to their website, UKRI admit to over 50 years of working to understand
and mitigate the effects of climate change, to include decision making
and policy creation. Even with such effort and expense, we are on the
brink of potentially irreversible consequences of the failures of
Governments (internationally) to act in good time, that could mean other
research falls by the wayside, as desertification and food shortages
lead to conflict and massive loss of human life.
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is the national funding agency investing in science and research in the
United Kingdom. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6
billion pounds, raised from income and corporation taxes. UKRI brings together
seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England.
UKRI is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, supported by 7 agencies and public bodies.
RESPONDING TO CLIMATE CHANGE
For more than 50 years, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), its councils and predecessors have worked to understand, tackle and mitigate the effects of climate change, and embed evidence in decision making and climate policy.
Today, the UK is at the forefront of a new, green industrial revolution. Research, innovation and partnership continue to underpin the UK’s commitment to:
- achieving a net zero economy by 205
- respond to the challenges of climate change
- live more sustainably.
On this page you’ll find news and features touching on some of the initiatives UKRI is enabling and supporting in
these crucial endeavours. There are a range of specific examples showing how researchers and innovators are making a
difference using taxpayers £pounds, together with details of how UKRI is contributing towards the success of the UN
Climate Change Conference
(COP26) being held in Glasgow
STRATEGIC PRIORITIES FUND
The Strategic Priorities Fund is an £830 million investment in multi- and interdisciplinary research across 34 themes.
It is funded through the government’s National Productivity Investment Fund and managed by UK Research and Innovation.
The fund aims to:
- increase high-quality multi- and interdisciplinary research and innovation
ensure UKRI investment links up effectively with government research and innovation priorities
respond to strategic priorities and opportunities
You can gain support for a variety of research projects ranging from pure research through to feasibility studies, research and development, demonstrators and major new research centres or institutes.
A key element of funded programmes is that many bring together people from different disciplines to work on finding solutions.
PROGRAMMES THAT HAVE WON FUNDING
We have selected a variety of research programmes that will be funded through the Strategic Priorities Fund. These include:
- supporting the UK contribution to the Human Cell Atlas international collaboration to comprehensively map every cell type in the human body
a new productivity institute based at the Alliance Manchester Business School
the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre
the Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator for the development of therapies and technologies targeting genetic mutations
the National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity
the Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub.
Each of these programmes will run in a different way, and many will announce funding opportunities in the coming months.
Most of the challenges are collaborative, multi- and interdisciplinary research programmes delivered by two or more of our councils and other public sector funding organisations.
Eligibility to apply into a Strategic Priorities Fund programme is based on:
- your suitability to lead or work on a research proposal or business innovation project
- the research organisation or business where the work is intended to take place.
Higher education institutions, research institutes and independent research organisations accredited by UKRI are eligible organisations to receive funding.
A number of public sector research establishments are also eligible to receive grant funding from the programmes.
The funded programmes
The Strategic Priorities Fund has 34 programmes organised under eight themes:
- biology and biomedicine
- artificial intelligence
- health, wellbeing and human rights
- productivity and technical.
Clean Air: Analysis and Solutions
This £19.6 million programme has invested in 18 research and innovation projects into cleaner air through predictive understanding of future air quality challenges, a systems approach to analysis, new technologies, and innovative policy and practice that benefit vulnerable groups, improve public health and support clean growth.
The funding has been delivered by the Natural Environment Research Council and the Met Office, with Innovate UK, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Medical Research Council, and National Physical Laboratory, in partnership with the government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Department for Health and Social Care and Department for Transport.
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Clean Air: Indoor/Outdoor Interface
This £22 million programme aims to help the UK tackle air quality challenges from changing emissions and exposure patterns to protect human health and support clean growth.
It is delivered by the Natural Environment Research Council and the Met Office, with Innovate UK, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Medical Research Council, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, National Physical Laboratory, in partnership with the government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Department for Health and Social Care, and Department for Transport, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government.
Contact NERC for more information - Email: email@example.com
This is a £18.7 million programme that supports climate risk and solutions research that ensures the UK is resilient to
climate change and well positioned to exploit opportunities for adaptation and green growth.
Projects already funded include research into climate flooding hazards in UK estuaries and research into new ways to understand what drives changes in extreme rainfall and windstorms.
The funding is delivered by the Natural Environment Research Council and the Met Office, with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Contact UKRI for more information - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Constructing a Digital Environment
This is a £10.4 million programme funding a series of feasibility projects and demonstrators that support development of an integrated network of sensors and tools across the UK to help policymakers, businesses, communities and individuals understand long-term environmental change.
It is delivered by the Natural Environment Research Council, with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Funded projects include demonstrating new ways to monitor landslides and floods and a platform for sharing data and analysis on
Contact NERC for more information - Email: email@example.com
This is a £10.5 million programme bringing together researchers, policymakers, business and land managers to develop an interdisciplinary decision-making framework that helps to make better decisions on land use in the UK.
Funded projects include using artificial intelligence to learn the complex relationships between social, economic and environmental driving factors and historic changes in agricultural land use.
