The Technology Strategy Board, Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are to invest up to £2.75m in collaborative feasibility studies to stimulate innovation across four technology areas that will enable and underpin UK growth: advanced materials; biosciences; electronics, sensors and photonics, and information and communications technology (ICT).
Projects will be led by a small or micro company, in collaboration with one or more business or research partners, with expected costs of £50k to £150k and last from six to 15 months.
The bioscience proposals should be focused on one or more of the specific elements below:
Characterisation and discovery tools
- commercial application of sequencing technologies focusing on genomics
- integration and exploitation of phenotyping technologies
- integration of 'omics technologies, such as integrating metabolomic, proteomic, genomic and phenomic data collection and interpretation capabilities
- biological imaging systems, biosensors, probes/ markers, diagnostic platforms.
Production and processing
- metabolic engineering
- novel manufacturing processes for biological products and novel biological production systems
- formulation and delivery approaches for biological products, including biopharmaceuticals and functional foods.
- approaches to organising, filtering and interpreting biological data, including biological system modelling, data visualisation and user-centred design.
Projects should be focused on early-stage technical opportunities that:
- contain a significant level of technical risk, in that there is some level of uncertainty about how the proposed technical approach will work in practice
- involve companies carrying out most (if not all) of the research in-house. Projects should build a technical evidence base to enable progression to larger-scale projects.
This competition opens on 6 May 2014, and the deadline for applications is noon on 25 June 2014.