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Pilot Projects – Call 2

Call for proposals for Internet of Food Things Network Plus pilot studies  

Closing date for applications: 11:00 4th November 2019 


Applicants are invited to apply for short‐term pilot research study funding from the Internet of Food Things Network Plus, set up as a priority challenge area by the Digital Economy Theme (DE) led by EPSRC. These pilot studies will be no longer than 6 months in duration and are intended to test new ideas or create novel linkages between research areas.

The priority areas for applications are as follows:

  1. Research that develops our understanding of digital collaboration amongst stakeholders in the food production supply chain drawing upon the recommendations of the IoFT Digital Collaboration report
  2. Research that deepens our understanding of, and demonstrates applications for, Industry technologies including IoT, telecommunications, robotics, AI, etc. across the food production supply chain
  3. Legal aspects of managing complex data sets, governance of complex data sets and novel digital business models

We are seeking applications that also consider other cross-cutting themes relating to the food sector, namely:

  • Traceability, transparency and disclosure as they relate to complex supply chains
  • Food safety and fraud
  • Efficiency, productivity and sustainability and their contribution to the climate crisis
  • Reduction of food waste across all stages of the food chain
  • Distributed computing/digital communication technologies and related cyber risks

Guidance notes in full: Appendix 2 - IoFT - Call 2 - Guidance (pdf document)

Application form: Application Form - call 2 (Word document)


  • Individual projects can request up to £40,000 total funding (total spend up to £50,000 as per FEC 80% funding). Applicants will be awarded 80% of the full cost, and when invoices are submitted they should be for 80% and a statement should also be submitted showing the full cost.
  • Projects are expected to last for a maximum of 6 months.
  • Projects must be interdisciplinary in nature and should preferably involve more than one institution or organisation. Interdepartmental collaboration is the minimum acceptable level of interdisciplinary; industry involvement is strongly encouraged.
  • Projects must also involve and engage with real users
  • Projects should be able to demonstrate reasonable prospects of continuation funding to enable sustainable development.
  • Funding is for academic research teams led by UK Universities and only UK-based academic salary costs will be covered.
  • Applications must be made on the IoFT application form and must not exceed 8 pages, minimum font size 11 Arial. They must be accompanied by a Gantt chart project plan.
  • Applicants must be eligible for EPSRC funding. A list of eligible organisations to apply to EPSRC is provided at: As this call is a targeted funding opportunity provided via EPSRC funding, higher education institutions, and some research council institutes and independent research organisations are eligible to apply. For funding rules, guidelines and guidance on the type of support that may be sought please see:
  • We do agree GDPR compliant policies and Data Processing Agreements between the applying institution and the University of Lincoln. If these cannot be agreed within a certain timeframe, we reserve the right to abandon the contract process and select another application.

Proposals will be assessed in two stages: The review process is a paper exercise based solely on the completed application form. The review process will be carried out the by the IoFT Network Plus Leadership Team. Members of the IoFT Advisory Board will also conduct reviews dependent on their expertise.

  • Stage 1: Preliminary sift. This is done against the criteria for applications e.g. relevance to Network, fit to priority areas etc. and correct completion of the application form.
  • Stage 2: Detailed Review of remaining proposals. Reviewers will assess the applications against the following criteria. Marks will be recorded on a spreadsheet form and scores amalgamated. The prioritised list will then be reviewed by the Leadership Team in terms of topics addressed, and the highest ranked projects funded subject to available funds and quality criteria having been met.

Suitability for the call: Is it DIGITAL ECONOMY? Is it research? Is it novel”? Is it IoFT? Is it relevant to the call themes; Articulation of problem and “so-what?” factor (what makes this project stand out?) Identifying the potential to inform the research challenges for IoFT is encouraged. How will the project help grow and sustain the IoFT Network?

Standard EPSRC assessment criteria will also be applied: Quality; Importance; Impact; The applicant’s ability to deliver the proposed project within budget and in time;

Evidence of a planning and management process for the duration of the project will be required.

Each application will receive three reviews which will be marked blind.

Unsuccessful applicants may request feedback if they wish.