Research and Development Enabling Fund

Have you developed an innovative idea that needs funding to get it off the ground? Are you working on a project that needs financial help to complete?

If so, an ICE R&D Enabling Fund grant could help. The fund was set up more than 20 years ago to help civil engineers develop new and innovative ideas and tackle problems in design or construction. It is managed by ICE’s Research, Development and Innovation towards Engineering Excellence Panel.

We aim to provide readily accessible funding to the engineering community and collaborators, and to help deliver on ICE’s business plan by enabling the built environment community to address its key aims.

During its history, the Fund has supported a great many projects, tackling some of the most important issues facing engineers. ICE’s Trustees and expert Knowledge panels, in partnership with the Fund’s dedicated review panel, use information gathered from our membership and community to identify the Fund’s current calls.

The fund is open to anyone working on projects for the benefit of our members and the infrastructure community, and at any stage in your career. We welcome those from across the whole industry spectrum, both ICE members and non-members - from engineers to academics, procurement and legal experts, to architects and surveyors.

The Fund is open to anyone in the infrastructure community, anywhere in the world, at any time.

What sort of projects will the fund back?

Put simply, the R&D project applied for must be of benefit to the ICE membership. In addition, each year the Fund’s panel identifies crucial topics for the engineering community and issues a call for applications, detailing the themes ICE is keen to champion for the coming year and beyond.

The panel is particularly interested in ideas that address any of the key questions identified in the current call for funding:

  • Achieving net zero carbon in infrastructure
  • Supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
  • Delivering social value

2 routes to secure funding

Route A

Applicants who have endorsement from 2 ICE Fellows.

Route B

For applicants that may not have access to ICE Fellows. These applications will be sent to ICE members for endorsement.

You can indicate your preferred route when completing the application form.

How much funding can I apply for?

For funding that directly answers one or more of the three call themes, funding is limited to a maximum of £25,000 in the first instance unless exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated, with additional funding available up to a total of £50,000 if appropriate (e.g. where findings from initial work demonstrate a clear need).

For exceptional projects where the panel have agreed an exact alignment with ICE’s strategic goals, it is possible to apply for more. Grants above £50,000 are reserved for special cases in which the Fund’s panel have identified a specific need for a particular piece of research.

There are a small number of Terms & Conditions for successful applicants.

How can I apply for funding?

The application form asks a series of questions and explains what information the panel requires. Applications are then assessed based on the whether they answer the current calls and the likelihood of project delivery.

The fund’s panel will assess each application (there are no deadlines to apply) and aim to make a decision within one month of submission.

If successful, funding will be released when key project milestones are met.

Please read the below documents thoroughly before applying, and get in touch if you have any questions:

Spotlight on a project funded by the Research and Development Enabling fund

An excellent example of work co-funded by the Research and Development Enabling Fund is Useful Project’s recently published research on maximising social value.

This report - Maximising Social Value from Infrastructure Projects – outlines an array of changes required to ensure such projects are creating additional social value and deliver wide-ranging, socio-economic benefits for individuals, communities and local economies.

These findings show that infrastructure should go beyond basic functionality and work to improve socio-economic inequalities, create jobs for previously unemployed people and provide broader benefits for communities based on local needs.

Read more about the report and the wider topic of social value in infrastructure via Jo Dobson’s Civil Engineer blog.

Download the report: Maximising Social Value From Infrastructure Projects

  • Panel chair: Professor Jim Hall FREng FICE

    Research and Development Enabling Fund

    Professor Jim Hall is Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks in the University of Oxford.

    Before joining the University of Oxford in 2011 to become Director of the University’s Environmental Change Institute, Prof Hall held academic positions in civil engineering departments in Newcastle University and the University of Bristol.

    Prof Hall is internationally recognised for his research on risk analysis for water resource systems, flooding and coastal engineering, infrastructure systems and adaptation to climate change. He is a member of the Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology and is Expert Advisor to the National Infrastructure Commission. He was a member of the UK independent Committee on Climate Change Adaptation from 2009 to 2019.

    He led the development of the National Infrastructure Systems Model (NISMOD), which was used for the ICE’s influential National Needs Assessment and for the UK’s first National Infrastructure Assessment. Prof Hall invented, and now chairs, the UK Data and Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI).

    Amongst various distinctions, Prof Hall was awarded the ICE’s George Stephenson Medal in 2001 and the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water in 2018. He was a Contributing Author to the Nobel Prize-winning Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

 

Other panel members

Panel member name Employer
Chris Rogers University of Birmingham
Ian Nicholson Building Research Establishment
Mark Bew UK Government BIM Task Group
Minna Karstunen Chalmers University of Technology - Sweden
Patricia Carrillo Loughborough University
Sarah Toy Sarah Toy Consulting

Further information

To find out more about the Enabling Fund contact:

E: [email protected]

Top