Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is inviting investors to partner with us for this Transforming Food Production Series A Investor Partnership Programme. Together we will align Innovate UK’s grant funding of relevant late stage R&D projects alongside your investment in UK micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) concerned with transforming food production.

We are seeking investor partners that are looking to invest in high growth potential SMEs that aspire to transform food production towards net zero emissions. The SMEs will be selected in a later competition.

The aim of this programme is to encourage investment in innovative companies with developed technologies that are working towards net zero emission productive food systems. Investor partners must provide wider business skills and experience as well as financial investment.

The Transforming Food Production Series A Investor Partnership Programme consists of 2 competitions:

  1. This investor partner selection competition, which collates and assesses applications from investors to form an investor pool. This competition is not offering any funding.
  2. The SME competition, which opens 2 November 2020. This will be for SMEs to submit project applications for grant support with a clear alignment for private investment.

We are seeking investor partners that want to invest in high growth potential SMEs that aspire to transform food production towards net zero emissions. The SMEs will be selected in a later competition.

Your organisation must be an equity provider with the potential to act as lead investor in Series A investments from £1 million to £5 million. Equity providers that are a charity or a trust are also eligible.

We aim to establish a ‘pool’ of lead investor partners, interested in making investments aligned with Innovate UK grants. Investments must be either direct equity or convertible loans.

You must also be able to offer other commercial acumen to SMEs, such as:

  • leadership
  • market access
  • skills or
  • resources.

No funding commitment is required at this stage. We only need your commitment to review and consider project proposals that will be selected by Innovate UK in the SME competition opening on 2 November 2020.

We are looking for a mix of established agri-tech investors alongside food-tech, social, impact and clean growth investors from the UK and overseas.

Your organisation must demonstrate it has the capability, capacity and investment appetite to fund individual SMEs that aim to achieve the ‘net zero’ objectives of the ISCF Transforming Food Production Challenge. These are:

  • the development of precision solutions and systems that will make a significant step towards net zero emissions for food production
  • improving productivity of the agricultural sector

We have allocated up to £5 million to provide grant funding for SME projects aligned with private investment from investor partners.

During the SME competition, SMEs will identify their total funding requirement which will include Innovate UK grant funding aligned with Series A investment.

If your organisation is selected to be an investor partner we will identify potential UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) for you to invest in.

KTN held an online briefing event on 6th August: click here to view the recording.