It is delivered by the Natural Environment Research Council, with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, with policy support from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Contact NERC for more information - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenhouse Gas Removal Demonstrators
This is a £31.52 million programme assessing sustainable ways for large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
It is delivered by the Natural Environment Research Council, with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Innovate UK, the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs.
Contact NERC for more information - Email: GGR@nerc.ukri.org
Transforming the UK Food System for Healthy People and a Healthy Environment
This is a £47.5 million programme supporting research to fundamentally transform the UK
food system by placing healthy people and a healthy natural environment at its centre.
It is led by the Global Food Security programme and delivered by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, in partnership with the Economic and Social Research Council, the Medical Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, the Department of Health and Social Care, the Food Standards Agency, Public Health England and Innovate UK.
Contact BBSRC for more information - Email: email@example.com
National Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Research Programme
This is a £30 million programme that supports new opportunities to increase sustainability, improve resource efficiency and reduce waste in sectors such as textiles, metals and construction materials, and includes establishment of five interdisciplinary circular economy centres and an integration hub.
Funding is delivered by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Innovate UK, Natural Environment Research Council, the government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Contact EPSRC for more information - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sustainable Management of Marine Resources
This is a £12.4 million programme that aims to improve understanding of society’s attitude and behaviour towards the marine environment and use this to develop policy and decision-making in marine management.
It is delivered by the Natural Environment Research Council, with the Economic and Social Research Council, the government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Scottish Government.
Contact NERC for more information - Email: email@example.com
Living with Machines
Living with Machines is a £9.2 million programme helping data scientists, historians, computational linguists, geographers, and archivists to work together to better understand the social and cultural impact of the mechanisation of work during the first industrial revolution.
It is delivered by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, with The Alan Turing Institute, the British Library, the Universities of Cambridge, East Anglia, and Exeter and Queen Mary University of London.
Contact AHRC for more information: CIDAA@ahrc.ukri.org
AI and Data Science for Science, Engineering, Health and Government
This £38.8 million programme supports the use of artificial intelligence and data science in priority areas of the UK economy, including engineering and urban planning, health, physical and life sciences, and criminal justice.
It is delivered by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in partnership with The Alan Turing Institute, and in collaboration with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Medical Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council and the Science and Technology Facilities Council. It includes policy support from the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice and Department of Health and Social Care.
Ensuring the Security of Digital Technologies at the Periphery
This £30 million programme supports the development of a safe and secure ‘Internet of Things’, particularly to protect more critical applications from sophisticated cyber threats. It includes the setting up of the National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity.
It is delivered by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Innovate UK, with policy support from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Home Office.
Extreme Photonics Applications Centre
This £81 million programme is funding a new imaging centre at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus that will use world-leading UK laser technology to create highly accurate 3D images of structures and produce 3D reconstructions of complex objects hundreds of times faster than conventional systems. The centre is expected to be operational by 2024.
It is led by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, with additional investment from the Ministry of Defence.
Contact STFC for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
PRODUCTIVITY AND TECHNICAL
Space Weather Innovation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk
This £20 million programme will support improvements to the forecasting and risk assessment of space weather, such as flares or winds from the Sun’s surface, or geomagnetic storms, which can disrupt modern technologies and damage human health.
It is delivered by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, with the Natural Environment Research Council, the Met Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Transport.
Contact STFC for more information - Email: email@example.com
This £42.2 million programme supports the new Productivity Institute headquartered at the Alliance Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester and dedicated to understanding what is needed to solve the UK’s productivity challenges. It is also supporting a research programme into improving productivity.
It is delivered by the Economic and Social Research Council, with Innovate UK, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Her Majesty’s Treasury, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Trustworthy Autonomous Systems
This is a £34 million programme driving fundamental research into the design, development, curation, verification and validation of autonomous systems.
It aims to improve trust in autonomous systems and ensure they are safe, reliable, resilient, ethical and deployable. The programme includes support for a Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub based at the
It is delivered by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, Innovate UK and UK Space Agency.
Harnessing Exascale Computing (ExCALIBUR)
This £47.5 million programme is supporting the redesign of simulation codes and algorithms so we can take full advantage of the power of future generation supercomputers. The aim is to keep the UK at the forefront of high-performance simulation science.
It brings together UK domain experts, mathematicians and computational scientists to identify common issues and opportunities in the simulation codes.
The Met Office and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council are leading this programme in partnership with the UK Atomic Energy Authority, the Natural Environment Research Council, the Medical Research Council and the Science and Technologies Facilities Council.
The National Timing Centre
This £36 million programme will allow the UK to develop a resilient time and frequency distribution network that would protect emergency services, the energy grid and telecommunications from massive disruption that would occur in the event of satellite failures.
Funding is for a national timing centre and to support businesses to develop new products and services that take advantage of more resilient time and frequency infrastructure.
It is delivered by the National Physical Laboratory, with Innovate UK, and supported by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and other government departments.
Contact the National Physical Laboratory for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics
This is a £40 million programme to demonstrate how the application of quantum technologies will advance the understanding of fundamental physics questions.
