2010 Call for Proposals for EPSRC Centres in
Closing date for registering intent to submit an outline: 12:00 02 June 2010 Closing Date for outlines: 16:00 24 June 2010
Closing Date for full proposals (invited applicants only): 16:00 14 October 2010
EPSRC aims for the Centres are:
; To create, deliver and disseminate a coherent programme of
innovative manufacturing research.
; To address major long-term manufacturing challenges / and or
emergent market opportunities.
; To provide strong support for UK manufacturing industries. ; To enhance the global profile and significance of UK manufacturing
; To create a national network of expertise in manufacturing knowledge
with outreach to other centres and relevant research groups. It is expected that the Centres will:
1. Act as leaders in their areas: be high profile, lead on workshops, open
days and networks and drive forward the innovative manufacturing
research agenda, influencing policy and contributing to national
debate in manufacturing.
2. Evolve by taking a strategic approach to move in new directions and
new areas and depart from traditional thinking.
3. Work with EPSRC to further manufacturing research.
EPSRC is inviting applications for a number of new EPSRC Centres in Innovative Manufacturing. The funding will be a single award of up to five years in duration consisting of two types of support:
1. Funding to retain key staff, nurture collaborations, market the centre,
undertake feasibility studies, ensuring the research knowledge is
appropriately disseminated and for networking with other Centres in
the UK and overseas (akin to platform grant funding).
2. Funding to support up to two research projects/themes the focus of
which are driven by the long-term manufacturing research challenges
Applicants will need to demonstrate:
; The innovative nature of the approach proposed to tackle the
manufacturing research challenges.
; The leadership and vision for the Centre.
; The UK need for this Centre and that the research challenges are not
already being addressed by other parts of the UK academic community. ; A business need through significant direction and support from
collaborators. There is an expectation that the extent of this user
support and engagement will increase over the lifetime of the grant. It is expected that key users will work with the academic team in preparing the bid (in effect be co-creators of the centre) and this should be apparent in the authorship of the case.
The EPSRC would particularly welcome proposals in emergent and convergent technologies and processes which require a multidisciplinary approach. The recent International Theme Day in Manufacturing highlighted the importance of the following areas: a whole systems approach; process modelling and the use of ICT tools in manufacturing (e.g. virtual manufacturing); sustainability and the green revolution (e.g. sustainable product development); and the integration of design and manufacturing. EPSRC will not fund centres in the specific areas already covered by the three new EPSRC Centres for Innovative Manufacturing or the six existing IMRCs whose funding continues after January 2012. These are shown below. EPSRC plans to commit ?50 million during 2010/11 and would like fund up to ten Centres, dependent on the quality of the proposals received and their fit to the criteria. It is expected that bids for the new Centres will range between ?3 million and ?6 million (calculated at 100% full economic costs - with EPSRC contributing at 80% fEC).
Applicants will need to discuss any application with EPSRC first and will need to register intention to submit before the formal assessment process which will be a competitive two-stage process:
; Outline stage – to assess the applicant has sufficiently addressed the:
o Centre vision and leadership qualities of the Director.
o Innovative nature of the manufacturing research challenges.
o UK need for the Centre.
o Capability of the research group to engage with users.
o Academic capability of the research group and alignment to the
o Appropriateness of EPSRC as the funding agency and of this
; Full stage where the proposals will be competitively rank ordered via both postal peer review and interview stages. The criteria, (which are not in any order of priority) will be:
o Quality of the innovative manufacturing research programme.
o Overall strategy for the Centre including vision, management and
plans for longer term sustainability.
o Leadership qualities of the director.
o Level of business/user direction and support.
o Exploitation strategy and potential impact, including networking
and outreach to other research and user groups.
o Capabilities of the research group to deliver the aims and
objectives of an EPSRC Centre in Innovative Manufacturing.
o Level of commitment from the university(ies).
There will be a briefing session for those groups invited to submit a full bid at the EPSRC Offices in Swindon on 11 August 2010.
