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.

Key Information 

  • Funders: Science and Technology Facilities Council[1] (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.

[1] 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 partners 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[2], 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 the industry with the goal to understand hardware and software requirements and constraints necessary to reach a solution.

[2]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.

To receive a Call Guidance document and submit the application, email: