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TWIIN Webinar Explains How to Attract Public Funding for R&D

Thu, 08 December, 2022

The recent TWI Innovation Network (TWIIN) webinar: UK and EU Collaborative Funding Opportunities: An Innovative Journey with TWIIN, brought attendees a highly focused morning dedicated to all they need to know about upcoming Innovate UK and Horizon Europe funding calls, as well as how companies and organisations can use them to advance their business.

This latest webinar, in what has now become a popular series of regular events on this subject, saw attendee registrations of more than 250 from circa 34 countries, and requests for 1-2-1 meetings with Technology Innovation Management team members, to discuss technology concept and proposal development, reached nearly 100.

Guest speakers from Innovate UK (IUK), Conall McGinley – Horizon Europe Energy National Contact Point and Craig Sharp – Horizon Europe National Contact Point, each gave a presentation on their respective fields of expertise. Conall looked in detail at Horizon Europe (HC) Cluster 5: Climate, Energy and Mobility, which aims to address issues relevant to the twin green and digital transitions, and the post-COVID 19 recovery, through solutions for sustainable and inclusive energy use, clean and competitive transport modes, and more. Craig, in his talk, discussed the bigger picture of how collaboration is important in solving ‘global grand challenges’ and in turn contributes to the UK, and provided useful case study examples of projects that have been successful in winning IUK funding.

Also presenting at the webinar were Athanasios Mastrogeorgiou, Senior Robotics Engineer at TWI Hellas, based in Athens, Greece and Vikas Kumar, Researcher at the Materials Innovation Centre (MatIC), which is a partnership between the University of Leicester and TWI. Athanasios explained some of the novel robotics technologies being developed by TWI Hellas on projects such as Solbotix, Tubers and Softgrip. Together with a number of other technology-based projects, these were enabled by TWI Hellas and its consortia partners being successful in winning public funding through the submission of collaborative proposals. Vikas talked about the challenges associated with the sustainability of materials, and shared some of the research and development being done by MatIC to tackle this as a result of securing public funding. He cited as an example, the publicly funded collaborative project Battman: 3D Electric vehicle battery manufacturing with novel, multi-material 3D printer.

In addition, James Foden, Section Manager, Technology Innovation Management (TIM) described the wide range of services and support that is available through TWIIN, including the specialist technology innovation services, and Chloe Sparks, Senior Project Leader, Innovation and Skills Directorate at TWI, introduced attendees to the new TWIIN platform, Orbit, which has recently launched as an interactive digital forum for collaboration and networking.

Webinar Chair Sally Shi, Programme Manager in TWI’s TIM team, who guided proceedings on the day and has an in-depth knowledge of public funding utilisation and optimisation, said “We were delighted that so many TWIIN and TWI Industrial Members, as well as representatives from partner organisations and delegates who were new to us, were able to join us for this webinar.” Adding “We understand that the process of bidding for public funding can be a little daunting, for both companies who are experienced in this area as well as those just starting out, and this informed our thinking in establishing these webinars. TWI has a strong track record in securing public funding for engineering and technology concepts, working closely with external partners and TWI’s Innovation Centres and technology sections, so webinars such as this latest one enable us to share our experience and know-how with like-minded innovators.”

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