Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering

EPSRC Impact Accelerator Account

EPSRC Impact Accelerator Account

Overview

Impact Accelerator Accounts (IAAs) are block awards made to organisations to speed up impact of research. Newcastle University has £595k from the EPSRC to spend between April 2020 and March 2021.

The IAA is available to help bridge the gap between the lab and marketplace. They allow research to be communicated, translated and accelerated to users and moved forward.

The EPSRC gives IAA funds to 33 universities to bring about impact. The IAA impacts the research landscape. It makes it easier for scientists to develop ideas and collaborate with industry. It speeds up the contribution scientists make towards:

  • new innovation
  • successful businesses
  • economic returns

IAA aims

Through the EPSRC-IAA, we aim to:

  • develop new, and strengthen existing, relationships with industrial users of EPSRC research through secondments and collaborative projects
  • provide resource to enable early-stage commercialisation of EPSRC-funded research
  • enhance and develop the culture of impact within the Newcastle research community
  • provide more diverse opportunities for a wider range of participants, e.g. early career researchers
  • improve the outcomes of projects beyond IAA funding
EPSRC logo

Funding streams

The IAA supports four main areas of activity:

It is a prerequisite to the EPSRC-IAA funding that it relates to an EPSRC grant. The funds should be used to advance the findings from that research grant towards impact.

We can give you further guidance on applications.

Contact

For more information or application forms for IAA funding, please contact:

Sarah Warner
Impact Funding Manager
Email: sarah.warner@ncl.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 4573

Commercialisation

We offer support for early stage commercialisation. There are 2 funds available:

Ideas to Innovation

This fund is to support researchers to make the first steps towards turning research outputs into a commercial proposition/have significant effect on the private, public, or voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.

Funds are offered for a range of activities including

  • prototyping
  • feasibility studies
  • market assessments
  • making links to policy makers

Funding is available up to £15,000 (approx 6 month project). This is an open call.

Examples of funded projects:

  • Systems and methods for biofeedback training (Engineering)
  • Proteins, peptides and actives involved in ageing (skin) processes (FMS)
  • Whole journey ship analysis (Maths and Stats)

Innovation to Impact

This fund is intended to support the early stages of turning research outputs into a commercial proposition/have significant effect on the private, public or VCSE sector. Projects are expected to involve aspects of both technicial development and business development to secure additional funding, by providing further evidence of the technological and economic viability of the approach along with a more detailsed market knowledge and possible routes to market/impact.

  • The technology/research output will have evidence of demand and requires an industry/public sector/VCSE collaborator.
  • The technology/research output should have a higher Technology Readiness Level or Societal Readiness Level (~TRL7/SRL7 – see appendix 1).
  • The output of the project is expected to be a licensable technology, spin out, or significant policy change.

Funding is available up to £45,000 (max 12 month project). This call is now open and will close on 14th February 2020.

Examples of funded projects:

  • Cost effective hip implants (FMS)
  • Development of a non-thermal plasma device to reduce combustion articulate emissions (Engineering)
  • Prototyping an innovative LNG cryongenic recovery system for power generation on LNG vessels and terminals (Engineering)

Contact

For more information or an application form, please contact the IAA manager: sarah.warner@ncl.ac.uk

Engagement

We help facilitate short placements and up to 6 month secondments for researchers in industry and vice versa. We also provide support for impact fellowship schemes.

Strategic Impact Fund:

The strategic impact fund aims to allow researchers to build and maintain relationships with our strategic industry partners: Northumbrian Water Ltd, Siemens, P&G. It is also to develop in areas that are of strategic importance to the university (Ageing and Health, Data, Cities and Culture, and Creative Arts). 

The maximum budget for applications is £45,000. It is expected that the project will last up to 12 months. This is an open call and can be applied for at any time.

Non-Academic Partner Engagement

The purpose of this fund is for activities that support interactions with non-academic partners, such as travel to make initial connections with non-academic partners, or organisation of workshops and sandpits with industry/policy makers/etc. to enable co-creation of projects that will use EPSRC research.

Funds are available up to £5,000. This is an open call.

Collaborative Impact Projects

This fund is to support the co-funding of events with other UKRI Impact Funds (e.g. MRC Proximity to Discovery and Confidence in Concept) as well as other funds such as Higher Education Innovation Fund, Wellcome Trust Translational Partnerships. The funds can also be used to support events with Durham university to build capacity.

Funds are available up to £5,000. This is an open call.

