Funding year 1 ‘Replicability

The theme for year 1 is ‘Replicability’- in this context replicability refers to the ability to replicate a digital device for testing or production purposes. Creators of conventional electronic devices can generally access support, tools and components needed to make a device prototype. Replicating this prototype into an ‘isotype’ or a scalable product is laden with barriers. pro² would like to see exemplars which demonstrate accessible ways of overcoming these barriers beyond traditional production manufacturing. We have included a glossary below with a more detailed explanation of some of the terms we use.

This call closed on 15 June 2023.

Funding Year 1 ‘Replicability’
Total Fund  £400,000 
Maximum Award  £80,000
Opening Date  5th May 2023 
Closing Date  15th June 2023

Funding timeline

Timeline for the first proquared funding call on 'Replicability'.

Guidance for Applicants

For the theme of Replicability, the priority areas are as follows:

  • Applicants must create either a new tool, technique, process or platform.
  • The new creation must be effective in making it easier for a person or organisation to replicate a prototype of a digital device.
  • The prototype in this case can include either conventional or unconventional electronics.
Each project is expected to last between 6 and 12 months and must not exceed 12 months. The total funding for this call is £500,000 (100% full economic cost), of which £400, 000 (80% fEC) will be funded by pro². The maximum size of each project is £100,000 (100% fEC), of which pro² will fund 80%. All costs should be inclusive of VAT and/or any other applicable tax. The terms and conditions for UKRI funding apply. Applicants must demonstrate in the application form how the funding will be spent. The sub-award document detailing the terms and conditions of the grant is available in the ‘Useful Documents’ section below. Please ensure these terms are acceptable for your organisation prior to applying for funding.

Proposals should be costed and approved by the applicant’s organisation before submission.

All funding recipients must be members of the network. It is free to join so please register for pro² if you haven’t already.

Each project must include at least one academic partner and one industry-based project partner. The Principal Investigator (PI) must be based at a U.K. institution eligible to receive UKRI funding. The project team can also include Co-Investigators (CI’s) and staff (e.g. post-doctoral researchers). Eligibility for the roles listed above is in line with EPSRC funding rules.

For industry-based project partners, there are two types of permitted collaboration:

Project Partner- a third party person who is not employed on the grant, or a third party organisation, who provides specific contributions either in cash or in kind, to the project. Entitlement to the outputs of the project and/or Intellectual Property will be determined between the parties involved, however any access to project outputs and/or IP must be in line with any relevant Subsidy Control regulation. As a rule, Project Partners are expected to provide contributions to the delivery of the project and should not therefore be seeking to claim funds from pro². However, where there are specific circumstances where Project Partners do require funding for minor costs such as travel and subsistence, this will usually be paid at 80% fEC unless otherwise stated by us; note that any applicable Subsidy Control regulation and HMRC guidance will also be taken into account which may affect the percentage of these costs that we will fund. These costs should be outlined and fully justified in the proposal and will be subject to peer review.

A Subcontractor- a third party individual who is not employed as staff on the grant, or a third party organisation, who is subcontracted by the host organisation to deliver a specific piece of work. This will be subject to the procurement rules of the host organisation. All costs that support the delivery of the subcontract are eligible and will be paid at 80% fEC unless otherwise stated, these should be outlined and fully justified in the proposal and will be subject to peer review. Entitlement to the outputs of the project and/or Intellectual Property will be determined between the parties involved, however any access to project outputs and/or IP must be in line with any relevant Subsidy Control regulation.

Your application must have a project partner as a minimum, but may also have a subcontractor. The project partner and subcontractor cannot be the same. Applications with subcontractors alone will not be considered. Please indicate clearly in the application form where your team members are either project partners or subcontractors. Please also include, as a separate attachment, a letter of support from your project partner detailing the contribution they intend to make to the project.

