National Research Council of Canada (NRC) – United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) Call for Proposals

NRC-UKRI Research and Innovation Pilot Program

Call description

In support of the Canada UK Memorandum of Understanding on Science, Technology and Innovation, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) are announcing the following call for UK-Canada collaboration proposals for:

  • Research and Development (R&D) Delivery
  • Networking Activity

A total of £1M ($850K CAD from NRC and £550K from UKRI) is available for UK-Canada collaborations that meet the criteria described below. This is a pilot program and projects should aim to be completed by the end of March 2019.

Scope

Working together, the Governments of Canada and the UK aim to develop, foster, and support collaborative research and development (R&D) projects that address current and future industrial and societal needs. This Call for Proposals (CFP) is open to collaborative bids from NRC and eligible UKRI organisations wishing to solidify relationships, develop joint project proposals, and perform joint research and development in the following priority areas:

  • Advanced manufacturing technologies
  • Digital technologies; including immersive technologies
  • Clean technologies
  • Quantum technologies
  • Agriculture technologies

The aim of this fund is to facilitate new, and sustain existing partnerships between eligible Canadian and UK partners that could potentially lead to longer-term R&D collaboration in these priority areas—to the benefit of both countries.

Priority will be given to projects that strive to advance knowledge in these priority areas, or develop technologies, products or processes that have the potential to: solve an industrial or societal need; and, could accelerate commercialization.

This bilateral program is managed in Canada by the NRC and in the UK by Innovate UK, on behalf of UKRI (The National Authorities). In the UK, the participating constituent UKRI bodies are the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Innovate UK and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Eligibility criteria

This is a restricted call open only to entities identified by the National Authorities. In order to apply, partners must meet the qualifying criteria below.

The project team

The project team must consist of, at a minimum:

  • One National Research Council of Canada Research Center (see Annex 4); PLUS
  • One UK Catapult Centre or eligible AHRC, BBSRC or NERC research organisation (a full list of eligible research organisations per constituent UKRI participating body is provided in Annex 3)

For UK partners, the direct involvement of UK Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) is encouraged, where appropriate, and in all cases proposals should specify how their project will benefit businesses.

Other third-party participants (such as large industrial partners, universities, Canadian SMEs, not-for-profit organisation, other government research organizations, etc.) are welcome to participate on a self-funded basis.

Each National Authority will issue an invitation to bid within their eligible organisations and conduct an assessment of the eligibility of the participants as follows:

  • UKRI will assess the proposed UK partners
  • NRC will assess the proposed NRC Research Centre partners

Financial and other resources available to the partners to undertake such an international collaboration will be taken into consideration. Each partner must demonstrate their ability to implement, manage and finance their share of project costs.

Two types of projects will be considered:

  • Lot 1 -R&D Delivery Project
  • Lot 2 – Networking Activity Project

Bidders must clearly state to which Lot their proposal is beingsubmitted.

R&D delivery project

R&D Delivery projects are intended to support collaborative R&D activity, including experimental and industrial R&D, testing and trials. These proposals must meet the following criteria:

  • Proposed project are within the priority areas outlined in the Scope above
  • Project proposal demonstrates a substantive and complementary contribution to research and innovation provided by each partner with an appropriate balance of effort between Canadian and UK collaborators.
  • Project proposal describes how domestic partnership and international collaboration showcases an obvious advantage and added value resulting from the technological cooperation between the participants from the two countries (e.g. increased knowledge base, commercial leads, access to new skills, data, R&D infrastructure and expertise etc.) 
  • Project proposal clearly identifies milestones and deliverables towards achieving the stated goals/objectives
  • Project proposal demonstrates the ability of each partner in Canada and in the UK to implement, manage, and finance their share of project costs
  • Project timelines aim for project completion by the end of March 2019; completion beyond this date may be considered by exception.

Networking activity proposals

Networking Activity proposals are intended to strengthen the working relationship between Canadian and UK partners, and seek to establish a basis on which future collaborative work can ensue. These projects must meet the following criteria:

  • Proposed networking activity falls within the priority areas outlined in the Scope above
  • Proposal involves strategic dialogue between the partners, and may include variations of the following joint activities, in either or both countries: workshop, sandpit, pilot project development, expert missions, and personnel exchanges.
  • Proposal demonstrates how project development would be facilitated, and provides an estimation of how many, and what kinds of project leads/outlines are expected from the proposed activity, and how this would be achieved.
  • Proposal outlines potential next steps from the development of the networking activities, including plans for collaborative research projects.
  • Proposal demonstrates an appropriate balance of effort between Canadian and UK participants, and a substantive contribution by each partner.
  • Proposal demonstrates the ability of each partner in Canada and in the UK to implement, manage, and finance their share of project costs
  • Proposed activities are scheduled between project approval/contract signing and the end of March 2019.

