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STFC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) Fund provides support for activities that will accelerate impact from University of Oxford’s research that falls within STFC remit, but the IAA panel also wants to see projects with synergies between STFC and EPSRC science portfolios.

 

IAA funding will support (but is not limited to):

  • Innovation and commercialisation proof-of concept projects
  • Industry / stakeholder engagement and community building workshops
  • Industry / stakeholder secondments

Note: This funding is for knowledge exchange related work for the benefit of researchers working in one or more of the STFC core science remit areas.

Applicants are not required to hold a current or past STFC grant to apply for STFC IAA support.

STFC IAA funds will not support existing programmes or blue-skies research or public engagement.

IAA Budget

The cumulative budget available for the current STFC IAA Call is £220,000

The current STFC IAA Call is accepting applications for projects underpinned by STFC remit research in the following categories:

a)   STFC Kickstarter category (£2,000 to £40,000; 6 to 12 month duration)

Funding for small starter projects for early stage innovation (e.g. TRL1-3), including market research, events, meetings, visits

b)   STFC Accelerator category (£30,000 to £75,000; 6 to 12 month duration)

Ambitious, scalable IAA projects (e.g. TRL4-TRL6) that will progress outputs closer to commercialisation, or exploitation, or use by the non-academic sector.

Types of activities supported by the STFC IAA programme include (but are not limited to):

(i)   Impact Development or Technology Development activities are expected to support

(a) transfer of knowledge, whose take-up will provide benefits to users but will not necessarily generate a financial return to the University (e.g. applications for NHS and other public bodies, local/national government, NGOs, etc.)

(b) the development and commercialisation of new technologies to the point where they are suitable for follow on support from other sources (e.g. other IAAs; STFC’s External Innovations Programme – Early stage research and development scheme, e.g. (i) Early Stage Research and Development or (ii) Late Stage Commercialisation; Challenge-led Programmes led by STFC Horizons Programme; Oxford University Innovation (OUI) UCSF) or for commercial exploitation.

Impact/Technology Development could include, e.g.

  • proof of concept
  • commercialisation activity
  • market validation support 

(ii)  Partnerships or KE activities that will accelerate impact through increased engagement of researchers with end-users of research in non-academic organisations, and includes

  • proof of concept projects
  • people movement across sectors
  • support for networks
  • industry events.

Assessment Criteria

Quality assessment criteria (not listed in any priority order):

  • Potential size of the impact - could be financial and/or social
  • Timescale to impact - will this project and proposed follow up reduce the lead time to impact
  • Likelihood of impact – does the project involve appropriate activities and partners
  • Clarity of plan to achieve the project aims
  • Good value? Impact per £
  • Risk involved in the project - high risk not necessarily a negative; management of risk

Accelerator applications – additional considerations:

  • Demonstrates synergy across STFC - EPSRC remits
  • Highly likely to deliver outputs needed to progress beyond TRL4 and gain follow on support

Frequency of Funding Calls

STFC IAA Funding Calls will be announced on a regular basis, usually twice a year, until all of the available funding has been allocated.

Informal enquiries are welcome from applicants – email stfciaa@mpls.ox.ac.uk 

DATES FOR STFC IAA FUNDING CALLS:

  • Call open: 26 July 2022
  • Rolling application deadline: up to 16:00, 28 February 2023
  • Panel meetings: March/April 2023 (tbc)

Projects are expected to start within 3-6 months of the application date. Please contact the STFC IAA if your project start date is likely to be beyond August 2023. 

The next STFC IAA call/panel meeting will be 2023.

Pre-submission feedback: IAA staff are happy to review and provide feedback on draft applications prior to final submission. Please email feedback requests to stfciaa@mpls.ox.ac.uk up to 3 days before the application deadline. Late feedback requests may be considered subject to staff availability, urgency and need.

User Engagement: Applicants must include a letter of support from their user(s)/non-academic partner(s) with their application; this will minimise time delays between the funding decision and project start. The letter should clearly detail that what the partner will contribute to the project is in line with the information provided in the application.

Note: Applicants to the IAA are required to engage users in their projects, if this is not the case, applicants must contact the IAA (stfciaa@mpls.ox.ac.uk) to explain reasons for this before submitting an application, as this will avoid delays in the review of an application.

INFORMATION ON IAA PROJECTS 

Projects approved for STFC IAA funding since April 2022 - to be available by December 2022.

Case studies of projects that have received STFC IAA funding (to follow)