Contact

For further information and an application form, please contact the IAA manager: sarah.warner@ncl.ac.uk.

Secondments

We help facilitate short placements and up to 6 month secondments for researchers in industry and vice versa. We also provide support for impact fellowship schemes.

Placements for Impact

Flexible exchanges are available, from week long placements up to six month secondments. Both outward and inward placements are available (researcher into industry or industry into university).

Funding of up to £20,000 is available. This is an open call.

Example of funded projects:

Placement into HexisLab to investigate novel cosmetic actives for ageing skin (FMS).

Fellowships for Impact

The IAA supports externally run impact fellowships, for example:

Parliamentary Academic Fellowships which encourage researchers into Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST).

Contact

For further information or an application form, please contact the IAA manager sarah.warner@ncl.ac.uk

Development

We provide development opportunities for Early Career Researchers in the form of our ACTION for Impact training programme.

ACTION for Impact:

The EPSRC IAA will support early career researchers who receive funding from EPSRC to attend the ACTION for Impact training course.

The purpose of the training course is to:

  • help researchers think about the problems and challenges they address with their research (and beyond)
  • help them realise the commercial, economic and societal impact of their research
  • develop delegates' entrepreneurial mindset

For further information on ACTION for Impact and to sign up to the next available course, please see the Northern Accelerator webpages.

Impact Projects:

After the training, delegates will have the opportunity to pitch for funds to undertake a Personal Impact Project. Researchers can access mentoring from Enterprise Advisors at the Careers Service and advice from Business Development Managers to develop a proposal pitch, or to consider their next steps.

They will then have the opportunity to present their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of judges to embed the skills developed on the course, and for an opportunity to pitch for funds to develop their idea.

Personal Impact Projects could include:

  • spending time in an organisation/industry relevant to their research
  • conducting market research for an idea
  • working with the enterprise team to explore a new commercial or social project or enterprise

Funds are available up to £20,000 for a project of up to 6 months.

More Information

The next training course will be run in April 2020. Sign up on the Northern Accelerator webpages.

EDI Fund

New for 2020 - Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Fund aims to enable researchers to overcome barriers relating to EDI to be able to participate in activities.

EDI fund

This additional funding stream has been made available to allow carers to travel with dependants e.g. mothers/fathers with young children can travel with their partner to assist with caring, or for creche facilities to be funded for out of hours activities. 

Contact

Please contact IAA manager to apply: sarah.warner@ncl.ac.uk

Applications

Eligibility, process and assessment for IAA funding, and tips for success.

Eligibility

The proposed project must stem from research originally funded by EPSRC. Only Newcastle University staff are eligible to apply for IAA funding. 

We welcome proposals from applicants who job share, have a part time contract and/or need flexible working arrangements as outlines in Newcastle University's Flexible Working Policy. 

Applications are encouraged from early career researchers. 

IAA awards are not for the continuation of research. Applications should therefore focus on the development of impact activities and outputs and not on research. Applications which read like research grant proposals redrafted for IAA purposes are less likely to be successful than projects which clearly comprise development of findings and ideas toward impact.

The IAA will fund:

  • staff time for Newcastle University staff
  • consumables
  • equipmentcosts (must be under £10k including VAT and must be essential for the project)

The IAA will not fund:

  • 'blue sky' research
  • patent costs
  • consultancy
  • contract research
  • trips to academic conferences
  • activities that should be funded by other mechanisms

Assessment

Applications will be assessed on a range of criteria, including:

  • potential reach and impact of the project
  • value for money of the proposal
  • calrity of the proposed plans
  • understanding of steps needed to acheive longer-term outcomes and impact
  • evidence of support from external partners
  • evidence of demand from potential users/stakeholders

Application tips

The IAA applications are shorter than full grant applications, but don't forget the important information.

  • What is is the legacy of the research and how to you intend to build on this?
  • Who do you intend to benefit? What is the benefit?
  • What are the next steps after the IAA project?
  • Write for a scientific but non-expert audience.
  • concentrate on the exciting bits of the research.
  • An EPSRC representative sits on the panel. make sure teh quality of the application is good enough to be read by external panel members.

Application process

Application forms should be requested from the IAA manager.

The IAA manager can consult with the PI on the application prior to submitting.

A business development manager may need to be involved in the application process, especially if there are collaborating companies and potential issues with intellectual property.

The application review process is different for each of the different funds but should take 3-4 weeks for the outcome. 

Contact

For more information or an application form, please contact the IAA manager: sarah.warner@ncl.ac.uk