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.

Format of applications

Proposals should be mailed to Expressions of Interest (EoIs) are 1-2 pages, but each full proposal should be around 4-5 pages of A4, clearly covering the following points. The aim is to keep this process lightweight: we aren't a UK Research Council, each project is not huge - but we do want the best of the bunch, so the proposal should be an opportunity to shine. Calls are open to the SICSA community, but every proposal should have at least one of the Smart Tourism programme's PIs as a named co-participant.

Structure of a Smart Tourism Innovation Project Proposal

0. Abstract

(100 word summary)

1. This is who's handling the proposal

(Main contact …)

2. Here is a well-defined problem

(State it simply …)

3. It’s an important problem


4. We have a promising idea

(Specifically: a way of applying existing, completed research to more-or-less solve the problem for the problem-holding partner)


5. We are a very strong team

(Specifically: problem-holder(s); SME(s); academic(s))


6. Here is what we hope to achieve

(In sufficient detail that a reviewer could tell whether project met its objectives)

7. Here is how we plan to build on our idea to achieve it

(Methods, workplan, two deliverables (mid-term and final) - should relate directly to achieving the aims and objectives)

8. Here is what will happen if the project works out

(How each party benefits; how the IP will be exploited or follow-ons funded)

9. Resource requirements/constraints

  • Problem holder(s): (No specific obligation - will vary by project)
  • SME(s): (Should be at least 25% of overall value of project, so roughly 11k pounds if academic value as below)
  • SICSA Academic(s): (Overall value to HEI: up to 42k pounds - at 100% FEC, that's roughly a Grade 6 RA for 6 months; of this, up to 33.6k pounds (80% FEC) can be claimed from SFC funds, the rest absorbed by HEI.)
  • Equipment costs, up to £1500, and travel costs up to £1000, can also be supported.