Find out about the latest funding calls of relevance to the agriculture and food & drink manufacturing sectors.

The funding landscape can be complex, so KTN’s Agri-Food team have compiled a list of some of the latest funding calls of relevance for the agriculture and food & drink manufacturing sectors, bringing them together in one place – find out more below.

The team will be happy to help if you wish to find out more about these or other funding opportunities, need help finding collaborative partners, or are seeking advice on how to apply for funding. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.

See our Covid-19 funding round-up for all Covid-related funding calls.


Horticultural Quality and Food Loss Network 2020 Funding Calls

A new 3-year, £500K Network is being established to tackle food waste and to improve quality in horticultural and potato crops.

The Horticultural Quality and Food Loss Network is providing a range of funding opportunities to its members, including pump-priming funds for feasibility studies and preliminary data collection to facilitate new collaborations (with emphasis on industry involvement and multidisciplinary) including ring-fenced funds for Early Career Researchers (ECRs)Business Interaction Vouchers (BIV) and Networking Visit Funding (NVF).

A total of £300K will be allocated over the next three years through a competitive transparent process. The awarding of funding is subject to applicants satisfying the Network’s Terms and Conditions.

To find out more, click here. Applications must be submitted by 15th January 2021.


Innovate UK Smart Grants: August 2020

Opportunity for UK registered organisations to apply for a share of up to £25 million from Innovate UK to deliver disruptive R&D innovations that can significantly impact the UK economy. Apply by 25th November. Find out more here.


Women in Innovation Awards 2020/21

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is offering 10 Women in Innovation Awards to female entrepreneurs across the UK. The winners will receive a £50,000 grant and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support. Registration closes 14th October 2020. More info here.


Innovation continuity loans: Strand 2: September 2020 follow-on competition

Innovate UK can provide additional COVID-19 innovation continuity loans for the continuation of planned or existing innovation activity. Loans of between £250,000 and £1.6 million are available. Apply by 30th September 2020. More details here.


Agri-tech catalyst round 10: agriculture and food systems

Up to £2.5 million of funding is available from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) across 3 strands. This is for projects working on agri-tech and food chain innovations with partners in eligible African countries.

The aim of this competition is to increase the pace of innovation in the development of agricultural and food systems in Africa. Your project must result in more use of innovations by farmers and food systems organisations, such as manufacturers, processors, retailers, distributors and wholesalers.

All projects must have a UK lead and a partner from an eligible African country, and must implement significant activity in the eligible African country. Your proposal must show the potential to have a positive impact on poverty through the uptake of agricultural and food systems technology and innovation.

Early stage feasibility studies: project costs £100k-500k, duration 12-18 months

Mid stage industrial research: project costs £250k-£1m, duration up to 3 years

Late stage experimental development: project costs £150k-£800k, duration up to 18 months

All 3 strands close on 21st October 2020.

Detection and Diagnosis of Plant and Animal Diseases (TRDF)

Funding of up to £150K for early-stage development of cutting-edge research technologies

This funding will support applications for early stage technology development and research into the development of novel techniques and technologies. They should have the potential to enable transformative step changes in research capability.

The funding call focuses on transformative research technologies for the detection and diagnosis of plant and animal diseases, and in particular infectious agents with zoonotic potential.

Application deadline: 8 October 2020, 4pm

To find out more, click here.


IETF Phase 1: Funding for food and drink producers in England, Wales and NI

Your project must focus on deployment of technology that has been proven to work through successful operations and/or is qualified through test and demonstration. The technology must improve the energy efficiency of an industrial process or processes. Your project must only be possible because of this funding. Grants start at £250,000.

Application deadline: Wednesday 28 October 2020, 11:00am

To find out more, click here.


Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Current KTP period opened on 16th July, and closes on 28th October 2020 (after this the next round will be available immediately, so don’t rush your application unnecessarily).

