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Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics


The CAPE Grand Challenge Award is a competition for the best project outlines aligned with strategic research themes proposed by the CAPE partners. The winning submissions will be developed into full CAPE project proposals in collaboration with one (or more) CAPE Partners; this could lead to a seed project (i.e. ‘proof-of-concept’) or a larger project as appropriate. The competition is open to researchers and academics in the University of Cambridge.

Research Topics

Your proposal should address one of the following areas selected by CAPE Partner BIACD:

Topic 1.    High reliable signal transmission requirements

In continuous rotational structures, the usual method of signal transmission is a metal slip ring, which has some weaknesses including: a) a structure size is too large for multi-signal transmission, b) There exists a mechanical wear and tear, pollution during long-term run that will result in isolation and decrease of the transmission performance.

A goal of this project is to develop a novel transmission form with reduced size, that supports circuit and improves stability in a long-term run.  

2.    MEMS Technology 

  • To address MEMS resonator noise and non-linear vibration issues
  • Design of high-accuracy Silicon-based resonant accelerometer.

More details of the topics


£1,000 will be awarded for a Grand Challenge submission that is developed into a project proposal with a CAPE Partner. The Acorn Fund will fund a maximum of four awards. CAPE reserves the right not to issue an award if the criteria for the project are not fulfilled and there is no guarantee that the project proposal will be funded.

All research project proposals resulting from the CAPE Grand Challenge between the winner and partner/s will follow standard CAPE project approval procedures and will operate under the terms of the CAPE Partnership Agreement.


The competition is open to researchers and academics in the University of Cambridge. Project ideas may be submitted by early stage researchers who do not have PI status, but each submission must include one applicant eligible for PI status within the University who  could lead any resulting project.

How to apply

Please complete a project outline form (download here) and return to by 10 December 2021.

Further Information

If any queries, please contact Ms Denisa Demko (CAPE Coordinator), CAPE Office, 9 JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 0FA

Tel:                         +44 (0)1223 748343