Water security competition now open

21st Mar 2012

The Technology Strategy Board, Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are to invest up to £4m in feasibility studies and collaborative research and development (R&D) projects to stimulate innovation in the UK water industry. Given the drought situation that has been in the news lately, with hose pipe bans announced in some parts of the country, this is a very topical subject.

The aim is to support step-change innovations that address overseas and future UK water security challenges. A step-change innovation is a product, process, service or business model that has the potential to save or make available for use 1,000 million litres a day (Ml/d) of water, within a defined global market, from the blue water cycle. Blue water is fresh water originating from surface and ground water sources, abstracted for municipal, industrial or agricultural purposes.

Up to £1m is available for feasibility projects, which must be led by a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME). Projects may be collaborative or undertaken by single companies. Feasibility projects should last three to six months and will attract up to 75% public funding. They expect to invest a maximum of £100,000 in each project. The deadline for applications for feasibility funding is at noon on 2 May 2012.

Up to £2.5m is available for collaborative R&D projects, which must be business-led and include an end user. Up to a further £0.5m is available for feasibility and collaborative R&D projects incorporating a space-related solution. Collaborative R&D projects should last one to three years and will attract up to 50% public funding. They expect grants to be up to £500,000. There is a two-stage process for collaborative R&D funding. Expressions of interest must be submitted by noon on 2 May 2012 and the deadline for full applications from invited applicants is at noon on 11 July 2012.

A briefing event for potential applicants for both feasibility and collaborative R&D funding will be held on 28 March 2012.

To access the competition documents and register for the briefing event please visit http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/water-security.ashx

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