Scaling Compute

Clarification questions

Answering your questions

Ahead of submitting your application, we encourage you to read our funding FAQs.

If you still have questions related to Scaling Compute, please reach out to clarifications@aria.org.uk.

We’ll update this page twice a week with answers.

Nb: clarification questions should be submitted no later than 4 days prior to the relevant deadline date. Clarification questions received after this date will not be reviewed. 

 

“It is stated that for TA1 “each building block should be manufacturable using existing CMOS processing facilities.” Does this mean that TA1 is limited exclusively to digital CMOS hardware platforms?”

No, it does not mean we are interested exclusively in digital CMOS technologies. The facilities should be similar to those that process CMOS microelectronics, but the platform does not have to be digital CMOS.

 

“My main concern is how to provide a good response to ‘How does your proposed project contribute to the programme in the UK?” I assume this means we should team up with some UK partners, or what kind of synergistic relations does your organisation values especially?”

There should be a clear case for how the research will benefit the UK.

Proposals originating from applicants outside the UK who seek to establish operations inside the UK, perform a majority of the research inside the UK and present a credible plan for achieving this within the programme duration will be deemed ‘UK Applicants’ (note this will be reflected in your contract/grant terms). 

These are not the only ways to deliver benefits to the UK. As an example, you could choose to team up with an organisation based in the UK or create a UK subsidiary to deliver a portion of the proposed activity. 

For all other non-UK applicants we will evaluate the proposal based on its potential to boost the net impact of the programme in the UK. When considering the benefit to the UK, the proposal will be considered on a portfolio basis and with regard to the next best alternative proposal (from a UK organisation/individual).

 

“We are planning on addressing multiple Technical Areas. The funding call specifies that applicants can address multiple paths – should we submit a single, integrated concept paper in total or one paper per TA path?”

Within section 1 of the application form on the portal there is a specific question asking you which Technical Areas you are seeking to pursue. 

Where your proposed concept is best understood as a single holistic integrated concept paper across all three TAs you can submit a single concept paper (you should note the format constraints).

If however your proposed concept could be delivered as standalone projects you should submit a concept paper per TA path.

 

“As part of our application, we will be proposing the creation of a UK subsidiary to carry out our work. Should we articulate our plans within the concept paper or wait to do this within the full proposal?”

Within section 2 of the application form on the portal there is a specific question asking you if you are based in the UK or not. For those who are currently based outside of the UK, you will be asked to provide a brief summary of your proposed plans or commitments. 

At the full proposal stage we will require a more detailed plan to be provided.

 

“I was wondering if it is recommended (desirable or necessary) to have formed a team prior to submitting the concept paper, if one’s intention for the full-proposal stage is for the proposal to involve a team (i.e., not just a single institution/investigator, but also one or more subcontractors)? If teaming before the concept-paper submission is not necessary, will there be an opportunity to meet other applicants prior to the full proposal submission to form teams? (I.e., somewhat analogous to DARPA’s Proposers Days, although in this case after the DARPA whitepaper stage)”

Where you believe your proposal would benefit from collaboration with another organisation but you are yet to connect with potential partners you should identify any gaps or potential areas where you may need a partner in your concept paper.

We are not planning to hold a ‘proposers day’ for this programme but where you identify potential gaps or areas you may need to partner on, we may offer an introduction to any suitable matches we identify (there will be no obligation to meet with these matches).

At full proposal stage any proposed collaborators/partners should be included within the proposal, including sub contractors/grantees, who they are and which elements of the project they will support/deliver. How you intend to coordinate and manage the teams including any collaborations with third parties. Any potential gaps in your core competency which would be required in order to achieve the overall goals.

 

“Is there a maximum amount that can be applied for in this call?”

We have provided guidance on the budget for each technical area and the number of awards we expect to make (copied below). You should consider this guidance when developing your concept. We are looking to fund: 

  • Technical Area 1 with up to £26M. We expect to fund two to four awards in this TA.
  • Technical Area 2 with up to £8M. We expect to fund three to five awards in this TA.
  • Technical Area 3 with up to £5M. We expect to make one award in this Technical Area.

 

“As a university we will be costing at 100% FEC as per your guidance, and can see there is a separate line on the budget template for indirects to be costed. Could you clarify whether estates and infrastructure technicians costs should be added to the indirects total or put on the ‘other’ cost line?”

Please include estates and infrastructure costs within the indirect costs box. If appropriate please add a comment showing the breakdown.