If you would like assistance being matched with an academic or industry project partner, please get in touch with us at

Applications for funding will be assessed via our funding application form and a short interview. Applications will be anonymised and assigned a unique reference number for the review process, to help eliminate unconscious bias. Shortlisted applicants will then be interviewed by members of the pro² network steering group. The criteria used in the assessment process is as follows:

  • Applicability to the theme of the funding call.
  • Realistic and achievable objectives and workplan.
  • Clear demonstration of how the project contributes to solving the problem.
  • Does the project include an industry-based project partner? Evidence of project co-creation with them must be clear in the application.
  • Adequate consideration of EDI (Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity). Bringing together individuals from different backgrounds and with different personal circumstances brings a wider range of experience, leading to improved decision-making, innovation and problem solving. We would like to see how EDI has been considered in the project from recruitment through to project outputs.
  • Adequate consideration of sustainability. Environmental damage from the production and inappropriate disposal of electronics waste (e-waste) is an increasing problem. We would like to see how sustainability has been considered in the project, from sourcing components to the impact of your output on the environment.
  • Novelty.
  • Likely impact of the work and applicability outside of academia.

Project PIs will ultimately be responsible for ensuring that projects are carried out within the agreed timescales and budget. Where the day-to-day management of the project is carried out by another project team member, they can be assigned as a point of contact for the work.

All applicants must work with our research designer from the beginning of their projects. The research designer will work with you to find innovative ways to visualise your work and communicate it to a diverse audience. We’re keen to utilise interesting and accessible ways to communicate the outputs from your work, therefore, rather than a traditional written report, we will be exploring the most appropriate way to do this and asking for your ideas in the application form. The research designer will work with you to create the agreed format for reporting your funding outcomes.

The pro² team are keen to stay up to date with your progress on the project and so, we will be arranging a site visit during the work. This is not intended to evaluate the project, but to offer advice/guidance where useful and to understand interim results.

The goal of the pro² network is to improve digital device production for all. To that end, we stipulate that any IP created with pro² funding should be available for all, via open access, for any purpose. Please see the sub-award terms.

Question and Answer Webinar- 11am-1pm, 25th May 2023.

Deadline for Applications- 15th June, midnight BST.

Interviews- 4th or 5th July.

Notified of final decision- 12th July.

Project Starts- Sep 2023.

If you have any questions about the funding or application criteria, please contact Sarah Hughes or Maura Lydon at

pro² handles all personal data in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) where appropriate.

Application Form

Sub-award Terms

prosquared webinar graphic, depicting a blue computer screen with people in a video call against a yellow background. There's the term Q and A on the left and the prosquared logo on the right.

Your questions answered

Following our funding call webinar on the 25th of May, here are the answers to all the questions our participants asked.


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Digital device

A physical piece of equipment that contains a computer or microcontroller. Today, myriad devices are digital including smartphones, tablets and smartwatches (PC Mag).

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An individual or organization taking a leadership role in the creation of a product, inclusive of the prototype to product phases [NB Producer already has meanings in the specific contexts of entertainment production (films, music etc) and industry, Cambridge Dictionary].

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A solid technological foundation upon which products can be created, incorporating open access to the necessary knowledge, standards, tools, capabilities and facilities [NB Platforming already has meanings in the specific contexts of petroleum refinery (Collins Dictionary) or video gaming (Wiktionary)].

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The first example of something, such as a machine or other industrial product, from which all later forms are developed (Cambridge Dictionary).

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An ‘equal’ copy of a prototype. It is likely that a prototype will need to go through one or more steps of refinement to (a) allow it to be replicated more easily, so that isotypes can be produced, and (b) to ensure it is suitably robust and performant that it’s useful to make isotypes, e.g.  for technical testing or user evaluation. Isotypes are, however, unlikely to be sufficiently refined to qualify as a products. [NB Isotype already has meanings in the specific contexts of biology, crystallography, immunology and picture language, Collins Dictionary]. 

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Something that is made to be sold, usually something that is produced by an industrial process (Cambridge Dictionary). Products must provide sufficient utility to justify the cost of production and operation, must comply with local laws and regulations, and may become relied-upon by their users, requiring practical and cost-effective ways of supporting their on-going use.