Engineering for Sustainable Living Funding Theme (ESL)

Scope of Specific Calls: Sustainable and SMART Living Township and Lab (S2L)

This call aims to help researchers work together towards clearly identifiably and challenging topic under the theme of Engineering for Sustainable Living. The topic selected for this round of funding is “Sustainable and SMART Living (S2L)”. The call envisage researchers develop ideas and concepts in small teams, addressing the questions and challenges faced by urban communities and demonstrate the innovations and functionality within a typical physical urban environment which could be a single living space, blocks of living spaces or township.

The S2L project consists of 3 phase (due to campus funding constraints) as follows:

  • Year 1 (9 months) : Proof of Concept or Prototype
  • Up to 15 projects, successful completed project will be selected for second year’s “Fine Tuning of PoC/Prototype)
    Year 2 (12 months): Fine Tuning the Prototype/PoC
  • Projects performed satisfactorily will be selected for Year 3’s funding to develop a “Demonstration Unit”
  • Year 3 (12 months): Development and Implementation of Demonstration Unit in a “ESl-S2L” environment.
  • This call is for Phase 1: Proof of concept/ Prototype. Each proposal may request a maximum of 15K for the first year.

Examples of the types of research activities S2L will support include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Research and development of innovative materials to be used in the lab;
  • Development of prototype in the areas of wearable technologies, IoT, new devices, etc;
    *New methodology in resources management and improvement of understanding of sustainability concept;

Specific requirements:

  1. The final product (at the end of 3rd year) needs to be demonstrated in the ESL-S2L lab or via a suitable mechanism specified in the proposal
  2. The criteria for selection will be based on
  • Relevance of proposal to the S2L theme
  • PoC/prototype readiness
  • Innovative feature(s) of the PoC/prototype
  • Expertise of team members.
  • Justification of resources required

Specific constraints:

  • We do not anticipate to fund similar projects funded since 2016. A list of previously funded project is available on AEP website or from AEP administrator.
  • The composition of the team members may be the same as the previous members, but we expect the PI to change because of different expertise.
  • An extension of previously funded projects from lab scale to township scale is insufficient reason and innovation for funding.

Scope of Specific Calls: Pump Priming Scheme (PPS)

This call aims to help researchers establish and develop new, collaborative links with international partners and leverage larger national or international grants. Thus, AEP will set aside a portion of its funding as catalyst or leverage for large national and international grants. An open call for “Engineering for Sustainable Living” will be issue periodically for teams of researchers to bid and the PPS amount is expected between 30K to 100K. The budget is flexible but cannot be used to fund research in the traditional sense.

The PPS will be addressing at least one of the challenges identified within the themes. In this way, we can ensure that these PPSs and later the successful grants will contribute to AEP’s aim to achieve HiCoE status. The steering group will be tasked to identify potential PPS bids to fund.

The team must be led by SoE or SoIT academic and may include colleagues from other disciplines and Schools. There must be at least 3 researchers in each team. The sole objective of this PPS is to generate external funding support after the PPS support has ended. Thus, the only KPI for PPS will be to have submitted the intended large bid before the ending of this grant support. It is expected that the successful bids must promise to leverage subsequent grants of at least 10 times the awarded amount, with a minimum amount of 300K.

This call is for Pump Priming scheme under the theme of “Engineering for Sustainable Living”. Each proposal may request an amount of between 30K to 100K for the first year of the funding round.

Examples of the types of activities PPS will support include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Preliminary study in preparation for large grant submission; for example, common approaches, inter-comparisons and standards, etc. There must be clearly identifiable outcomes which supports the work carried out and are not an end in themselves.
  • Collaborative secondments and exchanges: building long-term partnerships with overseas centres of excellence, with a view to capacity building and accessing skills;
  • Development/Coordination of International Programmes and Networks: to coordinate international effort around key regional or global environmental challenges.
  • Development of local leadership in bidding for large national or international projects;
  • Major international workshops or conferences: these can provide an effective way for researchers (and end-users) to exchange knowledge and skills and enhance capability, understanding of key issues, and dissemination of knowledge.

