This funding opportunity aims to accelerate the development of the next generation of tools and technologies that have the ability to make, measure and model the world around us.
In this pilot activity, we are limiting the scope of this opportunity to interdisciplinary proposals, which take a problem-driven approach to the development and application of basic technologies in sensors and imaging that will have an impact on UK:
- the environment.
Incremental adaptations or improvements of technologies where previous proof-of-concept has already been demonstrated, including existing technologies already in use for comparable areas of research, are not in scope for this opportunity.
Imaging and sensing technologies are pervasive across multiple applications areas including:
- human, plant and animal health
- national infrastructure
- the Internet of Things (IoT)
- cultural heritage
With rapid advances in sensitivity, resolution, speed, and signal processing, the UK is well-placed in these areas. This interdisciplinary investment is intended to accelerate fundamental ideas from conception to new capabilities.
This opportunity intends to support small and short ‘high risk and high reward’ interdisciplinary pilot studies directed towards the development of basic, underpinning technology where little to no preliminary data exist.
This initiative takes a problem-driven, collaborative approach to matching research problems with technical solutions. As such, the outcome of the application does not necessarily need to solve the research problem or be a fully-fledged tool, but could be a demonstration of proof-of-concept, or production of a prototype for further development.
Applications are expected to show how they will address basic sensing and imaging technology development that has the potential to:
- result in transformative, enabling or critical technologies applicable across disciplines
- contribute to fundamental knowledge, world class infrastructure or training the next generation across disciplines
- enhance the environmental sustainability of the research base.
Proposals in the following areas will not be accepted:
- applications unrelated to the development of basic technologies
- applications falling wholly within one specific research domain
- applications without a problem-driven focus
- incremental adaptations or improvements of technologies where previous proof-of-concept has already been demonstrated, including applications with existing technologies already in use for comparable areas of research
- community databases and data infrastructures.
Applications must be between six and 18 months duration and are not expected to exceed £225,000 (100% full economic costing). UKRI will contribute 80% full economic costing (up to £180,000).
Applicants can request equipment if necessary to the proposed research; there is no defined upper limit on what proportion of the requested cost falls into a particular category within the overall limit of £225,000.
However, applications that use the bulk of their resources purchasing and commissioning equipment are invariably classed as ‘development of generic platform technologies,’ which are outside the scope of the call. Applicants are expected to fully justify the need for any resources that are requested (including equipment).
Equipment will be funded at 100% fEC, however please note that this is not a call for standard capital lab equipment.
In the event that the intent to apply stage shows that this opportunity will be significantly oversubscribed, UKRI reserves the right to apply further demand management measures at an institutional level. This may include considerations around remit, fit to the scope of the call, and portfolio balancing across councils.