Translational Alliance Platforms

EPSRC invites participation in a funding initiative which aims to support researchers in the formation and development of new sustainable long-term translational partnerships which will deliver impact from existing EPSRC research investments. Partnerships should aim to develop research outcomes towards tangible application and use, and also to share engineering knowledge and approaches in order to co-design future user oriented research strategies. This call is open to those who wish to develop translational partners at the multi-disciplinary interface between Healthcare Technologies and the Engineering areas of Synthetic Biology, Chemical and Formulation Engineering, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, and Microsystems. A budget of £4 million is available to support a number of flexible translational partnership investments across this broad interface.

The primary aim of this funding activity is to enable the development of new long-term relationships between a researcher, or team of researchers, and an identified translational partner. Translational partners may be any non-academic user organisation (e.g. an industrial, charitable, clinical or not for profit organisation) which has the experience and capability to translate research outcomes into new or improved products, services or systems. The translational partner should be clearly appropriate for the translation of the research in question, and must have the expertise to work in collaboration with the academic partner in order to both deliver translational research outcomes and inform and co-design future research.

A key focus of the partnership is to translate current research outcomes further along the innovation pathway, applicants should also aim to use awards made through this call to build an appropriate and useful long term sustainable partnership with the aim of developing future collaborative work. Applicants will be required to work in partnership with at least one translational partner throughout the duration of the award, and this partner must be demonstrably committed to the building of a relationship with the researcher(s), the duration of which is expected to outlast this award.

Applications to this call should focus on the development of new translational opportunities and directions for a current research grant with a view to engaging a new translational industrial collaborator. The foci of applications should be clearly distinct to the translational activities identified in the "Pathways to Impact" document of the original research proposal, and should instead explore new, un-anticipated opportunities arising from the research. Furthermore, applications should be forward-looking, and consider how the proposed partnership will enable effective co-design of future research proposals and exploitation of research, thus encompassing a clear understanding of user needs.

This call is open to eligible UK academics that currently (i.e. at the time of application) hold an EPSRC grant which is clearly relatable to the Engineering areas of Synthetic Biology, Chemical and Formulation Engineering, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, and Microsystems, and who wish to translate this current research towards a health related product, system or service.

Proposals will be assessed on the appropriateness of the proposed new partnership and the strength of the demonstrated commitment therein, the proposed activities in relation to both the innovation pathways and relationship building, and the potential for the outcomes of both current and future research to be translated through the partnership.