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28 April 2020

Dorset Gateway funding blog: April 2020

Dorset Gateway funding blog: April 2020

At the time of writing, the UK is still in lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK Government has recognised that through providing funding for R&D active organisations, many of the solutions we need to address life in lockdown, and to reboot the economy post-lockdown, are out there.

Through Dorset Gateway’s fully funded Bid Writing Support Service, Dorset LEP has been working with local SME’s to help them apply for funding for ideas that address COVID-19. Specifically, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – the government’s research and innovation agency – has put out a call looking for short-term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Since the call was announced at the beginning of April, Dorset Gateway has supported four local businesses in submitting project proposals, totalling over £186,000. By adapting this service to respond to the current COVID-19 outbreak, we have been able to support businesses in developing new products and services while also responding to the government’s request for support.

This Knowledge Transfer Network round-up includes details of international funding, and details of the next tranche of COVID-19 funding are below.

Although Covid-19 currently dominates the funding scene, other funding opportunities for R&D active organisations are still out there, and you can find details of highlight examples further below. 

Our bid writing support service is ready to support Dorset’s businesses and research organisations to apply for any of these funding opportunities – if if you’re not sure how we might be able to help, check out our #BidBites podcast series for more information.

Funding opportunities

UKRI open call for research and innovation ideas to address COVID-19. Closing Date: 1 April 2021
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will support proposals of up to 18 months duration from applicants, including SMEs that would normally be eligible for Innovate UK grant support, which meet at least one of the following:
a) New research or innovation with a clear impact pathway that has the potential (within the period of the award) to deliver a significant contribution to the understanding of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts.
b) Supports the manufacture and/or wide scale adoption of an intervention with significant potential.
c) Gathers critical data and resources quickly for future research use.

To find out more and to apply, visit the Knowledge Transfer Network website.

DASA: Coronavirus - £1million Defence innovation funding. Deadline: rolling cycle 3 closing Tuesday 28 April & cycle 4 closing  Tuesday 12 May 2020
A £1million fund to fast-track innovation to aid the Armed Forces in the fight against Coronavirus has been launched by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA). The call is open to any idea or novel approach that could boost the Ministry of Defence’s capabilities and work as part of the national effort against Coronavirus (COVID-19) or similar future threats. This competition is part of DASA’s Open Call Competition. For more information, and to apply, visit the the GOV.UK website.

National Institute for Health Research: Travel and subsistence funding to support LMIC engagement during the COVID-19 outbreak. Deadline: 31 December 2020
The awards will provide travel and subsistence funding to appropriately qualified public health professionals, clinicians and academics who wish to offer science and technical advice to support the immediate response to COVID-19 in low and middle-income countries. The awards are open to applicants who have a substantive position at a UK higher education institution or research organisation – visit the NIHR website for details.

COVID-19 Rapid Response Rolling Call. Deadline: 1 April 2021
Building on the initial calls of their Initiative, Department for Health and Social Care, through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and UKRI are jointly launching a rolling call for proposals for rapid research into COVID-19. As this is a rolling call there is currently no fixed end date to the call, we are open to applications and will aim to review complete proposals within 4 weeks of submission. This is a researcher-led call: for UK-led academic, SME and wider industry research that will address a wide range of COVID-19 knowledge gaps/needs, and which will lead to a benefit in UK, potentially international, public health within twelve months – visit the MRC website for details.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome & Mastercard COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard have committed up to $125 million in seed funding to speed up the response to the COVID-19 epidemic by identifying, assessing, developing, and scaling-up treatments. The partners are committed to equitable access, including making products available and affordable in low-resource settings. The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will play a catalytic role by accelerating and evaluating new and repurposed drugs and biologics to treat patients with COVID-19 in the immediate term, and other viral pathogens in the longer-term. Currently there are no broad-spectrum antivirals or immunotherapies available for the fight against emerging pathogens, and none approved for use on COVID-19. Read the full update from Wellcome on their website.  

Other R&D Funding opportunities

Advanced engineering & manufacturing

Agritech, farming & aquaculture

Energy, Environment & sustainability

Health, Medical Sciences, Digital and Creative:


Please contact Dorset Gateway’s Bid Writing Support Service for support in applying.

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