Announcing STFC’s Cross-Cluster Proof of Concept Grant and Highlight Call on Quantum Computing in collaboration with the NQCC
STFC and the National Quantum Computing Centre are pleased to announce a joint call for proposals.
Funders: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC)
Funding type: Grant
Opening date: Wednesday 19th October 2022
Closing date: Wednesday 23rd November 2022, 17.30 GMT.
 Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is part of UK Research and Innovation
Description of the funding opportunity
The aim of this call is to stimulate business engagement and collaboration with organisations associated with the clusters at Harwell and Sci-Tech Daresbury.
The call invites proof of concept projects from any area related to the clusters in Space, Energy Tech, Health Tech, NW Health Tech, NW Space, Digital Tech, and Quantum.
Your project must be business-led and involve one or more project partner from a campus cluster. We are keen to support multi-disciplinary projects, although it is not a requirement of funding.
This call also invites applications to a special Highlight Call in Quantum Computing.
The National Quantum Computing Centre has provided funding for this highlight through its Applications Discovery Programme, SparQ. The call aims to stimulate industry engagement and interactions with the NQCC. Your project must focus on industrially-relevant use cases and be business-led. Companies that are not currently associated with one of the established clusters at Harwell and Sci-Tech Daresbury can apply to this highlight call, with prior permission from NQCC.
What we’re looking for
The main funding opportunity aims to support business-led proof-of-concept projects that:
Stimulate knowledge exchange, engagement and collaboration between businesses, research centres, facilities and other organisations in clusters
Facilitate industry access to the excellent people, national facilities and diverse capabilities at Harwell and Sci-Tech Daresbury Campuses
Boost knowledge and technology spillovers from publicly funded organisations at Sci-Tech Daresbury and Harwell to innovative companies across the UK
Drive the development or demonstration of novel concepts, technologies or services
Demonstrate the feasibility of new technologies or capabilities, or a new application of existing technology
Validate technologies and services in a system’s context
Support UK economic growth, helping high-potential businesses to progress new or novel ideas and secure follow-on-funding and investment.
To support businesses looking to scale up their production, either as part of a cross-cluster proof of concept project or as a follow-on collaboration, we have partnered with the Manufacturing Technology Centre, who will enable access to their Manufacturing Support Service, Product Manufacturing Incubator and Digital Manufacturing Accelerator. Please see Annex 1 for further information.
The Highlight Call in Quantum Computing aims to support business-led feasibility studies in conjunction with the NQCC that map onto one or more of the following topics:
Identifying and exploring the development of use cases for quantum computing
Exploring the development of early applications of quantum computing which are relevant to industry
Analysing one or more use cases relevant to industry with the goal to understand hardware and software requirements and constraints necessary to reach a solution.
Access to the expertise and capabilities at MTC is subject to availability and may require separate consultation and eligibility checks.
You are invited to join a webinar to hear from some of the innovative businesses that received a grant under the Cross-Cluster Proof of Concept Programme in 2021/2022. The event will also provide the opportunity to discuss good practices and hear how you can participate in, and benefit from, future programme calls. Register for the webinar here.
Research and leadership role in quantum software and algorithms
This strategic package award will allow the successful candidate to undertake an ambitious programme of research in quantum software and algorithms focusing on their applications.
As part of the strategic package, you will spend a minimum of 30% full-time equivalent (FTE) on secondment to the NQCC in the role of Chief Scientist.
In total, 50 to 100% FTE time can be requested through this funding opportunity.
As Chief Scientist, the successful applicant will use current research results to steer and advise on areas of high potential for the NQCC and contributions to the wider UK quantum computing landscape.
Cross-Cluster Proof of Concept Grant & Highlight Call on Quantum Computing
Since 2017, STFC and partners have invested over £1.2m across 80 Proof of Concept projects, supporting early-stage innovations and leveraging over £1m in matched funding.
The 2021 Call
The National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) is sponsoring a Highlight Call on Quantum Computing, delivered in partnership with the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC). This Highlight Call is part of a wider Cross-cluster Proof of Concept (POC) Grant call, which aims to promote engagement across organisations in the Space, EnergyTec, HealthTec, and Digital Tech clusters associated with the Harwell Science and Innovation and Sci-Tech Daresbury campuses.
The Highlight Call on Quantum Computing call aims to stimulate industry engagement, and interactions with the NQCC, as well as organisations associated with the clusters.
We are funding short proof-of-concept projects on quantum computing that are business-led. For this Highlight Call, companies that are not currently associated with one of the established clusters, and particularly those that wish to engage directly with the NQCC, can apply.
The NQCC is sponsoring a number of awards through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, EPSRC’s call on Quantum Technology Career Development Fellowships. We are looking to support talented postdoctoral researchers, who have the potential to lead their own research programs and develop their research profiles within quantum computing. The funding is available for between three and five years.