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The Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE) is a Partnership between the University and a small group of global strategic industrial investors, operating across the supply chain of the electronics and photonics industries. Based around world-leading facilities and expertise at the University of Cambridge, CAPE provides a form of joint university-industry research that is leading edge, vertically integrated and commercially relevant.

CAPE has created special funding scheme, the CAPE Acorn Fund, to support innovative research initiatives from young researchers, in parallel with their current research.


CAPE invites engineering postdoc researchers, either individually or in a small team, to submit Blue sky research ideas for a 1-year project on any engineering-related topic. All participating postdocs must have the approval of their supervisors before submission.

The award gives the opportunity for early career researchers to undertake a pilot study in a new research area. Proposals should aim to demonstrate the potential to the CAPE Partners of a new technology, or the potential of an existing technology in a radically different application area. Proposals in research areas not currently covered by the CAPE Partnership or addressing a global issue recognised by the United Nations are particularly encouraged.


There will be up to two awards of maximum £20,000 to support staffing, travel or equipment for postgraduate research.

The winners will present their project results to the CAPE Steering Committee during a CAPE Event in June 2020.


The proposal should be no more than 2 pages of A4, and should be submitted at:

For more information contact Ms Denisa Demko (CAPE Coordinator), CAPE Office, 9 JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 0FA

Tel: +44 (0)1223 748343


The deadline for submission is Sunday 30 September 2018.

Each proposal will be evaluated by the CAPE Technology Focus Groups (TFGs), which include representatives from each CAPE Partner company. Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of academic quality, feasibility, adventurousness and long-term relevance to the Partners’ business areas. The final decision will be made by the CAPE Steering Committee, and the winner(s) will be announced by 15 October 2018, ready for a project start in the 2018/19 academic year.

You can download the Call here.

All applicants agree with CAPE Acorn Fund IP Terms and Conditions.

BS Poster 2018 JPEG

For the fifth year running, the CAPE Acorn Fund seeks to support a range of small projects, with emphasis on promoting research proposed by young student researchers. Undergraduate students who are considering putting forward an industrial based type-(b) project topic for their 4th Year Project are invited to submit a brief proposal, no more than 2 pages of A4, to:

The CAPE Coordinator, CAPE Office, 9 JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 0FA

The close date for submission is Monday, 23 April 2018.

Each proposal will be evaluated by the CAPE office for funding in association with one or more of the CAPE Partner companies. Through the CAPE Office, students who are interested could approach the CAPE Partners of their choice with their project ideas, and then formulate their project before submitting their proposals. The CAPE Office will be able to facilitate appropriate contact with the CAPE Partner companies.

The successful candidates will receive a CAPE 4th Year Project Award, which includes project funding through CAPE at the standard 4th Year Project level (£250) and a £250 cash prize, total award of £500. They will then be invited to present their project results to the CAPE Steering Committee during the CAPE 2-Day Event in June 2019.

Acorn Fund Part IIB Award 2018_poster

Tue 8th May 2018 at 13:30 – Annex Seminar Room, Electrical Engineering, Cambridge

You can view the video recording of the lecture by clicking on this link: Dr Bryan Reimer – Robot in my driveway?

Poster Dr Bryan Reimer - MIT CAPE Lecture 8. May 2018

Abstract: The concept of automating vehicles and removing the driver from direct control of the throttle, brake, and steering wheel was first explored nearly 100 years ago. Over the decades since, automation has infiltrated the automobile. Today, on the heels of the DARPA Urban Challenge and Google’s Self-Driving Car Project, we are closer than ever to realizing aspirations of a century ago, but challenges remain. This talk will center on elements of what is known about our move toward increased vehicle automation. Topics to be considered include the evolution of robo-taxis, observations on the use of production level automated driving features, and the shifting nature of what we do in modern vehicles. How might the intersection of artificial intelligence embodied in one the most complex activities humans perform intersect with society’s demand for economical, efficient and safe mobility? What are key gateways to facilitating robots on the road? How can human factors and psychology research and policy leadership help to accelerate innovations that are changing how we live and move?

Bio: Bryan Reimer, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist in the MIT AgeLab and the Associate Director of The New England University Transportation Center. His work aims to find solutions to the next generation of human factors challenges associated with driver attention management, distraction, automation and the use of advanced driver assistance systems to maximize mobility and safety. He collaborates with industries worldwide and founded and leads the Advanced Human Factors Evaluator for Attentional Demand (AHEAD) consortium, aimed at developing the next generation of driver attention measurement tools and the Advanced Vehicle Technology (AVT) consortium, focused on developing an understanding of driver use of emerging vehicle technologies including production level automated driving systems.

Dr. Reimer has been honored with an inaugural 2018 Autos2050 Impact Award for his innovative contributions to the automotive industry. He is an author on over 200 technical contributions in transportation and related human factors areas. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering, an M.S. in Manufacturing Engineering and a Ph.D. in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.

CAPA 2018 Call

We are pleased to announce the outcome of the CAPE Acorn Fund – Post-graduate Research Award 2018 Call.

This year there are four winning projects of the CAPA Award:

1. Development of Sensorized Phantom Organ for Robotic and Medical Applications

     Josie Hughes & P. Maiolino (supervisor Dr Fumiya Iida, Engineering – Div F)

2. A Smart Metasurface Antenna for Application in Radio Frequency Identification

     Ajeck Ndifon (supervisor Prof. Ian White, Engineering – Div B)

3. Flexible Photodetector for Smart Textile Applications

     Shahab Akhavan (supervisor Prof. Andrea Ferrari, Engineering – Div B)

4. Diversity of Natural Photonic Crystals and their Inspirations for Industry

     Yin Chang (supervisor Dr Michelle Oyen, Engineering – Div C)

Congratulations to the winners!


CAPE is inviting CUED post-graduate students, either individually or in small teams, to participate in the new CAPE Acorn Post-graduate Award 2018 by submitting a research idea on any engineering-related topic addressing a technological or societal need. The £1,000-£2,000 Award includes funding support for a short project of 3 months’ duration to run in parallel with their current research and post-graduate studies. Several projects will be awarded in this year.

All participants must have the approval of their Supervisor.

Closing date for submission: Friday 19 January 2018.
For further details on how to apply, the Call can be downloaded here.

CAPE Office

CAPA 2018 Poster