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Feature INNOVATION


RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT FUNDING DRIVES INNOVATION


The Government is investing up to £15m for research, development and knowledge transfer to help stimulate innovation and support growth in the nuclear sector.


New 2012 funding competitions • £12m for collaborative R&D projects • £2m for SME-led feasibility studies • £1m for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships


The funding was announced by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) during its ‘Collaboration Nation: Nuclear R&D’ event at the Nuclear AMRC earlier in 2012. The programme is co-funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).


The NDA contribution of up to £3m is aligned with projects related to its decommissioning mission. Dr Melanie Brownridge, NDA Head of R&D, said: “The NDA is committed to encouraging innovation as it progresses the safe decommissioning of the UK’s first generation of


36 NuclearCONNECT


nuclear facilities. We see investment in R&D as a key element in this long-term mission and are therefore delighted to be working with Technology Strategy Board, EPSRC and DECC in promoting opportunities for collaborative innovation projects across the supply chain and academia.”


The investment programme includes up to £12m for business-led collaborative R&D projects, £2m to be invested in feasibility studies, and £1m to support Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), focusing on the transfer of knowledge and skills into industry from academia. The funding underlines the need to develop a strong, innovative and sustainable supply chain that can take maximum advantage of the opportunities offered by both national and global markets.


Competitions for funding will support the development of innovative technologies for use in the assessment, construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance, waste management and decommissioning of nuclear plant in a safe, economic and sustainable manner. Applicants will need to show how they could help strengthen the UK supply chain whilst contributing to the high-level, long-term challenge of developing cost-effective and safe solutions with high reliability and durability in the nuclear sector. Issues of regulation, health and safety and non-proliferation are also key considerations.


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