Specifics of this call
The scientific remit of this call is innovative manufacturing research in
engineering and physical sciences; where aspects of a proposal overlap with the remits of other research councils, we will consult with those councils regarding their potential interest in becoming involved. All proposals must lie predominantly within EPSRC’s remit.
The definition of manufacturing research is:
The design and development of new and existing manufacturing
processes, systems and networks, wherein manufacturing is a means
of creating value from things that are made, and recovering maximum
value from the product or product idea, including delivering a service
The EPSRC would particularly welcome proposals in emergent and convergent technologies and processes which require a multidisciplinary approach. The recent International Theme Day in Manufacturing highlighted the importance of the following areas: a whole systems approach; process modelling and the use of ICT tools in manufacturing (e.g. virtual manufacturing); sustainability and the green revolution (e.g. sustainable product development); and the integration of design and manufacturing.
EPSRC will only fund one Centre within an area and therefore will not fund Centres in areas already covered by:
; the three new EPSRC Centres for Innovative Manufacturing http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/research/centres/innovativemanufacturing/Pages/default.aspx in:
1. Liquid metal engineering
3. Regenerative medicine
1. or the six existing IMRCs whose funding continues after January 2012:
o Multidisciplinary Assessment of Technology Centre for Healthcare
o UCL Centre in Bioprocessing
o Scottish Manufacturing Institute at Heriot-Watt
o Electronics IMRC
o Health and Care Infrastructure Research and Innovation Centre
o Imperial Innovation Studies Centre
User collaboration is an essential aspect for these Centres. The case for support will need to provide evidence that partners have been engaged in generating the proposal from the outset. The EPSRC funding is to support a platform for basic research through to proof of feasibility within a laboratory environment. A key characteristic of the Centre is that the research is driven by the long-term research challenges of users. Financial sustainability is likely to depend upon successful funding from users, the Technology Strategy Board and other agencies with a direct interest in commercialising the research. It is also important that the knowledge within the Centre is refreshed from results arising from more fundamental research projects.
Applicants will therefore need a business plan which articulates the Centre‟s strategy at each stage of the value chain (discovery, understand, integrate/adapt, demonstration and deploy).
Deadline for registering intent to submit an outline application – 02 June
Deadline for outline proposals – 24 June 2010
Outline Panel – July 2010
Decision of the outline Panel – mid August 2010
Meeting with the successful outline applicants 11 August 2010 Deadline for full proposals – 14 October 2010
Prioritisation interview panel – February 2011
Decisions of which proposals will be funded – March 2011
REGISTER INTENT TO SUBMIT OUTLINE PROPOSAL
Anyone wishing to apply for one of these new Centres must register with EPSRC first by completing the Intent to Submit form which can be downloaded from the EPSRC website from the same page as this call document
http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/calls/open/Pages/innovativemanufacturingcentres.aspx. This must be sent electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org
by 12:00 on 02 June 2010.
Outline proposals will not be accepted from any applicant who has failed to register intent.
A. How to Apply
You should submit your proposal using the Research Councils‟ Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) System (https://je-s.rcuk.ac.uk/). When
adding a new proposal you should select Council „EPSRC‟, document type „Outline Proposal‟ and the „EPSRC Outline‟ Scheme. On the Project Details page you should select the „EPSRC Centres for Innovative Manufacturing 2010 Outline‟ call.
Both single and multi-institutional bids are invited; however, proposals must be submitted on one common Je-S proposal form even if they are multi-institutional bids.
Details of which Research Organisations are eligible to apply are available at http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/research/eligibility.htm. However, for this call, we
will only accept applications from UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Note that clicking „submit document‟ in Je-S submits the proposal to your
host organisation‟s administration, not to EPSRC. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your organisation‟s submission process between submitting your proposal to them and the Call closing date. EPSRC must receive your application by 16:00 on 24June 2010.
Please also note that it is the responsibility of the lead organisation to ensure all the documentation required is submitted with the
proposal form. There will be no opportunity for the proposals to be sent back to the organisation following the submission.
Guidance on the types of support that may be sought and advice on the completion of the research proposal forms are given on the EPSRC website http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/apprev/preparing/Pages/default.aspx) (
which should be consulted when preparing all proposals.
You should consult your Research Administration at the earliest opportunity when preparing your outline proposal, specifically with regard to costing your outline proposal and any internal procedures you need to follow. In addition to the proposal details that you need to complete in Je-S (including outline costs and a non-technical summary of the proposal) you will also need to prepare the following attachments:
1. Outline Case for Support
The case for support should be a maximum of four sides of A4 and should use the following headings:
; Overall Vision for the Centre and how it meets the aims and
expectations of the EPSRC Centres for Innovative Manufacturing model
(as articulated on page 1 of this call document). This should include an
overview of the manufacturing research challenges and the approach
to addressing them.
; Leadership qualities of the director. In addition to the information
provided in the CV, please provide evidence that the director has the
necessary skills and competencies to drive the vision.
; UK need for an EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in
this area. This should be set in an international context with reference
to relevant academic research and the business requirements. ; Capability of the research group. This should include evidence:
o That you have the necessary skills within the team to address the
proposed research challenges or a route to access those skills.
o Of user direction and collaboration and the ability to be able to
leverage cash and in-kind support from these users.
o That users have been involved in the preparation of this proposal
from the outset.
; Appropriateness of this funding mechanism to address the
identified business need challenges. It will be important to
articulate not only that the overall research challenges are best
addressed through this type of funding but also that it is appropriate
for the EPSRC to provide the funds.
; Resources requested including the percentage of time the principal
and co-investigators will be spending on the project. Explain the ratio
of funding requested for the directly incurred costs of the two parts of
the proposal (platform-type funding and research).
Please attach as a two-page CV for the director of the centre under the CV attachment type which demonstrates a track record in managing large complex research grants and of collaborating with users.
3. Letter from the university(ies)
Letters from all universities involved should articulate how this new centre aligns with the university‟s research strategy. The letter should be signed by
the Pro-VC for research or equivalent. The letter(s) should be attached as “letter of support”.
B. Outline Assessment criteria
It is important that all the assessment criteria are met as peer review assessment will consider all of them equally.
; Centre vision and leadership qualities of the Director.
; Innovative nature of the manufacturing research challenges.
; UK need for the Centre.
; Capability of the research group to engage with users.
; Academic capability of the research group and alignment to the
; Appropriateness of EPSRC as the funding agency and of this
C. Outline Assessment Process
The outline bids will be considered by a Peer Review Panel based solely on the information provided on the Je-S form, in the case for support and the accompanying attachments. The Peer Review Panel will first categorise the proposals into broad areas and then prioritise proposals within those categories according to the criteria. The Panel will also comment on the relevant merit of the proposals across the categories.
EPSRC will decide, based on the advice of the Peer Review Panel, which proposals to invite to the full stage.
After the decisions have been made, the EPSRC will hold a meeting in Swindon to give further briefing for all successful applicants on 11 August 2010.
FULL PROPOSAL STAGE
Applicants must have been successful at the outline stage in order to submit an application to the full proposal stage.
Closing Date for full proposals for invited applicants only: 16:00 14 October 2010
Please note that EPSRC reserves the right to reject a full proposal where the resources are substantially different from those indicated in the outline proposal or where there have been other significant changes from the outline proposal.
EPSRC acknowledges that the timescales are tight but are due to the proposed timescale for the transition of the Council‟s grant processing
activities to the RCUK Shared Services Centre (details of which were outlined in a letter to Vice Chancellors and Directors of Research from RCUK in January this year). The proposals will needs to go out to postal peer review before the end of October. Therefore, there will be no
opportunity to amend the proposal after submission (e.g. revising justification of resources or later submitting letters of support). It is the responsibility of the lead organisation to ensure all the documentation required is correctly submitted with the proposal form.
