EU financing of €122m for transport projects: Six days left!

Businesses in the transport sector have time until 16 January 2019 to submit short project proposals in the areas of waterborne transport, logistics, aviation, transport infrastructure and safety, and so have the chance to get access to €122m worth of funding under the 2018-2020 Horizon 2020 Work Programme.

The funding is divided into eight different topics (available here) and Applicants have to submit their proposals electronically, as a part of a two-stage process. Proposals submitted by 16 January 2019 will be evaluated within the next three months; successful applicants will be invited to proceed onto the second stage and submit full project proposal by 12 September 2019.

The final decision about which projects will receive EU funding will be known the latest by February 2020 at the latest.

Applicants are invited to consult the General Annexes (pdf) of the 2018-2020 Work Programme for rules on funding, standard eligibility criteria, submission rules, funding rates and other useful information.

Source: ec.europa.eu


What to expect from 2019?

2018 has been a rather successful year for us at RedKnight and we welcome the New Year with high hopes for an exciting 2019. But what do we really have to expect from January onwards? What are the upcoming competitions and which sectors are most likely to take centre stage? In this article we will take a look at the possibilities both Innovate UK and the EU have in store for us:

UK Plans in 2019
To understand what the UK's plans for this year could be, we have to look the last Budget approved by Westminster in October 2018. The UK Government has committed to providing an additional £1.6bn to fund the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), which will focus around some (if not all) of the following challenges:

-Clean Air
-Reduction in plastic pollution
-Industrial digitisation
-Innovative Mobility (Road, Rail and Air)
-Industrial Transformation
-Cyber security
-Early detection of diseases
-Sustainable packaging

In addition, following the trend set by the Faraday Battery Challenge, up to £78m funding has been confirmed for the Stephenson Challenge to support innovation in electric motor technology, making vehicles lighter and more efficient. Other important key points to consider are the extension to the Government Start-up loans scheme until 2021 and a £25m boost to Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTPs).

On top of that, when the UK leaves the EU, amongst other things, it will also leave the Common Agricultural Policy, creating a funding void that definitely needs to be filled. Therefore, agriculture could very well be another important area to watch closely for new funding opportunities; at least in the medium-long term.

Finally, the Report on the UK’s approach to cryptoassets and distributed ledger technologies in financial services published at the end of October, might suggest these new technologies will receive particular interest in the following calls, also in light of the new £50m per year fund designed to address the most pressing challenges in areas such as public health and cyber security, and due to begin in 2021-2022.

EC Plans in 2019

March 2019 will mark the historical exit of the UK form the EU. Until then, UK organisations can still apply for EU funding (and they are warmly encouraged to do so). Thus, it is even more so important to understand what 2019 is going to look like.

The Commission's priorities for 2019 have been clearly displayed in the Work Programme for 2018-2020, which sets the strategy for the last stage of Horizon 2020. The budget allocated for the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot competitions, will see a general increase: up to €552.26m for the SME Instrument competition and €247.50m for the Future Emerging Technologies Open competition. The budget for Fast Track to Innovation calls will be kept at €100m.

Here, we have selected a pool of challenges that are likely to be of major interest for the EU during this final Work Programme period:

-Nanotechnology
-Blockchain technology
-Marine resources and sustainability
-Clean air and clean energy
-Space
-Food and Agri-food security
-Sustainable agriculture and rural renaissance
-Digital Health and early warning for epidemics
-Low carbon solutions

What can RedKnight do for you?

We hope this brief summary has helped you better understand what 2019 might have in store. If you have realised your innovation fits very well in one of the above areas, why not getting in touch with us for a FREE consultation? We can help you prepare your innovative ideas for the upcoming competitions, so that you can start the New Year in pole position!


£8 million available to develop world-leading civil aerospace tech

UK organisations now have the opportunity to get innovation grants to develop disruptive solutions that will reshape future flight technologies and will prepare the UK to face the upcoming aerospace challenges.

The funding, a total of £8 million, will be co-founded and co-managed by Innovate UK, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Aerospace Technology Institute, and will be shared across 3 competitions:

  1. Collaborative feasibility studies
  2. Expression of interest for fast-track collaborative research and development projects that could be exploited within 3 to 5 years
  3. Longer collaborative research and development projects, taking 5 years or more for exploitation

All 3 opportunities will be managed using a portfolio approach and funding will be split according to themes, project duration and costs.

In particular, the competition on collaborative feasibility studies will stay open from 14 January 2019 up until 27 February 2019; UK businesses of any size can apply for share of the funding that will cover 50% of the project costs (expected to cost between £255,000 and £500,000 and last up to 12 months). Applicants should present high risk projects that demonstrate disruptive and  high impact innovations to solve the biggest aerospace challenges in the UK, such as:

  • Medium-long range aircraft design
  • Urban vehicles designed for
  • Requirements for a scalable, hybrid electric power demonstrator facility
  • High-temperature, superconducting electrical power machines
  • Assessing environmental impact of air emissions
  • Integration of automation into controlled airspace

Source: Innovate UK


Sweet success for Diabetic Foot Ulcer (DFU) diagnosis and monitoring device

RedKnight are delighted to announce it has supported South Wales based Thermetrix Ltd with a successful proposal to Horizon 202's SME Instrument Phase 1 programme, winning the company €50k to further develop its innovative med-tech product called PODIUMTM.

