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Call for Proof of Concept proposals

Industry/Harwell EnergyTec Cluster collaboration

Proposals are invited for collaborative projects that develop and expand links between Industry and members of the Harwell EnergyTec Cluster. The call is for project definition and proof of concept activities in energy and environmental arenas, which could position the project teams to bid for larger funding opportunities within other programmes and thereby to accelerate the pace of innovation in these areas. Up to £20k funding is available per project, which could be partly used to purchase equipment, if it is essential to the project. Proposals should be written in consultation with the associated Harwell EnergyTec partners who should be co-applicants and provide a letter of support.

Aims of the call:

  • To stimulate industrial engagement with the new EnergyTec Cluster at Harwell.
  • To kick-start innovative cross-sector collaborations e.g. between Energy and Space.
  • To accelerate R&D around energy production and storage, heating and cooling, transport and mobility, environmental health, and sustainability.
  • To help establish, support and grow new and existing companies.
  • To find new applications for existing technologies.
  • To allow the Harwell Campus to act as a test bed for developing technologies.

Proposals to work with more than one Cluster organisation are particularly welcome as are those which support the upcoming Living Labs project, which seeks to establish Harwell Campus as a real world evaluation, testing and implementation platform for new energy related novel technologies and solutions.

Benefits of the EnergyTec Cluster:

The EnergyTec Cluster encompasses a broad range of public, private and academic organisations located on the Harwell Science & Innovation Campus, working in association with wider networks such as the Energy Systems Catapult, the UKAEA Culham and The KTN, part of Innovate UK. The Harwell Campus is host to the recently established multi-million pound Faraday Institution, for research into electrochemical energy storage science. Existing energy and environmental science organisations include:

  • Ricardo
  • Siemens
  • Williams F1
  • EDF energy
  • Diamond Light Source
  • Research Complex at Harwell
  • The ISIS neutron source
  • The Central Laser Facility

The opportunity to work across the broad capabilities of the site, and potentially to employ multiple facilities simultaneously, opens up extensive and exciting multi-disciplinary opportunities.

This call is funded by STFC, and closes on November the 18th 2018.

Information on the Call

Up to £20k funding will be awarded per successful proposal. Companies of all sizes are welcome to apply. Companies and/or industrial partner(s) should provide the level of match funding (which could be in-kind) compliant to State Aid regulations (please see guidance in the Pro Forma). Harwell EnergyTec partners can also contribute access to facilities, resources and staff time. Small capital items may be bid for as part of the project if they are essential to its success. Funded work must be completed by the end of March 2019 and any capital items procured and delivered by the same deadline. Procurement of approved capital items will be the responsibility of the successful organisations. A final report on the project will be required at the end of March to enable the final draw-down of funds. Individual EnergyTec Cluster members may choose to contribute additional in-kind effort and facility access to proposals as appropriate. Proposers should consult the relevant Cluster organisations in advance of submission and obtain a letter of support.

If you have any queries, would like advice on the most appropriate cluster organisation to work with, or would like to visit Harwell and learn more about our facilities and collaborative opportunities before submitting your application, please contact Dr Natasha Nicholson.


Applications should be submitted with a letter of support from the organisation you plan to collaborate with. Applications and enquiries should be sent to Natasha Nicholson by midnight November the 18th 2018. The following are some guidelines to help you plan your proposal.

  • Detail who you are planning to collaborate with and what you hope to achieve together.
  • Be clear on areas of your work that tie in to energy production and storage, heating and cooling, transport and mobility, environmental health, and sustainability.
  • Describe your project and its technology readiness level.
  • Justify the expenditure of the costs, and how they will be matched.
  • Show a realistic project plan which completes funded work by end of March 2019
  • Have clearly defined objectives and milestones.
  • Demonstrate that you have identified the project risks and have considered mitigations.
  • Emphasise any cross-disciplinary elements to your project.
  • Indicate how you would take the research forward beyond the end of the call.
  • Complete the Harwell EnergyTec cluster proposal document

Examples of Previous PoC Studies:

Two previous Proof of Concept calls have gone out, focused on Health Technologies rather than Energy Technologies.

Examples of outcomes from the previous calls include:

  • The development of a functional prototype of a smart-device that can attach to existing insulin pens, remind users to take insulin, and log information on usage.
  • The validation and streamlining of a technology that accelerates the interpretation of gene editing outcomes.
  • The automation of three stages of the 3D tissue printing process; preparation, husbandry, and characterisation.
  • The incorporation of ground network pollution data with EO satellite-based technology and public health models to develop an app providing targeted health advice.
  • The isolation and characterised a potential MERS vaccine.
  • The development of an interface for digitally immature users to interact with an autonomous healthcare monitoring system.
  • The combination of two existing technologies to create a garment with integrated sensors for providing measurement and instant feedback of upper limb movement and muscle activity.

Companies who have participated in PoC projects with the Harwell Cluster have the added benefit of continued promotion through case studies, and are given priority to showcase at events.

Summary of important dates:

Closing date of application 18th November 2018
Notification of award 23rd November 2018
Work to begin 01st December 2018
Final report due 28th March 2019

Last updated: 11 December 2018


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