Announcement of Opportunity: Constructing a Digital Environment – Demonstrators

Closing date: 4pm, 30th January 2020 

Projects will need to start by 14th August 2020.

NERC is inviting proposals for demonstrator projects costing up to £960,000 at 80% full economic cost, with a maximum duration of 24 months, as part of the Constructing a Digital Environment Programme.

Constructing a Digital Environment is a Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF) Programme which is being led by NERC, but is supported by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra). This programme aims to further bring together the ‘Digital Environment’ community across multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary research & innovation (MIDRI) to scope out sensor networks technology and the associated infrastructure, in order to identify what will be possible in the near and far future in the Atmospheric, Earth and Ocean domains.

This call will fund demonstrator projects which fully illustrate the capacity of emerging sensor and data integration technologies and methodologies. This will harness the UK’s leading position in environmental, observational and computer/data sciences to create a digitally enabled environment. Ultimately, it will result in integrated sensor networks and technologies with new and existing data systems infrastructure to store, clean and integrate the data produced, for subsequent analysis and decision making support. Projects will look at the possibilities associated with data processing, collation and interpretation and investigate how data could be accessed, visualised and used for decision making to provide benefit for policy makers, businesses, communities and individuals.  

This programme will bring together environmental research and environment-focused informatics (such as statistics, machine learning and computer science) and social science to improve the understanding, modelling and prediction of events and inform future decision-making. 

This will be an open call and is NOT limited to individuals with existing funding from a specific scheme (including previous CDE feasibility studies) or Research Council.

Note: Please ensure you contact the Data Centres regarding data management plans and costs and, if necessary, members of the Defra Group regarding the Statement of Need in a timely fashion. They may not be able to process your request if it is received too close to the deadline. Please also ensure you include a Gantt chart in your application. 

Further information on the call and how to submit an application can be found in the Announcement of Opportunity document (PDF, 227KB)

Please also refer to the Defra Group Statement of Need (PDF, 57KB).


For further information, please contact: 

Kirsten Dutton 
Programme Manager 
07892 700207