are:

  • vision
  • approach
  • applicant and team capability to deliver
  • governance
  • project partners
  • subsidy control

Find details of assessment questions and criteria under the ‘Application questions’ heading in the ‘How to apply’ section.

Contact details

Get help with your application

If you have a question and the answers aren’t provided on this page

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Helpdesk is committed to helping users of the UKRI Funding Service as effectively and as quickly as possible. In order to manage cases at peak volume times, the Helpdesk will triage and prioritise those queries with an imminent funding opportunity deadline and/or a technical issue. Enquiries raised where information is available on the Funding Finder opportunity page and should be understood early in the application process (for example, regarding eligibility or content/remit of a funding opportunity) will not constitute a priority case and will be addressed as soon as possible.

Contact details

For help and advice on costings and writing your proposal, contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

For questions related to this specific funding opportunity, contact greeneconomycentres@ukri.org

Any queries regarding the system or the submission of applications through the Funding Service should be directed to the helpdesk.

Email: support@funding-service.ukri.org

Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

  • Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

To help us process queries quicker, we request that users highlight the council and opportunity name in the subject title of their email query, include the application reference number, and refrain from contacting more than one mailbox at a time.

You can also find information on submitting an application.

Sensitive information

If you or a core team member need to tell us something you wish to remain confidential, please contact greeneconomycentres@ukri.org

Include in the subject line: Accelerating the Green Economy Centres; sensitive information; your Funding Service application number.

Typical examples of confidential information include:

  • individual is unavailable until a certain date (for example due to parental leave)
  • declaration of interest
  • additional information about eligibility to apply that would not be appropriately shared in the ‘Applicant and team capability’ section
  • conflict of interest for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to consider in reviewer or panel participant selection

For information about how UKRI handles personal data, read UKRI’s privacy notice.

Additional info

Background

This funding opportunity forms part of UKRI’s Building a Green Future strategic theme as described in the UKRI Strategy 2022 to 2027: Transforming tomorrow together. The Building a Green Future strategic theme aims to accelerate the green economy by supporting research and innovation that unlocks solutions essential to achieving net zero in the UK by 2050.

Further funding opportunity

Once the accelerating the green economy centres are established an open funding opportunity of up to £10 million will be launched by Innovate UK for targeted research and innovation grants to collaborate with the funded accelerating the green economy centres.

AHRC green transition ecosystem programme

Applicants to the recent Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Green Transition Ecosystem programme are welcome to apply to this funding opportunity. However, we will not fund anything already funded as part of the Green Transition Ecosystem programme.

Webinar for potential applicants

We held a webinar on 11 October 2023. This provided more information about the funding opportunity and a chance to ask questions.

Watch the webinar

Passcode: 62Cxn0^V

Webinar Questions and Answers (PDF, 131KB)

Presentation British Standards Institute (PDF, 1MB)

Presentation Growing Kent and Medway (PDF, 11MB)

Collaborations

A Microsoft Teams site has been set up to help connect potential applicants seeking to join potential Centres or for project teams seeking specific expertise.

To join the Teams site please email greeneconomycentres@ukri.org

Our commitment to the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015

Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms which deprive a person of their liberty in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain, such as:

  • slavery
  • servitude
  • human trafficking
  • forced and compulsory labour

We are committed to the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and the abolition of modern slavery and human trafficking.

Supporting documents

Copy of the outline stage funding opportunity page (PDF 363KB)

Successful applications invited to the full stage (PDF, 90KB)

Updates

  • 29 February 2024
    A list of successful applications invited to the full stage document added under Additional info.

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