In 2019, the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) launched a Proof of Concept Programme called the ‘Harwell Cross-Cluster Industrial Engagement Proof of Concept Grant’. The programme offered businesses the opportunity to access up to £30k of grant funding to stimulate industrial engagement with organisations across the Harwell Campus Clusters. The call supported collaboration by linking industry with academia, commercial and research organisations.
There were several successful applicants in 2019, some of whom are highlighted in the video above including The Electrospinning Company in collaboration with the Medical Research Council. They used the ‘Proof of Concept’ funding to work on a ‘Stealth’ membrane for cellular therapy in Type 1 diabetes. Ann Kramer, CEO of The Electrospinning Company commented “without the Proof of Concept programme our Stealth Project would not have moved forward into the development phase that it is in today”.
Kayser Space, also successful, worked alongside Nottingham University; together they developed an integrated optical system for in-situ monitoring of live samples inside a standard sealed bioreactor container for deployment in micro-gravity and extreme environments. Other recipients of the Proof of Concept grant were SubTeraNDT, Adaptix Ltd, 3Dmagination Ltd, UAVAid Limited, Archangel Lightworks, LIFT ME OFF Ltd, AGM Batteries, ZapGo Ltd, Quantum Detectors Ltd, Reaction Engines Ltd and Teratech Components, who collaborated with a range of organisations, facilities and capabilities on the campus and across the UK.
As highlighted in the video above, a brand-new Proof of Concept programme has been launched this year by STFC, called the ‘Harwell and Sci-Tech Daresbury Campus Cross-Cluster Proof of Concept Grant 2020’. The national research and innovation campuses at Sci-Tech Daresbury and Harwell Campus are an integral component of the UK innovation ecosystem, with cutting edge science facilities and a mix of companies from start-ups to multinationals. With up to £30k being granted per successful proposal, the new ‘Proof of Concept’ call invited applications from businesses which collaborate with one or more cluster organisations to cultivate and accelerate cross-disciplinary collaborations across the five clusters of Space, EnergyTec, HealthTec, North West HealthTec and Digital.
We have received an excellent response to the call this year and look forward to sharing the successful 2020 Proofs of Concept as they get underway next year.