ITaaU Network Plus/Food Standards Agency pilot studies

Pilot studies call summary

Applicants are invited to apply for short-­term pilot research study funding from the “IT as a Utility Network+”, set up as a priority challenge area by the RCUK Digital Economy Theme (DE). These pilot studies are part funded by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). It is in the shared interest area of the Internet of Things (IoT) that this call is positioned. These pilot studies will be no longer than 5 months in duration and are intended to test new ideas or create novel linkages between research areas.

Applications for projects in the area of impact of the IoT and the UK Food network are welcomed. Suggested areas include but are not limited to:

  1. IoT data, data standards and sharing;
  2. IoT Transport & Food, particularly temperature control;
  3. Organise hackathon events to exploit, disseminate and excite opportunities of IoT from farm to table;
  4. What happens to food in people’s home? – Temperature control in domestic settings.


  • Individual projects can request up to £20,000 total funding (total spend up to £25,000 as per FEC 80% funding for RCUK projects)
  • Projects are expected to last for a maximum of 3 months and must finish with all deliverables completed and invoices sent to Southampton by 23rd March 2016.
  • All projects must align with the Food Standards Agency’s strategic plans and projects must be able to demonstrate impact within the FSA remit (
  • Projects must be interdisciplinary in nature, and should preferably involve more than one institution or organisation.
  • Projects must also involve and engage with end users (for example the general public, food companies or practitioners, or similar)
  • Applications must be made on the ITaaU application form, and must not exceed 8 pages. They must be accompanied by a Gantt chart style project plan.
  • Applicants must be eligible for EPSRC funding. For information on the eligibility of organisations and individuals to receive this funding, see the EPSRC Funding Guide: As this call is a targeted funding opportunity provided via RCUK together with FSA funding, higher education institutions, and some research council institutes and independent research organisations are eligible to apply. A list of eligible organisations to apply to RCUK is provided at:
  • Applicants must include in the budget travel to the ITaaU/FSA workshop in 7-8th March 2016 (most likely that this will be held in London) in order to report on their project.

Supporting material

Application form: ITaaU-FSA-IoT-20Call-2015 – (ITaaU-FSA-IoT-Call-2015 – pdf version)

Call guidance: ITaaU-FSA-IoT-Call-Guidance

Important Dates:

  • Answers to questions received before the 15th October will be posted on 12th and 19th October 2016
  • Closing date for applications: 5 pm Monday 2 November 2015
  • Review Meeting ITaaU & FSA Friday 6th November 2015
  • Selected Projects announced Monday 9th November 2015 (selected projects will then be contacted agree a contract)
  • Earliest Project start date 23 Nov 2015 (subject to agreed contracts in place)
  • Workshop to report on projects 7th – 8th March 2016
  • Final reports and invoices to be submitted by 23rd March 2016

Questions answered

As stated we hereby provide answers to the queries that we have received so far.

  1. Projects will be reviewed and those that we hope to award will be announced on Monday 9th Nov but will be subject to being able to negotiations to agree a contract.
  2. Work cannot formally start until the contract has been awarded.
  3. The suggested number of months for the project (FTE) was given as a guideline. The important detail is that all work must be finished reported invoiced by 23rd March – no extension will be possible and all invoices must have been presented by the 23rd March otherwise payment can not be made.
  4. Applicants and Institutions can submit more than one application, but these will be judged separately so cannot be interdependent. All projects will be evaluated on their merit.
  5. A person can lead more than one project but in all cases explanation and justification of high quality appropriate supervision/project management will be needed.
  6. The FSA has an interest in the temperature of food in fridges (rather than the fridge itself).
  7. In all applications, generic IoT technology should be used to link sensors and record and publish data in preference to bespoke data loggers. This is in order to improve the scalability of projects.
  8. We are happy to deal with queries regarding RCUK style finances, especially from institutions not used to this model of funding, and will deal with these queries individually.


For further information on the IT as a Utility Network+ visit and for the Digital Economy theme visit:

Please contact the ITaaU Network+ administrator ( with any queries.