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What do you mean by innovation policy?

By innovation policy, we mean the range of things that governments - national, regional and local - can do to promote and support innovation for economic growth and for public good. This could include, for example, activities to promote innovation skills and get more people into careers in innovation; support for businesses and other organisations that are doing innovative activities; regulation of new technologies; investment in infrastructure (like science parks or broadband) to help innovative firms; and investment in research and development.

What do you mean by public engagement?

We’re interested in supporting projects that seek to involve the public in discussing and debating issues relating to innovation policy. Public engagement can often mean communicating results of science and innovation research to the public. But here, we are interested in projects that seek to spark a dialogue, and provide opportunities not just for professionals to influence the views of the public, but also for the public to influence the views of professionals and decision makers.

What do you mean by the public?

Projects could aim to engage the general public (but do not necessarily have to target a representative sample of the UK public), or could target a specific group that you feel has been excluded from opportunities to influence issues relating to innovation policy - for example young people, older people or people from a certain religious background.

What types of activities are you looking to fund?

We are interested in a wide range of projects. You could for example seek to involve the public in debating regional or national innovation plans. Perhaps you want to focus on how the public can shape the development of a new technology, so that it meets the needs of a wider range of people. Perhaps you are concerned with the ethics of new technology development and want to involve the public in debating how regulators should manage trade-offs between costs and benefits. Maybe your city is considering rolling out a new technology and you want to involve members of the public in deciding how it will be used. Or perhaps you are interested in finding out young people’s views on careers in innovation to help shape schemes or policies that could encourage people from different backgrounds to get involved.

For this programme we are looking to fund engagement activities - we anticipate this might involve events, workshops and use of online platforms to encourage interaction and debate. We’re really keen to support original, fun and creative methods of engagement.

We are doing public engagement activities that we think might be relevant to this fund. Can we apply for a Nesta grant to expand existing activities?

Yes, we’re happy to fund projects that have other sources of funding, but you must clearly state in your application what the added benefit of the Nesta grant will be.

How many grants are you expecting to make?

We anticipate making three to four grants through this fund.

When would my project need to be completed?

You’ll be asked to take part in an event at Nesta in December 2018 to share outcomes of the work, so your project should be substantially complete by then. All monies must be spent by the end of March 2019.

What is the application process?

To apply for a grant, you will need to prepare a short proposal of no more than five pages, including the following information:

  • Rationale: why you want to do this project and how it meets the goals of this call
  • Methodology: how you’ll go about it
  • Outcomes: what you hope the project will achieve
  • Brief details of the project team, outlining their expertise in this area, and any other partners who will be involved
  • A budget showing how you will spend the grant, separating out staff time and other costs
  • A realistic timeline for undertaking the work

Full details of the people who will be working on the project and a description of the applicants' organisation(s) should be provided as additional appendices. Submissions should be single-spaced, in 11-point font and on A4 paper.

To submit your proposal, please use the online application form. This asks for some basic contact details and a one-paragraph summary of your idea (max 200 words), as well as consent to contact you. You will be able to upload your proposal in PDF or Word (.doc or .docx) format.

What is the application deadline?

Applications need to be submitted by 9am on Friday 9 March.

If my application is not successful, can I get feedback?

We anticipate a high volume of applications and so will not be issuing individual feedback, except to shortlisted applications. We will publish some summary feedback in the round.

How can I get further information?

If your question isn’t answered here, please contact [email protected] and we’ll try to help.