Innovation Projects Open call

This call has now closed.

The specific aim of the Innovation Projects Open Call is to increase and accelerate the uptake and impact of NERC funded research outputs by supporting translational and knowledge exchange activity which delivers direct tangible and demonstrable benefits to end users, particularly businesses.

Funds will be used to support projects which focus upon generating user applicable outputs from past and/or current NERC supported research and which translates them into outcomes that achieve impact.

Since the strength of the relationship between end-users and researchers is often what underpins the likelihood of success of any translational and knowledge exchange activity, it is essential that end-users are involved in both the development and delivery of proposals.

This call includes two directed opportunities for innovation projects focusing on soil security and water risks to global food supply chains, ecosystems and communities. Please see the below annexes for more information.

The Innovation Projects Open call will not fund commercialisation work (please see the Follow on Fund) or research (please see other NERC funding).

Project proposals submitted in this round may run for up to 24 months. A maximum of £125,000 (£100,000 at 80% FEC) may be requested.


Applications submitted to the Innovation Projects Open call and the 'soil security' directed element must be based on previous NERC funded research. Please note that applications submitted to the 'water risks' directed element do not necessarily have to be based on previous NERC funded research.

The Innovation Projects call is open to applicants based in:

  • UK higher education institutions (HEIs)
  • NERC research centres
  • independent research organisations (IROs) approved by NERC.


All Innovation Project Call projects must involve project partners/end-users.

Private, public and third sector organisations or institutions are eligible as project partners in the Innovation Projects call. However, the stability of the organisation and, if appropriate, the commitment of funds (or in-kind contribution) should be guaranteed for the duration of the proposed activity.

Research council institutes and HEIs are not eligible as project partners.

Independent research organisations are eligible to apply as the research partner, or may act as a project partner if end-user status can be demonstrated.

Successful innovation projects require strong user engagement in establishing and conducting project activity, and providing evidence to this effect is essential.

How to apply

Applications to the Innovation Projects call should be submitted through the Je-S system - external link using the following route:

  • Council: NERC
  • Document Type: Standard Proposal
  • Scheme: Innovation
  • Call/Type Mode: Innovation Projects SEP 2016


The following documents contain further information on the Innovation Projects call. Please read these before applying:

Innovation Projects call guidance notes (PDF, 208KB)

Innovation Projects call guidance for project partners (PDF, 43KB)

Innovation Projects call example letter of support (PDF, 131KB)

Innovation Projects final report template (Word, 93KB)

Innovation Projects interim report template (Word, 56KB)

Innovation Projects directed element annex - Soil Security (PDF, 233KB)

Innovation Projects directed element annex - Water Risk (PDF, 240KB)


Lizzie Hinchcliffe
Programme manager (innovation)
01793 411940