A. How to prepare a full proposal
You should submit your proposal using the Research Councils‟ Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) System (https://je-s.rcuk.ac.uk/). When
adding a new proposal you should select Council „EPSRC‟, document type „Standard Proposal‟ and the „Standard‟ Scheme. On the Project Details page you should select the „EPSRC Centres for Innovative Manufacturing 2010‟
Proposals must be submitted on one common Je-S proposal form even if they are multi-institutional bids.
Note that clicking „submit document‟ on your proposal form in Je-S initially
submits the proposal to your host organisation‟s administration, not to
EPSRC. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your organisation‟s
submission process between submitting your proposal to them and the Call closing date. EPSRC must receive your application by 16:00 on 14
Guidance on the types of support that may be sought and advice on the completion of the research proposal forms are given on the EPSRC website (http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/apprev/preparing/Pages/default.aspx)
which should be consulted when preparing all proposals.
Note – it will be mandatory to have at least one user-collaborator named as project partner in Je-S; your proposal will not validate without one. It is also mandatory that some of the collaboration will involve a direct cash contribution. It is not acceptable for the only project partner making a cash contribution to be closely linked to the Institutions involved in the bid (e.g. university spinouts).
In addition to the proposal details that you need to complete in Je-S, you will also need to prepare the following attachments:
1. Full Case for Support
The case for support should be a maximum of 12 sides of A4 under the
; Track record. The applicant should include evidence of the director‟s leadership qualities and that the team has the capability
and capacity to address the identified research needs.
; Vision and rationale for the Centre. Include how this
complements not only other activities within the university(ies) but also those within the UK and international scene. The rationale should articulate why funding in this area is timely and relevant and will address users‟ key manufacturing and business research
needs to enable them to be innovative in a ten-year timescale. It should also address how this will achieve the aims and objectives of the scheme (as detailed on page 1 of this call). It should be set in an international context with reference to relevant academic research and the business requirements.
; Platform-type funding – please articulate the activities this part of the funding will enable in underpinning the activities of the Centre to achieve the aims and expectations of an EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing.
; Flagship research projects/themes. Please include:
o A broad overview of the research theme(s).
o The underlying key research challenges and the broad
approach to address them.
o The scientific details and the methodology for the initial
projects; ensure there is sufficient detail to allow peer review
to assess the quality and ambitious nature of the research).
o User engagement in the flagship themes and how it will impact
on their business.
o Details of how it is envisaged the programme of research will
; Management - this should give details of:
o How the Centre will be run.
o The strategy to maintain and control the balance between the
needs of the users and the requirement to carry out ambitious
o The strategy as to how the flexibility of resources will be used
for both the platform type funding and the user-led research
funding, including a risk management strategy.
o How the Centre will further enhance its research portfolio to
increase its impact on its user community.
o The strategy to increase user engagement during the lifetime
of the grant, including attracting new user collaborators. 2. CV
Please attach as a two-page CV for the Director under the CV attachment type which demonstrates a track record in managing large complex research grants and of collaborating with users.
3. Business Plan
This should be a maximum of two-pages of A4. This plan should articulate
the plans for the Centre‟s sustainability. It should:
; Explain the Centre‟s strategy for engagement with the entire value
chain (from discovery, to understanding through to
integration/adaptation, demonstration and deployment) – i.e. the
exploitation plan and potential pathways to impact.
; Articulate the funding agencies that would be appropriate to
support this strategy, and
; Identify how you would measure both quantitatively and
qualitatively the impact and success of the grant funding in terms
of research, people and policy.
The plan should be attached as “Other attachment” in Je-S.
4. Justification of resources
This should be a maximum of two pages of A4. This should be in two parts:
; Justification of resources for the platform-type grant support.
; Justification of the resources for the research programme.
; Resources cannot be requested for travel and subsistence for any of
the collaborators identified in the bid.
5. Two-page Workplan
6. Project Partner Letters of Support
The letters of support from project partners should:
; Confirm their rationale for support for the centre from their business
needs and drivers, and detail how they have been involved in the
preparation of the proposal.
; An outline of their involvement during the five years.
; Confirm the contribution of cash and in-kind support.
; Indicate whether there may be a willingness to increase this amount
during the lifetime of the grant.