Specific requirements:

  • The successful bids must promise to submit industrial, national or international grants of at least 10 times the awarded amount, with a minimum amount of 300K. Failing which the team members (PI and co-I) will not be allowed to participate in future campus wide platform bids.
  • In the case of industrial grants, the subsequently submitted grant amount (KPI) does not include in-kind contribution from industries, i.e. only cash contributions only.

There is no deadline for the PPS scheme.

Grant Review Process for Advanced Engineering Platform

All grant submitted to AEP will be carefully evaluated accordingly to international practice and following strict protocol and well defined procedure and process. The process of evaluation will be transparent and carefully monitored by Campus Research Management. Since the nature and purpose of the Sustainable and SMART Living Lab (S2L) and Pump Priming Scheme (PPS) are fundamentally different, there will be minor differences in the evaluation process.

a) Evaluation Procedure for Sustainable and SMART Living Lab (S2L) proposals

  1. An evaluation panel of at least 6 members (including one of the AEP directors) will be formed for the evaluation. The Panel members will be appointed by the Director and Deputy Director of AEP;
  2. Two evaluators will be assigned to each submitted proposal, chosen by the grant administrator.
  3. Each of the evaluators will complete their evaluations using the Evaluation Report Form, and submit to the Admin prior to the Panel meeting. It is the job of these evaluators to properly scrutinise the proposal given to them;
  4. An evaluation panel will be convened and a Panel Meeting will be organised to deliberate the evaluators' reports. Minutes of meeting will be confidential and recorded by the Admin.
  5. During the Panel Meeting, the evaluators will take turns to present and justify their support decision of each proposals to the panel members. The decision can be "Not Supported", "can Support", "Must Support". The panel members will then vote on whether they support the decision of the evaluators on that particular proposal.
  6. All "Must Support" decisions will automatically be funded. Proposals with only one decision as "Must support" and at least one decision as "Can support" will be ranked according to grading from the evaluators and those highly ranked will be funded. Those proposals receiving at least "Not Supported" decision will NOT be funded.
  7. In the interests of fair play and anonymity, Panel Members who have submitted proposals will not participate in the evaluation of their own named proposal, and will be asked to leave the room during the discussion of that proposal.
  8. Panel members will not be allowed to discuss any matters concerning the evaluation panel outside of the panel meeting, and the minutes of the meeting will be kept confidential and available only to the panel members and CRM.
  9. The final decision of funding award is with the Director and Deputy Director of AEP, and no appeal will be entertained.

b) Evaluation Procedure for Pump Priming scheme (PPS) proposals

  1. An evaluation panel of at least 6 members (including one of the AEP directors) will be formed as and when required for the evaluation. The Panel members will be appointed by the Director and Deputy Director of AEP, and should consist of at least 1 member not from SoE or SoIT.
  2. In the interests of fair play and anonymity, academics who are named in the PPS submission will not be part of the evaluation panel;
  3. Three evaluators will be assigned to each submitted proposal, chosen by the grant administrator.
  4. Each of the evaluators will complete their evaluations using the Evaluation Report Form, and submit to the Admin prior to the Panel meeting. It is the job of these evaluators to properly scrutinise the proposal given to them.
  5. The evaluators will then indicate whether this proposal should proceed to the oral defence stage;
  6. During the oral defence stage, the PI and at least 1 Co-I will be asked to give a verbal presentation and defend the proposal before the panel members during a panel meeting;
  7. An evaluation panel will be convened after the oral defence stage to deliberate the PPS proposal. A panel decision will be made to proceed with funding or reject this PPS proposal. Minutes of meeting will be confidential and recorded by the Admin;
  8. Panel members will not be allowed to discuss any matters concerning the evaluation panel outside of the panel meeting, and the minutes of the meeting will be kept confidential and available only to the panel members and CRM.
  9. The final decision of funding award is with the Director and Deputy Director of AEP, and no appeal will be entertained.