21 Jun 2023

UKRI and DSIT launch moonshot initiative to identify bold, ambitious, and transformative priorities for the UK

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) are seeking ideas to help solve the big challenges that we are facing today. This is not a bidding process for funding or delivery responsibility, but the opportunity to develop diverse and innovative teams in the UK to be truly disruptive and ground-breaking across science and innovation.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) are seeking ideas to help solve the big challenges facing the UK today. The plan is to identify future innovation investment opportunities which with public funding can be addressed here in the UK.

Based off the ambitious moonshot programme that took place in the United States in the 1960's and 1970's  to send a human to the Moon and to return them home safely within a decade, the term moonshot seeks to envision ambitious and inspiring activity that will help UKRI and DSIT understand the big research and innovation opportunities today.

Bringing together diverse teams from across research, industry and small and large business to work together to develop ideas to:

  • help UK Government design the most promising opportunities to transform tomorrow together
  • help UK GOvernment identify bold and ambitious ideas for pioneering moonshots

The first stage of this process is for community members to submit your idea for a moonshot.

Moonshots should be submitted before 10 July 2023.

If you have any questions regarding the process, you can refer to the Further Information page and the Moonshot framework. Furthermore there is the ability to contact the relavant team via email at [email protected].    

The project is most interested in ideas related to the four broad strategic priorities of Pioneer Innovation, part of UK government’s contingency plan to Horizon Europe. These are:

  • health innovations (human, animal and plant) 
  • green industrial growth
  • resilient UK 
  • transformative technologies.

However, the project says it is particularly interested in proposals with a high level of creativity and adventure that take research and innovation beyond current frontiers to create transformative value for society

Laura Foster

Laura Foster

Head of Technology and Innovation, techUK

Laura is techUK’s Head of Programme for Technology and Innovation.

She supports the application and expansion of emerging technologies, including Quantum Computing, High-Performance Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies, across the UK. As part of this, she works alongside techUK members and UK Government to champion long-term and sustainable innovation policy that will ensure the UK is a pioneer in science and technology

Before joining techUK, Laura worked internationally as a conference researcher and producer covering enterprise adoption of emerging technologies. This included being part of the strategic team at London Tech Week.

Laura has a degree in History (BA Hons) from Durham University, focussing on regional social history. Outside of work she loves reading, travelling and supporting rugby team St. Helens, where she is from.

[email protected]

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Rory Daniels

Rory Daniels

Programme Manager, Emerging Technologies

Rory joined techUK in June 2023 after three years in the Civil Service on its Fast Stream leadership development programme.

During this time, Rory worked on the Government's response to Covid-19 (NHS Test & Trace), school funding strategy (Department for Education) and international climate and nature policy (Cabinet Office). He also tackled the social care crisis whilst on secondment to techUK's Health and Social Care programme in 2022.

Before this, Rory worked in the House of Commons and House of Lords alongside completing degrees in Political Economy and Global Politics.

Today, he is techUK's Programme Manager for Emerging Technologies, covering dozens of technologies including metaverse, drones, future materials, robotics, blockchain, space technologies, nanotechnology, gaming tech and Web3.0.

[email protected]

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