It is led by the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Contact
STFC for more information: QTFP@stfc.ukri.org
EMISSION - CAD drawing of a proposal to raise the speed of solar and
wind powered vessels, such that they might be able to compete with other
alternatively propelled vessels, for the delivery of passengers and
GLOBAL CHALLENGES RESEARCH FUND
The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) supports cutting-edge research to address challenges faced by developing countries. It is part of the UK’s official development assistance (ODA) and is managed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The fund addresses the United Nations sustainable development goals. It aims to maximise the impact of research and innovation to improve lives and opportunity in the developing world.
We are one of the delivery partners alongside Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Higher Education Division Northern Ireland, Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and UK Space Agency.
We also work in partnership with other organisations including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). We have signed a memorandum of understanding with UNDP that commits us to ensuring closer collaboration between researchers and policymakers across the world by combining our collective expertise in driving international development, research and innovation.
UKRI and their partners are supporting programmes that:
- promote challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, including the
- participation of researchers who may not previously have considered the applicability of their work to development issues
strengthen capacity for research, innovation and knowledge exchange in the UK and developing countries through partnership with excellent UK research and researchers
provide an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research
The fund is advised by a strategic advisory group, and UKRI’s international development peer review college ensures that developing country perspectives are a key part of expert review.
PROJECTS THAT HAVE BEEN FUNDED
The first phase of the GCRF is a five-year programme between 2016 and 2021. Funding has been allocated to hundreds of projects including:
low-cost tools for assessing dementia in low-to-middle income countries
a global network for addressing neglected tropical diseases
using traditional culture and art to promote democracy in Sri Lanka
sustainability in the Costa Rican dairy sector
taking electricity to low-income areas in Rwanda
use of groundwater to build community resilience in Nigeria.
We are also supporting major programmes that address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals including interdisciplinary research hubs, a partnership programme with African universities, and a programme to grow research capability between institutions in the developing world and the UK.
Contact UKRI’s activities in GCRF - Email: email@example.com
Interdisciplinary research hubs
We have awarded between £13 million and £20 million each over five years to 12 interdisciplinary research hubs working across a range of development challenges.
The hubs bring together researchers, governments, international agencies, NGOs and community groups in developing countries and the UK. They share knowledge and expertise on innovative and sustainable solutions to help make the world safer, healthier and more prosperous.
The hubs include 400 unique partner organisations in 85 countries and 550 researchers from a range of disciplines addressing 16 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
AFRICAN RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES ALLIANCE
We have a partnership with the African Research Universities Alliance to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals by strengthening UK-Africa research collaborations and improving research capacity in the UK and Africa.
Its aim is to:
build significant capacity for science and research across African universities
provide opportunities for African research teams and GCRF grant holders to jointly create projects that build on current investments
build collaborations that strengthen capacity for research, innovation and knowledge exchange in both the UK and developing countries.
The partnership is supporting 13 African Research Universities Alliance centres of excellence with up to £600,000 each over three years to build research capacity. Four research projects are also receiving up to £2 million each over three years for work in food security, pollution and water resource management, conflict-prevention and
peace building, and the impacts of climate change.
We have invested £225 million in 37 projects to grow research capacity around the globe.
The aim is to strengthen and broaden skills and expertise to address specific challenges of developing regions and countries, and to generate long-lasting partnerships, ideas and knowledge.
The programme involves 69 partner countries, and each collaboration is between institutions in developing countries and in the UK.
Find out more about all these collaborations in our publication Growing research capability to meet the challenges faced by developing countries (PDF,
GCRF Collective Programme
The Collective Programme is made up of over 140 projects across 18 funding opportunities. It is designed to enhance the overall impact across UKRI’s six strategic GCRF portfolios in:
- global health
- sustainable cities
- food systems
This research is contributing to realising the ambitions of the UK government’s aid strategy and progressing the
United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The world we live in faces ever-changing societal, environmental
and economic challenges, which are felt regionally, nationally and also globally.
UKRI's mission is to connect ideas, people and communities to respond to these challenges and drive positive change through innovation.
FUNDING POLICIES : The
Elizabeth Swann is a zero emissions vessel, using only
solar and wind power for propulsion, but under current grant making point scoring,
she'd have little chance of securing funding.
MARITIME PLAN INTRODUCTION: 1 - 13
SECTION 1 - TACKLING
SECTION 2 - OUR APPROACH:
51 - 58
SECTION 3 - ECONOMICS:
59 - 95
SECTION 4 - INFRASTRUCTURE:
96 - 120
INNOVATION: 121 - 129
SECTION 6 -
REGULATION: 130 - 138
SECTION 7 - NEXT
STEPS: 139 - 140
MAP - THE 2050 PLAN RECOMMENDATIONS
NOTES REFERENCE LINKS
The Department for Transport will work with
UK, part of UK Research and
Innovation, to invest up to £20m for innovative clean maritime and smart shipping projects. The
Secretary of State in 2018 was Chris
Grayling, Minister for Marine, Nus
Ghani, and Sec. of State from 2019, Grant
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