EPSRC Next Stage Digital Economy Centres

The EPSRC Digital Economy Theme has launched a call for Next Stage Digital Economy Centres, with up to £20 million (at 80% FEC) available to support up to six Next Stage Digital Economy Centres for five years. EPSRC previously funded such centres through a call in 2014.

Institutions are limited to a single bid (although we can partner in more than one) and the application will need to demonstrate ‘critical mass, breadth and interdisciplinary nature of DE portfolio'. We therefore need to coordinate between all parties who may be interested in bidding to either arrive at a single unified proposal or to decide between competing separate proposals.

Internal process

Interested parties must provide the following information to martin.edmunds@mpls.ox.ac.uk by noon on Wednesday 5 June:

  1. an indication of whether you wish to either lead or contribute to a centre bid
  2. grant reference for any relevant DE research grants you hold
  3. an outline of your research interests specifically in relation to a potential Next Stage Digital Economy Centre bid (max 100 words)
  4. any external partners you have who may be interested to join

Scheme details

Critical mass

  • It is expected that the centres will consolidate, harness and build upon existing DE knowledge and skills from DE Theme funding and related awards to help accelerate the research outcomes and outputs to the next stages of exploitation. The value threshold for demonstrating a critical mass portfolio of DE funding, must be greater than £2.4 million (at 80% FEC)
  • EPSRC have provided a list of relevant DE grants which they consider make up the DE portfolio. The centre must build on these.
  • If anyone feels they can justify the relevance of other UKRI research funding they are encouraged to make the case by contacting digitaleconomy@epsrc.ukri.org before 11 June 2019 to discuss eligibility of research grants not included on the eligibility list.

Other requirements:

  • There is an expectation of at least matched funding support (cash and in kind) from university, user partners and businesses
  • Must demonstrate that mechanisms are in place within the centre to grow and develop the pool of DE-trained interdisciplinary
  • Researchers across career stages are expected to develop the DE community and network across centres and other DE Theme investments by sharing best practice, showcasing/disseminating outputs and engagement with, for example, the Digital Catapult, The Alan Turing Institute, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), government departments and other relevant organisations
  • Proposals must be at least 50% in EPSRC remit

Full details can be found on the EPSRC website.