Calls for Proposals

We are currently processing full proposals based on a set of successful expressions of interest (EoIs) for new projects.

The focus for this call has been developed in collaboration with Museums Galleries Scotland, following our workshop in May.

Schedule of call deadlines and decision making

A total of five innovation projects/challenge fellowships per annum are running in each of our operating years (which run from 1 April to 31 March).

The current schedule of deadlines for calls for proposals is as follows:

  1. Year 1: 31 July 2011, 16 November 2011, 31 January 2012.
  2. Year 2: 6 July 2012 (EoIs), 27 July 2012 (EoIs).
  3. Year 3: 30 April 2013 (EoIs), 23 August 2013 (EoIs).

For EoIs, after each deadline:

  • The principal investigators aim to identify which expressions of interest to take forward for potential funding within 2 weeks, and will then offer 2-4 weeks for further development.
  • The selection panel aims to reach funding decisions on final proposals within 3-4 weeks of receipt, and provide feedback where appropriate.
  • The programme leader will expedite contract awards for successful projects.
So, the shortest turnaround from the deadline is 7 weeks; the longest should be 10 weeks.

Recent Call for Expressions of Interest - Smart Tourism and Museums Galleries Scotland

We requested short (no more than 2 pages) Expressions of Interest for:
  • Museums Galleries Scotland: "Enhancing the Visitor Experience". Closing date for EoIs: 23 August

Following our recent stimulating discussion workshop at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, on the theme “Enhancing the Visitor Experience” the ideas and feedback have been collected and scoped into this call.  For more information about Museums Galleries Scotland.

We seek new, cost-effective ways to support visitors to museums and galleries.  Although not prescriptive, there is particular interest in projects which can develop one or more of the following services for visitors:-

  • “Bite-size” snack-able information.
  • Personally relevant information.
  • Edutainment-style enriched visitor experiences.
  • Digital souvenirs - especially if they can be shared after the event.

 We also actively encourage projects which explore one or more of these themes:

  • Time travel.
  • Storytelling.
  • Bringing objects to life.
  • Personalisation.
  • Putting museum objects in context.

So our challenge to you is “Can you see a way to harness computing science and informatics research and digital technologies to create new products, services and solutions to address these areas?”

To help you achieve this SICSA* Smart Tourism will fund up to 2 Innovation Projects and 2 Challenge Fellowships which typically fund up to £40,000 of activities over 6 months. 

Expressions of Interest: What we're looking for:

We invite expressions of interest describing projects which will develop or test out potential innovations in the technology for this tourism space. 

We're looking for well‐defined innovative proposals where informatics and computing science research and technology can surely provide a solution, addressed by good teams, using promising ideas, with a clear idea of how the work will be carried out, and what success will look like.

This should cover 4 key elements;

1) Focus on the idea of “enhancing the visitor experience”

2) Consider how your idea will be achieved and delivered through either an Innovation Project (linking academic research and an SME) or a Challenge Fellowship (linking an academic and a problem holder).

3) Your proposal should indicate which of the Smart Tourism programme's academic Principal Investigators would be involved in guiding the Project or Fellowship. 

4) Your proposal should identify which museum / gallery the solution will be involved.

Expressions of interest should be submitted by the academic Principal Investigator and mailed to It should be no more than 2 pages of A4.

Schedule of call deadlines and decision making

* Submission date for EOI applications – Friday 23rd August

* Submissions will be reviewed and a short list of 6 selected for more detailed proposals.

* Submission date for proposals – Monday 30th September

* Smart Tourism Selection Panel selects up to 4 winning proposals for November start

Innovation Projects

These unite the stakeholders: academics, problem holders and industry partners.

They will be awarded by recommendation from an independent Selection Panel. Though not prescriptive, these projects are primarily a low-risk early-entry approach for SMEs to access SICSA’s mature research know-how and technology, developing this to meet their specific business needs. Innovation projects will typically be funded by the programme for 6 months and require a minimum 25% industry matched contribution, financial and/or in-kind. Projects will ‘buy’ SICSA PhD and RA time to work with industry, delivering a range of mature technology solutions.

Each project will output an interim deliverable by month 3, this specific feature being designed to fit better with SME timescales, and to help keep ahead or in step with developments elsewhere. The follow-through will usually be a licensing agreement, but larger activities can also be delivered through traditional methods including consultancy, co-funding mechanisms and KTPs (including such funds held by the dot.rural Digital Economy Hub). Projects not taken forward into SMEs will have the option of becoming university start- ups/spinouts, or form part of the University’s licensing IP where applicable.

SICSA academics should be aware that the total funding available for an innovation project is c. £42k at 100% FEC, that's roughly a Grade 6 RA for 6 months; of this, up to £33.6k (80% FEC) can be claimed from SFC funds, the rest absorbed by the HEI. 

Challenge Fellowships

Complementing the Innovation Projects, a series of competitive open innovation challenges identified by problem holders and industry will be set as part of the programme.

One input to this process will be the decisions of the Selection Panel, which will judge submitted ideas to require deeper work before being ready for near-term funding. Such ideas will be fed to the IAB, which will identify suitable targets, to provide opportunities to migrate new areas of SICSA research towards the key needs of industry. Challenge Fellowships will be competed for by researchers (PhD, RA and staff) in SICSA universities and will be units of 6 months’ duration. Decisions on awards will be made by the Selection Panel, as above.

It is envisaged that challenge fellowships will be able to act as a feeder for follow-on into KTP, SEEKIT, TSB, TTOM, Scottish Enterprise Tourist Innovation funding and voucher-funded SME activity, allowing a smoother and low risk transition for development and deployment to the market place. 

Project and Fellowship Proposals: What we're looking for

We're looking for well-defined, important problems (where technology can surely provide a solution), addressed by good teams, using promising ideas, with a clear idea of how the work will be carried out, and what success will look like.

Since the only work funded by the SFC grant is *at a SICSA academic institution*, we cannot fund those projects that could be done by an SME working on its own, under contract to the problem holder. Challenge fellowships need only a team at the academic institution, while innovation projects need *SICSA academic input* to help solve a problem for one of our problem-holding partners, with an SME providing development effort and/or a deployment path. 

A good proposal will therefore make very clear how the project builds on an existing piece of research (ideally, carried out by the SICSA partner) and the associated know-how.