Nature Computes Better: Opportunity seeds

Opportunity seeds support ambitious research aligned to our Programme Directors’ opportunity spaces. We’re looking to challenge assumptions, open up new research paths, and provide steps towards new capabilities.

 

We will fund high potential proposals with up to £500k each.

 

Apply for funding within Nature Computes Better by 17 April 2024.

We want to find bold ideas within the Nature Computes Better opportunity space, where Programme Director Suraj Bramhavar is asking how we can redefine the way computers process information by exploiting principles found ubiquitously in nature.

You can find the scope below and our evaluation criteria in our call for proposals – beyond this we don’t have preconceptions about what ideas you might send our way.

In scope:

  • Ideas that sit within the Nature Computes Better opportunity space. By this, we mean your proposal should show how your idea either aligns with or challenges the assumptions of the Summary, Beliefs, or Observations in the opportunity space document.
  • Ideas that could change the conversation about what is possible or valuable.
  • Ideas that range from early stage curiosity-driven research through to pre-commercial science and technology.

Out of scope:

  • Ideas that are within scope of Suraj Bramhavar’s programme Scaling Compute – AI at 1/1000th the Cost, as these should be submitted to his programme funding call. If you are unsure whether your idea is in scope of the programme, ask us by sending an email to clarifications@aria.org.uk.
  • Ideas that are undifferentiated or are likely to happen without ARIA support.
  • Commercial or close-to-commercial stage products.

Document library

Some key resources to understand the context for this seed funding call:


Everything you need to know to apply:

 

If you require an accessible version of any of these documents, please contact clarifications@aria.org.uk

Who are we looking to fund?

If you have an important idea you’re obsessed with, but you don’t currently have the resources or support to take it forward, we’d like to hear from you. Ideas could come from anywhere, so we welcome applications from individuals and teams who are early in their career or who have atypical backgrounds – we care more about your idea and your intrinsic motivation than we do about your CV.

 

What budget and timeline can I propose?

We provide funding from £10k – £500k per project, inclusive of VAT (where applicable) and all associated costs (both direct and indirect).

There is no minimum length for a proposed project; the maximum length is three years.

Apply for funding

Before submitting an application, please read the call for proposals

After reading our FAQs on ARIA funding and opportunity seed-specific funding, if you have any further questions relating to the opportunity seed call, please email clarifications@aria.org.uk. Any questions or responses containing information relevant to all applicants will be provided to everyone that has started a submission within the application portal and published on our website here

We’ve designed a short and straightforward application. We hope you can spend no more than 2-3 hours writing it, though you may wish to spend more time thinking through your idea before applying. 

Application timeline

Round 1 is now closed. The timeline for Round 2 is below.

 

Applications openClarifying questions deadlineApplication deadlineShortlisting*Final award decision**Submit your application
21.03.2414.04.24 (00:00 BST)17.04.24 (12:00 BST)29.04.24 - 03.05.2410.05.24Apply here
Applications open

21.03.24

Clarifying questions deadline

14.04.24 (00:00 BST)

Application deadline

17.04.24 (12:00 BST)

Shortlisting*

29.04.24 - 03.05.24

Final award decision**

10.05.24

Submit your application

*Shortlisted/unsuccessful applicants notified. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to meet with the Programme Director.
**Successful/unsuccessful applicants notified.

Meet Suraj Bramhavar

Suraj aims to redefine the way computers process information. He’ll direct funding into how we can build more efficient computers using principles ubiquitously found in nature.

Prior to ARIA, Suraj was co-founder and CTO of Sync Computing, a VC-backed startup optimising the use of modern cloud computing resources. The company was spun-out from his research at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Prior to that, Suraj worked at Intel Corp, helping transition silicon photonics technology from an R&D effort into a now >$1BN business.

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Funding FAQs