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ICE funding available for net-zero research

26 January 2021

The Research and Development Enabling Fund is issuing a new call for applications focusing on net-zero carbon in infrastructure and related themes. Accessing research funding could be simpler than you think. 

ICE funding available for net-zero research

In a new call for applications - issued today to coincide with this week’s launch of ICE’s President Rachel Skinner’s Carbon Champions initiative - ICE’s Research & Development Enabling Fund asks for submissions that can help achieve net zero carbon in infrastructure. The Fund’s review panel would also like to see applications addressing engineering’s response to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and on delivering social value.

For all of the themes outlined in the new call, the Fund is looking for innovative new approaches to help the infrastructure community understand how better to measure its environmental and social impact; ways in which the infrastructure system-of-systems can be harnessed to improve our environmental and social impact; and how to enact positive behavioural and governance change.

What is the Research & Development Enabling Fund?

The Fund was set up more than 20 years ago to help engineers develop pioneering ideas and to tackle problems in design or construction. It aims to provide readily accessible funding to ICE’s community and collaborators. Using funds donated by ICE’s members, the Fund’s goal is to champion and support research that addresses the problems our community most want to solve.

Professor Jim Hall, Chair of the Research & Development Enabling Fund’s panel and ICE Trustee for Carbon & Climate, said: “Our President, Rachel Skinner, has compellingly argued that net zero carbon is the generation-defining challenge for our profession and, as ICE’s Carbon & Climate Trustee, I fully agree. It’s therefore entirely appropriate that the ICE Research & Development Enabling Fund’s latest call is focused upon this strategic challenge. I hope that with the support of the Fund, civil engineers will be able to invent and test new approaches to demonstrably deliver on our net zero commitments.”

During its history, the Fund has supported many projects tackling some of the most important issues facing engineers. For the first time, the Fund is now open to anyone in the built environment community - not just ICE members. To make progress on the environmental and social issues so important to our membership, we need to partner with researchers across the whole industry spectrum - from engineers to academics, procurement and legal experts, to architects and surveyors.

The Fund’s panel are keen to receive applications on the call themes, but even if your project doesn’t directly address these, as long as it’s of benefit to ICE’s membership, you can still apply to us for funding. It might be a technical project or new invention; something that could provide an update to good practice guidelines; or it might raise the profile of civil engineering.

How much is available?

You can get up to £25,000 for initial research, and if work has already been carried out and your findings demonstrate a clear need for further research, you could apply for up to £50,000. Grants above this amount are reserved for special cases in which the Fund’s panel have identified a need for a particular project.

How can I apply?

Read through the information on the Fund’s web page and in the new call for applications to ensure you’ve got everything you need, then download an application form and submit – it’s that simple!

There are no deadlines; the Fund’s panel accept applications at any time and aim to get back to any applicant with an answer within a month of submission.

There’s never been a better time to apply to ICE’s Research & Development Enabling Fund. If you’ve been struggling to know where to access funding for your project, or you know someone who’s been looking for funding, ICE’s Research & Development Enabling Fund could be the answer.

If you’d like to discuss a possible application, contact:[email protected]

  • Hannah Besford , Programme Specialist