This competition is delivered in partnership with the Growing Kent and Medway consortium led by the National Institute for Agricultural Botany (NIAB). It is funded by the UKRI Strength in Places Fund to invest up to £2 million in innovation projects. These will be to stimulate an uplift in the region’s economy through inclusive and innovation-led growth.

It focuses on:

  • horticultural production including the production of novel, high-value compounds from plants
  • fresh produce packaging
  • food and drink processing
  • enabling technologies that underpin the supply chain.

The aim of this competition is to support business-focused innovation. Specifically, it aims to support transition to net-zero, and deliver improved productivity and sustainability in horticultural food and drink production.

Your proposal must demonstrate the potential to positively impact on the economy of the K&M area.

Any awards given to primary agricultural producers are subject to the green box exemption under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. Please see further guidance on green box subsidies here WTO Guidance for support in Agriculture.

Applicants receiving this type of support must ensure that there is minimal to no distortion of trade and comply with the requirements of Annex 2 of the Agriculture Agreement.

Your project

Your project must:

  • be undertaken in the Kent and Medway area
  • claim a grant between £50,000 and £250,000
  • start by 1 May 2022
  • end by 31 October 2024
  • last between 12 months and 30 months
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the K&M area

If your project’s eligibility falls outside the green box subsidy exemption or your total grant requests, duration, geographical area falls outside our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to support@innovateuk.ukri.org at least 10 working days before the competition closes. Innovate UK will decide whether to approve your request.

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • collaborate with other UK registered businesses, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities
  • include a minimum of 2 in the consortium
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the K&M area

The lead organisation must collaborate with at least one of the following research organisations or research and technology organisations in the K&M area:

  • NIAB
  • University of Greenwich
  • University of Kent
  • Canterbury Christ Church University

Academic institutions cannot lead.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not-for-profit organisation
  • public sector organisation
  • research organisation (RO) and research and technology organisation (RTO)

Subcontractors are also permitted.

If a business leads a project, it can collaborate on a further two projects. Businesses can only lead on one application; if a business is not leading a project they can collaborate on any number of applications. Academic institutions, charities and not for profit RO or RTO can collaborate on any number of applications.

The aim of this competition is to support business-focused innovation in Kent and Medway. This is to support the transition to net-zero, deliver improved productivity and sustainability in horticultural food and drink production. This could include the production of novel, high-value compounds from plants.

Scope

Growing Kent and Medway want to stimulate socially inclusive innovation so individuals can contribute and benefit from economic growth in the Kent and Medway area.

Your project must:

  • provide solutions that tackle new or emerging needs
  • demonstrate a realistic potential to support business growth, scale-up, and job creation
  • deliver benefit to the region as well as further afield

Your activities can solve challenges at any point in:

  • horticultural production including the production of novel, high–value compounds from plants
  • fresh produce packaging
  • food and drink processing
  • enabling technologies that underpin the supply chain

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

Your project must focus on one or more of the following:

  • moving towards net-zero carbon emissions
  • minimising waste and maximising recycling
  • improving resource use efficiency and sustainability
  • increasing productivity
  • resilient food production, for example: supply chain resilience, nutritional security
  • precision technologies, for example: sensor technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), robotics
  • addressing current and future labour shortages, supply or demand driven, within the K&M agri-food sector

An online briefing event will be held at 11.30am on Tuesday 14th September: click here for the link to join.

If you want help to find a project partner, contact KTN’s Agrifood team.