Science and Technology Facilities Council
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Global Challenge Concepts Fund - pilot scheme

The deadline for submitting applications is 4.00pm on Wednesday 4th April 2012.

The STFC Futures Programme is making available around £400k per annum to demonstrate that STFC has the technology and expertise to address the Global Challenges in energy, the environment, and healthcare by bringing innovative technology and applications from STFC’s Programme relevant to these areas to a proof of concept stage, in readiness to access external funding. The Fund will operate as a pilot scheme in the first instance and will be reviewed after the first projects are awarded.

The objectives of the fund are:

  • To support small scale demonstrator/proof of concept projects (up to approximately £50k) to show that STFC expertise and technology can be applied to Global Challenge problems;
  • To provide a faster route to funding that will enable researchers to demonstrate capability applied to new areas, de-risk novel concepts and thereby maximise the potential to realise opportunities for next stage funding;
  • To complement and underpin other STFC funding schemes such as Innovation Partnerships (IPS) that are aimed at the transfer of technology and expertise from STFC research into the commercial marketplace, as well as those such as the Challenge Led Applied Systems Programme (CLASP) that provide support for larger demonstrator projects and industry-ready prototypes addressing the Global Challenges

Scope of the call

We welcome high quality proposals addressing any aspect of the Global Challenges in energy, the environment and healthcare, however, greater priority will be given to proposals that address the specific areas identified below:

Global Challenge priority areas


Projects addressing the following specific Healthcare challenges will be given a higher priority for funding:

  • Confident healthcare in the community, particularly aspects of early diagnosis and monitoring
  • Cancer care, particularly imaging, detection and treatment


Projects addressing the following specific Environment challenges will be given a higher priority for funding:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Geological repositories
  • Pollution
  • Radioactivity
  • Space weather
  • Tropical forests


Projects addressing the following specific Energy challenges will be given a higher priority for funding:

  • Smart grids for energy distribution and storage
  • Advanced materials for:
    • nuclear shielding (radiation hard and self-healing materials)
    • solid state battery technologies for high energy and power density
    • solar absorbers for use in multi-junction solar cells
    • fuel cell technologies - efficient and robust electrode and electrolyte materials

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