ISCF Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Enabling Research Call

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) Enabling Research Call is being managed by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) on behalf of all UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) research councils. ISCF is the UK Government’s flagship challenge-led innovation programme.

ISCF SSPP aims to establish the UK as a leading innovator in smart and sustainable plastic packaging for consumer products, which will in turn deliver cleaner growth across the supply chain and significantly reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the environment by 2025.

The ISCF SSPP Enabling Research Call seeks to fund academic-led research that addresses widely understood problems and knowledge gaps in relation to plastic packaging where there is not currently a solution. This will then lead to a fundamental systems change and make an important contribution to achieving the goals of ISCF SSPP. The specific SSPP programme objectives that apply to the Enabling Research Call are to:

Deliver innovative research and innovation to support more sustainable plastic packaging in line with the UK Plastics Pact targets.

Increase UK plastic packaging supply chain collaboration in order to improve sustainability.

Increase understanding of environmental impacts of existing and new plastic packaging to inform new and improved design, technologies and processes.

Increase understanding of behaviour on the sustainability of plastic packaging to inform new and improved design, technologies, processes and business models.

 UKRI wishes to support a variety of research projects which respond to current knowledge gaps and will unlock opportunities to transform the plastic packaging system.

Indicative research themes have been identified to develop a balanced programme of research activity across the plastic packaging supply chain. The themes are:

Behavioural insights (consumer and business).

Supply chain models.

Business and economic models.

New plastic packaging designs.

New recyclable materials.

Recycling technologies and processes.

Environmental impacts of existing and new plastics.

Projects can research any type of plastic packaging for consumer products (eg food, household, cosmetics, medical etc). Proposals are expected to be problem-led, addressing widely understood problems associated with plastic packaging and include a clear articulation of how the outcomes will be exploited in the near term.

Investigators from any discipline supported by UKRI are welcomed and encouraged to apply. All projects are required to have a Principal Investigator based in a UK research organisation eligible for UKRI funding (ie approved higher education institutions, research council institutes and independent research organisations). NERC individual eligibility rules apply.

Applicants are encouraged to engage with the business community and third sector organisations, and form collaborative working partnerships. Partnerships, where formed, should be genuine and reciprocal, and proposals must demonstrate that collaborative research activities will add value (such as through enhanced outcomes and impacts, or achieving outcomes at less cost or faster than if working alone).

The total available budget is up to £8 million (at 80% full economic cost). It is anticipated that around 10 research projects lasting between 18 and 36 months will be funded.

Outline proposals should be submitted by the deadline 17 March 2020 (16:00)

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.