Sector News

Innovation China UK Programme Office (ICUK) seeking participants

Innovation China UK Programme Office (ICUK) based at Queen Mary Innovation Ltd. is seeking mission participants from two UK companies and one academic institute in the field of sensor and sensing technology to join the UK-China Innovation Partnering Mission in Shanghai between 10th and 13th September 2017. This mission will be largely funded by the FCO Global Partnership Fund. HEI spin-outs and commercial partners are welcome to apply.

Global University Venturing awards celebrate excellence in Technology Transfer.

PraxisUnico would like to congratulate Oxford University Innovation, which was named ‘Tech Transfer unit of the year’ in the annual GUVenturing awards ceremony in London last night (23rd May), and PraxisUnico Advocacy Committee member Tony Raven who was awarded a lifetime achievement award.


First research programme to remove greenhouse gases launched in the UK

The National Environment Research Council (NERC), Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) are jointly funding the Greenhouse Gas Removal programme. The Met Office and Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) are also supporting.

The programme will investigate how to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, the first of its kind. It is designed to coincide with the 2015 Paris Agreement aims of keeping global temperature rises well below 2°C.

BEIS to fund EV batteries and Robotic research

The Autumn Statement outlined the development of the Industry Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) to support collaborations between business and the UK’s science base.

The fund will be managed by Innovate UK and research councils and will cover technologies from healthcare to space technology. The aim of the funding is to create a modern Industrial Strategy to support key sectors of the economy and spread jobs, success and opportunity.

Funding for universities to deliver the industrial strategy

HEFCE is launching the Connecting Capability fund (CCF). They are allocating £100 million of funding to support university collaborations in research commercialisation.

They are calling for interest to allocate up to £85 million from the CCF for competitive projects. The first awards of funding will be announced in autumn 2017 and the second in early 2018.

HEFCE also plans to support universities to further their knowledge exchange collaborations and seizing opportunities for commercialisation by allocating £15 million worth of funding in 2017-18.

Cardiff-based Life Science company awarded funding from Finance Wales

The Cardiff-based life science company, Cellesce, has been awarded funding by Finance Wales to continue its organoid research and establish its growing team in the GE Innovation Village in Cardiff.

Cellesce previously received funding from Innovate UK and NC3Rs which helped them move forward and develop the company to where it is today. The additional funded they have been granted from Finance Wales will aid in their ambition to become significant players in the emerging organoid sector.

For more information, follow the link

UK Energy Innovation Awards 2017

The awards aim to celebrate the 'unsung heroes' within the energy industry, who are breaking boundaries to bring benefits to customers, industry and the supply chain.

This year there is a new losses award, which will offer a cash prizes to the first, second and third winners, recognises innovative technologies, practices or solutions that could lead to a reduction in distribution network costs.

Startup incubation and acceleration: the national picture

A new report released by NESTA has identified 205 incubators and 163 accelerators active in the UK. These support an estimated 3,450 and 3,660 new businesses a year respectively, with UK accelerators providing an estimated £33m annually in start-up investment. The report, commissioned by BEIS and produced in partnership with the UK Science Park Association (UKSPA) provides another piece of evidence highly relevant to current policy debates – not least the Industrial Strategy Green Paper – around stimulating, supporting and growing early stage companies.

IPO seeking views on proposed changes to patent fees

The IPO launched a consultation seeking views on proposed changes to patent fees on 13th April 2017. 

The consultation document is available at:

It sets out four proposed changes to pre-grant patent application fees. An alternative proposal is also included, involving smaller increases to pre-grant fees in conjunction with small increases to renewal fees. 

Driverless pods research in the UK

The UK Government has provided funding towards the testing and research of the autonomous vehicles. The aim is to use the vehicles to move people around airports, hospitals, malls and other centres.  

The project, CAPRI Consortium, was awarded the funding as part of the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Innovate UK competition to invest £35 million in industry-led research and development projects on CAVs. The funding will be channelled through Innovate UK, the CCAV and a high-tech hothousing agency.