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)  links your organisation with one of the UK’s world-class knowledge bases (a university or research organisation) to power strategic innovation projects, embed expertise and drive commercial growth. needed to develop it, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership may be the answer. It creates a dynamic three-way collaboration – between a business or not for profit organisation, a UK university or research organisation, and a suitably qualified graduate – to help realise a strategic innovation project, bring about transformative change and embed new capability.

Read more


Management Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Just like our highly effective KTP programme, Management KTPs (MKTPs) create a dynamic 3-way partnership between your company, a team of academic experts and a skilled graduate. The focus of a MKTP is specifically on increasing effectiveness and improving results through better management practices.

These have the same funding deadlines as KTPs – click here for full details.


BactiVac Catalyst Training Awards

The call for applications is an open call, you can apply at any time. This scheme will be run up to August 2021.

Catalyst funding is available to support training opportunities and exchanges, prioritising those involving LMIC members and academic/industrial partners, for the transfer of knowledge and skills in bacterial vaccinology. Up to £6,000 per award is available and each training visit is expected to be up to three months in duration. The aim of this funding scheme will be to support members to train in vaccine research & development (R&D), targeting the main preclinical to clinical area of focus for BactiVac.

Click here to find out more.


Food & Agriculture Science Transformer (FAST) programme

Funding programme for career researchers with an interest in science entrepreneurship

Deep Science Ventures and the University of Edinburgh have launched the Food & Agriculture Science Transformer (FAST) programme to design and launch a contingent of innovative high growth start-ups operating exclusively in the agriculture sector. They are currently recruiting people with specialist domain knowledge who want to co-found agritech companies. No prior IP or “idea” required, but they are definitely looking for potential founders who want to build technology companies around with their larger Agriculture thesis on Restorative Cultivation.

Applications are open on a rolling basis, with decisions normally made in 2 weeks. To find out more, click here.


STFC Bridging for Innovators (B4I) programme

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is a multidisciplinary research organisation that funds and operates a number of large science facilities offering research and development access to commercial users. Through these facilities, and their expert staff, they can provide access to advanced experimental and computational tools to address challenges in all aspects of the food production and packaging supply chain. Their £8 million Bridging for Innovators (B4I) programme is specifically designed to help companies overcome difficult product, manufacturing or process performance issues by providing access to advanced analytical technologies, supporting expertise and capabilities through STFC’s large scale science facilities located around the UK.

Click here to find out more.


UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S)

The UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (formerly known as The Rainbow Seed Fund) is a £27.1m early-stage venture capital fund building and growing technology companies stemming from the UK’s research base. UKI2S works closely with its partners – led by STFC, BBSRC and NERC, which are all part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and Dstl — and is aligned with the Catapults and Innovate UK to create the best environment for innovation to flourish and in turn, boost the UK’s competitiveness and productivity by commercialising key technological advances in industrial biotech, ag tech, healthcare, medicine, clean energy, materials, artificial intelligence, software and space. Foodtech is also within scope.

Click here to find out more.


HSBC SME Loan Fund

HSBC UK has announced a £12 billion lending fund to support the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Fund includes a ring-fenced minimum pot of £300 million to support the UK’s agriculture businesses. It also includes a ring-fenced £1 billion to help UK companies grow their business overseas, as well as a broader package of support. The initiative is available to UK businesses with a turnover of up to £350 million. Applicants do not need to be an HSBC customer to apply.

Click here to find out more.


Horizon 2020 Calls

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s multi-billion research and innovation funding scheme running from 2014 to 2020. The UK government has issued some documents to clarify the UK’s eligibility to participate in Horizon 2020 if there is no Brexit deal.

KTN has a range of training videos for UK companies in how to write a successful project proposal for European funding.

UK businesses benefitting from Horizon 2020 research funding are urged to register their details with the government so they can continue to receive funding if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

Forthcoming and currently open calls include:

Horizon 2020: EIC Accelerator (formerly known as SME Instrument) – The SME Instrument supports high-risk, high-potential small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and bring to market new products, services and business models that could drive economic growth. Various closing dates until October 2020. Click here to find out more.

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