The PODIUMTM technology is a novel, extremely reliable and highly sensitive solution for the cost-effective diagnosis and monitoring of Diabetic Foot Ulcers (DFUs) through rapid temperature imaging and reliable analysis of thermographs. The phase 1 project will enable Thermetrix to experiment with the higher efficacy, diagnostic value, convenience and cost-effectiveness of PODIUMTM over conventional approaches.

Dr Peter Plassmann, CEO of Thermetrix Ltd said of the success, RedKnight was instrumental in securing this grant. The company fully understood our technology and the advantages it offers. They contributed extensive background research and insider know-how on the European Commission's expectations and selection process, took us by the hand and drove the application process to its successful completion.

Today, there are 60m adults suffering from diabetes in Europe and 3.8m in UK (expected to rise to 50m by 2025). Diabetes has a high mortality rate caused mainly by complications (75,000 deaths per annum, of which 24,000 are premature). One life-threatening complication of diabetes is the development of a DFU. Studies reveal a 12% - 255 lifetime risk of developing DFU for diabetics, meaning over 9m people in Europe might suffer from a DFU in their lifetime. A serious consequence of DFU treatment amounting to 290,000 - 450,000 amputations a year in Europe, at a cost of €2 - 2.5bn.

Critically, a timely response from physicians, facilitated by PODIUMTM, could significantly reduce DFU - related amputations. The technology will provide a considerable Quality of Life (QoL) improvement for users and enable substantial savings to healthcare providers, even if only a very small percentage adopt PODIUMTM.


Dr Peter Plassmann - CEO - Thermetrix Ltd

RedKnight was instrumental in securing this grant. The company fully understood our technology and the advantages it offers. they contributed extensive background research and insider know-how on the European Commission's expectations and selection process, took us by the hand and drove the application process to its successful completion.


QuantERA's new joint call on Quantum technologies is now open.

The transnational network QuantERA, a network reaching over 26 countries and 32 organisations in the field of Quantum technologies (QT), has launched on November 21st, 2018 its second joint transnational call for proposals (Call 2019) on quantum technologies research, to fund innovation in QTs. This second round is intended to follow the success of QuantERA’s 1st call for proposals, announced in January 2017, which attracted 221 applicants and awarded over €32m of funding to 128 research teams from 23 countries. This time, the call will cover six main topics in the QT fields:

• Quantum communication

• Quantum simulation

• Quantum computation

• Quantum information sciences

• Quantum metrology sensing and imaging

Submitted proposals are expected to contribute to the development of the emerging field of quantum technologies research in Europe and should explore collaborative and multidisciplinary advanced science and/or cutting-edge innovation with the potential to initiate or foster new lines of quantum technologies and allow Europe to take the leadership early on these promising future technology areas. In addition, this innovation call will be open for funding to all the organisations and business from the 25 countries that are part of the QuantERA netwrok. however, QuantERA aims at spreading research excellence across the European Research Area by encouraging consortia to include partners from the widening countries participating in the call: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.

Applicants can submit their proposals until 18th February 2019. An information & networking session will be organized by the QuantERA consortium on December 5th, 2018 in Vienna during the ICT 2018 Event to allow researchers to exchange ideas in order to form/strengthen consortia for project proposals. QuantERA will give a presentation of the Call 2019 during this meeting. Interested researchers and stakeholders can register for the event here: https://quantera.eu/news/76-networking-session-for-the-quantera-call-2019

To learn more about topics of this upcoming call, participating funding organisations, eligibility and evaluation criteria, please consult the official announcement of the call at www.quantera.eu. If you wish to know more about other open calls for research funding or start-up funding, please consult us at info@redknightconsultnacy.co.uk.

Source: CORDIS


Innovate UK to support the testing of medtech innovations in the NHS

The life sciences sector is one of the most important for the UK economy. It has a £70 billion turnover and employs nearly 235,000 people. However, for as much as the many companies (especially SMEs) that populate this fast-growing sector are contributing to the national economy, the biggest challenge they have to face comes from within the national borders.

Indeed, the lengthy innovation adoption process in the NHS makes it difficult to most of the companies in the sector to provide the real-world evidences to support use of their innovations in the NHS. This is why Innovate UK and the Office for Life Sciences are working in partnership to invest up to £1.5 million in innovation funding for projects that support real-world testing of new medical devices, diagnostics and technologies in the NHS.

