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Impact Acceleration Account (IAA)

3rd Call for IAA proposals

The 3rd call for IAA proposals will again be launched in conjunction with "Collaborative Impact" events using our experiences from the successful ImaginationLab event last year.

We are inviting researchers to attend these sessions to match industry ideas to research potential to forge innovative partnerships that can be funded through the IAA.

Seed funding of £5,000 (and up to £10,000 in exceptional circumstances) will be available to explore initial ideas and more substantial funding of up to £25,000, match funded by the partner to develop EPSRC research outcomes into more of a commercial proposition.

There will be 3 events at Lancaster University, each focussed on the following themes:

Eco-Innovation/Energy - 8th April 2014

ICT/Cyber Security - 9th April 2014

Quantum and Related Technologies - 10th April 2014

EPSRC

The university has been awarded £600,000 from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to fund a range of activities designed to promote impact from research areas that fall within their remit.

Impact is described as "the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy" and the Lancaster Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) funding will be used to:

  • Address barriers in university/SME collaboration
  • Use novel approaches to develop proposals to exploit EPSRC funded research
  • Enhance the capacity of targeted SMEs to take up outcomes from EPSRC funded research
  • Provide SMEs access to research infrastructure
  • Provide flexible support measures for accelerating impact
  • Evaluate and develop models to enhance impact of EPSRC funded research on SME Sector

The IAA award will run for 3 years from October 2012.

By October 2013 the IAA had supported nearly 40 projects using close to £215,000 worth of funding. Projects run across a number of departments and full details of what has been funded are available in the summary document.

All awards have been approved by the IAA Executive Board who met in October 2013 to agree on progress to date, ways forward and contractual arrangements regarding co-funding applications. Read more about governance, evaluation and the executive board.

There will be more calls for IAA funding throughout 2014 and researchers are advised to watch for communications through the regular channels. It is expected there will be calls specifically for those researchers who have already received IAA funding and calls for those who have not applied previously.

Main proposal outlines

The IAA account is focussed around three different types of industrial engagement as detailed below

Stage 1 - Cultural change in academic and industry staff

Day long secondments between University and Industry staff will enable them to appreciate each other's environment and provide a greater understanding of the context of each other's work. Funding will be available to cover travel costs (up to £100) of each exchange and anyone wishing to avail of funding will be expected to participate in workshops designed to share experiences and lessons learned.

Stage 2 - Co-design of innovative early -stage ideas to explore potential opportunities for impact

Seed funding of up to £5000 will be available to explore opportunities for academic and industry colleagues to collaborate on the exploitation of EPSRC funded research outcomes. This funding will be available throughout the duration of the IAA in addition to targeted events designed to facilitate university and industry idea generation and collaborative working.

Stage 3 - Support for the early stage of turning research outputs into a commercial proposition

For those collaborations with evidenced potential, flexible support will be provided to enable the outcomes of EPSRC research to be developed into a full commercial proposition. There are five mechanisms to do this with support from £5k to £20k.

  • Post-Doctoral Impact Fellowships
  • Post-Graduate Impact Fellowships
  • Technology Access Vouchers
  • Business Incubation & Investment
  • Rapid Response Fund

Businesses

If you are a company and would like to know more about these schemes and how to work with Lancaster University researchers then please follow the link below.

The IAA follows on from the previous EPSRC Pathways to Impact funding which encouraged EPSRC grant holders to develop innovative proposals for taking forward knowledge transfer and impact activities from their EPSRC funded research.