EPSRC Sandpit: Novel Computing for UK Defence and Security

Closing Date: 28/02/2023

Up to £3 million is available to support projects arising from a five-day interactive sandpit focused on developing novel low size, weight and power computing projects for UK defence and security applications.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), in collaboration with National Security Technology and Innovation Exchange (NSTIx) and UK Government partners, is inviting applicants to attend a five-day interactive sandpit to develop novel innovative, multidisciplinary and transformative low size, weight and power (SWaP) computing projects for UK defence and security applications. There will be a combination of days online and in-person.

The sandpit will be an intensive, inclusive, interactive, and creative environment, supporting a diverse group of participants from a range of disciplines and backgrounds from across UKRI’s remit, to work together for five days. The sandpit process can be broken down into several stages:

  • Defining the scope of the UK defence and security challenges.
  • Cultivating a common language and terminologies among people from a diverse range of backgrounds and disciplines.
  • Sharing understandings of the challenges, and the expertise brought by the participants to the sandpit, and perspectives from relevant stakeholders.
  • Immersing participants in collaborative thinking processes and ideas sharing to construct innovative approaches.
  • Capturing the outputs in the form of highly innovative research projects.
  • A funding decision on those projects at the sandpit using ‘real-time’ peer review.

Participants for the sandpit will be invited from a broad range of disciplines including, but not limited to: computer science, mathematics, engineering, physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities. It is important that academics from a range of disciplines work together on the challenges being tackled, ensuring that adoption of these technologies is also a focus.

The aim of the sandpit is to generate research proposals that:

  • Take into account the needs of UK defence and security stakeholders and consider co-design with end-users.
  • Form new collaborations between researchers, innovators and users in diverse research areas.
  • Create new and transformative research ideas in low SWaP computing, and allow researchers to pitch projects for seed funding to test and de-risk novel ideas.
  • Address the key research challenges that are identified.
  • May be led by researchers who have not worked in this sector before.

The sandpit will be held over five days from 24-28 April 2023. It is a requirement for attendees to attend all five days of the sandpit event. Attendance at the sandpit does not guarantee UKRI funding.

Funding body Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Maximum value £1,000,000
Reference ID S24708
Category Science and Technology
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Natural Environment
Fund or call Fund