Funding

Selected projects will be eligible to receive funding from NRC and UKRI. The participating UKRI funding bodies are AHRC*, BBSRC**, Innovate UK and NERC***. (See notes in Annex 2).

NRC Research Centers are eligible for up to C$200K for Lot 1 - R&D Delivery projects or up to C$50K for Lot 2 – Networking Activity projects.

Catapults, Research Organisations and other UK entities are eligible for up to £125k for Lot 1 - R&D Delivery projects or up to £30k for Lot 2 - Networking Activities projects.

Evaluation

Proposals must be submitted using the Application Form provided. NRC and UKRI will carry out independent evaluations of their respective Funding Proposals in accordance with their National/Institutional policies and practices. Upon completion of the independent evaluations, the National Authorities will meet to communicate and compare evaluation results. A proposal will funded if NRC and UKRI jointly decide to approve. A balanced portfolio approach will be used to ensure funding is distributed across the two lots and the targeted priority areas. Further details of the scoring and evaluation criteria are given at Annexe 1 and Annex 2.

Timeline

Call opens: 3 August, 2018
Call closes: 17 September 2018
Decision: 12 October 2018
Contracts: from October 2018
Projects end: by 29 March 2019 (completion beyond this date may be considered by exception)

Contact details

Canada:
Dr. Nicole Arbour, Senior Advisor,
International Relations, International Innovation Office,
National Research Council Canada/Government of Canada
Nicole.Arbour@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

UK:
Brendan Vickers, Innovate UK Partnership Manager
North America
Brendan.Vickers@innovateuk.gov.uk

Annex 1 - Call Details Summary NRC Research Centres

Eligibility

NRC Research Centers and Programs seeking to collaborate with UK partners

Timelines *All funds for use in FY18-19

Early August, 2018 – call for proposals launched
Mid-September, 2018 – call closes and evaluation process initiated
Early October, 2018 – projects selected

Selection Process

Internal peer review evaluation

Proposal type Networking Activity "Lot 2" R&D Project "Lot 1"
Costs covered Travel
Accommodations
Hospitality
Logistics
Travel
Accommodations
Lab costs
Salaries
Scale of funding Up to $50K CAD Up to $200K CAD
Themes
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Digital; incl immersive technologies
  • Clean technologies
  • Quantum technologies
  • Agriculture technologies
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Digital; incl immersive technologies
  • Clean technologies
  • Quantum technologies
  • griculture technologies
Level of sign-off required from Proposals DG Sign off DG and VP Sign Off
Matched/In-kind support from eligible UK partner Evidence of in-kind support commitments Evidence of some matching fund commitments

Evidence of in-kind support commitments
Partnership requirement One UK partner included/signing off as part of the bid One UK partner included/signing off as part of the bid
Evaluation Criteria and Weights Suitability – 20%
  • Fit with theme
  • Connection/relationship with UK partner

Advancing NRC Programs – International Collaboration Added Value – 40%

  • Clearly understood and articulated complementarity for NRC program objectives
  • Strength (excellence) of proposed collaborator in selected theme
  • Access to new skills, data, facilities

Feasibility / Future Potential – 40%

  • Likelihood of success within timeframe
  • Clear expected outcomes
  • Well defined and feasible post-project next steps
Suitability – 20%
  • Fit with theme
  • Connection/relationship with UK partner

Advancing NRC Programs– International Collaboration Added Value – 40%

  • Clearly understood and articulated complementarity for NRC program objectives
  • Strength (excellence) of proposed collaborator in selected theme
  • Access to new skills, data, facilities

Feasibility / Future Potential – 40%

  • Likelihood of success within timeframe
  • Strong project leadership within NRC
  • Quality of project plan
  • Well defined and feasible post-project next steps

Annex 2 - Call Details Summary Catapults and other UK Centres

Eligibility

Catapult Centres and UK Research organisations seeking to collaborate with NRC partners

Timelines *All funds for use in FY18-19

Early August, 2018 – call for proposals launched
Mid-September, 2018 – call closes and evaluation process initiated
Early October, 2018 – projects selected

Selection process

Internal peer review evaluation followed by approval by a UKRI Programme Panel

Proposal type Networking Activity "Lot 2" R&D Project "Lot 1"
Costs covered Travel
Accommodations
Event based costs
Logistics
Direct Costs
Travel
Accommodations
Per diems
Direct costs
Indirect Costs
Scale of funding Up to £30K Up to £125K
Themes
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Digital; incl immersive technologies
  • Clean technologies
  • Quantum technologies
  • Agriculture technologies
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Digital; incl immersive technologies
  • Clean technologies
  • Quantum technologies
  • Agriculture technologies
Level of sign-off required from Proposals Director Director
Matched/In-kind support from NRC Evidence of in-kind support commitments Evidence of some matching fund commitments

Evidence of in-kind support commitments
Partnership requirement One NRC partner included/signing off as part of the bid One NRC partner included/signing off as part of the bid
Evaluation Criteria and Weights

Suitability – 20%

  • Fit with theme
  • Establishing new or developing existing relationships with NRC

Advancing UK Programs and added value from international collaboration – 40%

  • Clearly understood and articulated complementarity for UK program objectives 
  • Clear connectivity with existing participating funding body investments
  • Strength (excellence) of proposed collaborator in selected theme
  • Access to new skills, data, facilities

Feasibility / Future Potential – 40%

  • Likelihood of success within timeframe
  • Strong project leadership within UK project team
  • Clear project milestones 
  • Well defined and feasible post-project next steps
  • Potential for establishing long-term partnerships

Suitability – 20%

  • Fit with theme
  • Establishing new or developing existing relationships with NRC

Advancing UK Programs and added value from international collaboration – 40%

  • Clearly understood and articulated complementarity for UK program objectives 
  • Clear connectivity with existing participating funding body investments
  • Strength (excellence) of proposed collaborator in selected theme
  • Access to new skills, data, facilities

Feasibility / Future Potential – 40% 

  • Likelihood of success within timeframe
  • Strong project leadership within UK project team
  • Clear project milestones 
  • Well defined and feasible post-project next steps
  • Potential for delivering socio-economic impact, commercialization and business benefits

Notes re funding contributions:

  • *AHRC are providing up to £50k specifically for projects under the Digital/Immersive theme.
  • **BBSRC are providing up to £100k specifically for projects under the Agri-Tech theme and to support interdisciplinary projects. BBSRC contribution to eligible Research Organisations will be as per BBSRC's standard policy at 80% fEC.
  • ***NERC are providing up to £100k.

Annex 3 - UK Eligible Participants

  • AHRC Immersive Tech Award Holders
    • Bournemouth University
    • Coventry University
    • Edinburgh Napier University
    • Falmouth University
    • Glasgow School of Art
    • Goldsmiths College
    • Lancaster University
    • Manchester Metropoliton
    • Newcastle University
    • Northumbria University
    • Queen Mary University of London
    • Queen's University Belfast
    • University of Abertay Dundee
    • University of the Arts London
    • University of Birmingham
    • University of Brighton
    • University of Bristol
    • University of Edinburgh
    • University of Exeter
    • University of Glasgow
    • University of Leeds
    • University of Nottingham
    • University of Reading
    • University of Sheffield
    • University of Surrey
    • University of Sussex
    • University of York
    • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • BBSRC/Innovate UK Agri-Tech Centres
    • Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation Centre (Agri-EPI)
    • Agrimetrics Centre
    • Centre for Crop Health and Protection (CHAP)
    • Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL)
  • BBSRC - Strategically funded institutes aligned with Agriculture and Food Security:

    Additional research organisations as they have emerged from the Top 10 list of Research Organisations for BBSRC in Agriculture and Food for 2017-18:

  • Catapult Centres
    • Cell and Gene Therapy
    • Compound Semiconductor Application
    • Digital
    • Energy Systems
    • Future Cities
    • High Value Manufacturing
    • Medicines Discovery
    • Offshore Wind Energy
    • Satellite Applications
    • Transport Systems
  • NERC Research Centres
    • British Antarctic Survey
    • British Geological Survey
    • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
    • National Centre for Atmospheric Sciences
    • National Centre for Earth Observation
    • National Oceanography Centre

Annex 4 - NRC Canada Eligible Participants

NRC Division Research Centre

Life Sciences

Aquatic & Crop Resource Development
Human Health Therapeutics
Medical Devices
Emerging Technologies Digital Technologies
Advanced Electronics and Photonics
Security & Disruptive Technologies
Nanotechnology
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Metrology
Transportation and Manufacturing Aerospace
Automotive and Surface Transportation
Engineering Construction
Energy, Mining & Environment
Ocean, Coastal & River Engineering

NRC Research Facilities

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