Business funding is focussed on small and medium-sized companies that have developed and manufactured innovative health-tech that have gained a CE marking have been marketed it in the UK for less than 5 years. The grant will help those companies either in the development or in the design of plans for collection of data on clinical performance and cost effectiveness or also the actual study.

Successful projects should last between 3 and 12 months and show how they are working with appropriate organisations such as the NHS and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. They should aim to have a significant impact and address NHS priorities including:

·         reducing cancellations or unnecessary appointments

·         reducing the burden on accident and emergency

·         improving patient safety

·         speeding up diagnosis

·         enabling earlier diagnosis of cancer

·         supporting management of long-term conditions such as diabetes, chronic pain management, cardiovascular disease, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

The new Innovate UK competition opens on 26 November 2018, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 30 January 2019: applicants have to bear in mind that expected costs for planning and preparation projects shall be up to £50,000 and those for actual studies shall be up to £250,000. In both cases, only the lead SME can claim funding as well as attract up to 50% of their project costs.

Source: innovate UK


5 Nations gathered at RedKnight's masterclass in Amsterdam.

After Romania, France and Greece, our training programme marks another destination on the map. Our Director, Mr Dayne Hodgson, visited Amsterdam in October to deliver the company’s Proposal Writing for Research & Innovation Projects masterclass. The two day session, organised by the European Academy, was held at the Double Tree by Hilton hotel in the heart of the city centre. Trainees travelled far and wide to attend the event, including Lebanon, Benin and Italy. Dayne had a fantastic time delivering the session, saying: “It was a fantastic group of enthusiastic researchers and support staff, all of whom were eager to develop their skills in bid-writing to enhance their chances of applying to programmes, such as Horizon 2020. Attendees particularly enjoyed the practical elements of the session, and I look forward to keeping in touch with them over the coming months and years to see them put RedKnight’s principles into practice, and hopefully securing some funding!”.

To find out more about RedKnight’s upcoming training events, please visit the European Academy website by clicking here.


Innovate UK to support travellers with disability

The South East of Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran), a regional transport partnership between City of Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, Falkirk, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian, has £150,000 to support up to 5 projects that look at developing a mobile app to help travellers with a disability to meet the challenges of using public transport.

Applicants shall identify and understand the challenges faced by travellers with a disability and how it affects the way they travel, to develop a mobile app that:

  • incorporate journey planning and wayfinding features
  • allow designated groups, such as family, emergency services and transport providers, to track the user in case of difficulty
  • allow the user to ask third parties for help
  • include multi-modal transport options
  • have an adaptable user interface, dependent on what the disability is
  • have the potential to be expanded at a later date to benefit people with disabilities not included in the initial launch.
The competition is open to companies of any size and it will start on Monday 12 November 2018. Eligible costs shall average up to £30,000 and should cover up to 6 months of project duration. The deadline for registration is at midday on 2 January 2019.

Source: InnovateUK


Supporting the future of telecommunications...

Here at RedKnight we are now accustomed to celebrate every new month with a success, and this November is no different, as another success has been addedd on the RedKnight scoreboard. This time we are delighted to have supported South Wales based Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC) Ltd with a successful application to the Eureka-Eurostars programme, scooping a grant of €632,812 for the consortium, which comprises Manchester based Integrated Compound Semiconductors (ICS) Ltd and V-tech Lasers & Sensors, based in Eindhoven. This latest success brings RedKnight's total funding secured since September 2015 to over £4.7m.The project, titled Monolithically Integrated Detector Solutions for Next Generation Comms Applications (MISCA), aims to lever semiconductor material integration to deliver disruptive, scalable component platforms, addressing demands of next generation telecommunications, data communications and optical infrastructure. The consortium will use intelligent monolithic integration of compound semiconductor materials platforms to deliver high-speed detector solutions with co-optimised RF and optical performance.
With Global IP traffic set to increase 3-fold over the next 5 years, having already increased 127-fold from 2005, an enormous market for fibre optic communications components has been created. The EU has built a significant proportion of GDP on digital activities, however the data centre infrastructure required to deliver such services must embrace step changes in data rate improvements to keep pace with demand. This requires reliable, mass produced, high quality optical transceivers to achieve this aim.
In this regard, MISCA will provide a step change in the degree of materials integration used in the volume manufacturing process for PIN (Positive, Intrinsic, Negative) diode and Avalanche Photo-diode (APD) device-based receivers - a major acceleration in the commercialisation of the innovative technology. This integration approach will deliver increased chip-scale specification to unlock packaging simplification and reduced operating power requirements, which has added benefits for environmentally friendly manufacturing.
Mr Wyn Meredith, Director at CSC, said of the successful application “The support from Redknight took away all the effort and angst of understanding the bid requirements and allowed us to concentrate on building the business case for the project. I was impressed at the rate at which the RedKnight team got to grips with the complexities of the technical aspects of the bid, and the added value in their understanding of the needs of the assessment process”