Explore Funding for Research and Innovation for Food Security

Global food securityBy 2050 the world population is expected to rise over 9 billion, placing increased pressure on research institutions to provide the industry with new solutions to feed the world population and to develop more sustainable food systems. Accordingly, the government is committed to making the UK a global leader in key areas of agricultural technology, innovation and sustainability with investments of £160 million into the Agri-Tech Strategy and £75 million from the Technology Strategy Board.

The event ‘Working Together to Achieve Global Food Security’, taking place on Thursday, 18th September 2014 (9am – 4.30pm) in Central London, will give a detailed insight into the July 2013 ‘UK Agricultural Technologies Strategy’ and focus on ways how higher education institutions can access funding for research into agricultural technology, innovation and sustainability.

KEY SPEAKER – Technology Strategy Board

Ian Meikle, Head of Agriculture and Food at TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY BOARD will be speaking about funding research and innovation for food security in the UK and the £75 million of investment over the next five years for technological research and development.


– Promoting research done by institutes and university departments at the fore of scientific research on agriculture and agricultural technologies

– Working to effectively deliver the ‘UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies’ with targeted funding and stronger leadership

– Forging successful partnerships between academia and global organisations

– Raising awareness of innovative research within the agricultural and soil science communities that will play a major role in food security and sustainability



Book online: http://email.insidegovernment.co.uk/c/1gr2LlDr7aUnDXQWdg8xnWAMm or call 020 7550 5937 to secure your place today!

BBSRC-Brazil (FAPESP) Joint Funding of Research


Co-funded support for research projects involving international collaboration between the UK and Brazil in any areas of science within the remits of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the State of Säo Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP).

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the State of Säo Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) have agreed a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to co-fund and support collaborative research projects by UK/Brazilian partnerships.

The MoU aims to encourage and support collaborative projects that cut across national boundaries and involve international collaborative teams. Both agencies are charged with fostering and supporting academic research for their respective nations and recognise that the best research in all countries may be delivered by working with the best researchers internationally.

The research proposals can be in any area of science within both of the BBSRC and FAPESP remits – principally food security, bioenergy and industrial biotechnology.

Further information: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/funding/internationalfunding/fapesp-joint-funding-research.aspx

Information taken from Grantfinder, Idox

Advancing Regenerative Medicines and Cell Therapies


Funding is available for collaborative research and development projects which aim to advance the rate of development and commercialisation of regenerative medicines and cell therapies in UK industry.

Extended Description

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB), working in partnership with the Welsh Government, is inviting applications for funding for single-company and collaborative research and development projects that address specific challenges in the regenerative medicine and cell therapy industry, particularly the preparation of novel treatments for use. The aim of the call is to accelerate the rate of development and commercialisation of regenerative medicines and call therapies, with a focus on preclinical testing, clinical development and manufacture, and the development of associated underpinning tools and technologies.

There are two principle funding streams:

  • Stream 1: Support for preclinical and clinical development of novel therapies.
  • Stream 2: Support for developing underpinning tools and technologies.

Stream 1 projects must cover at least one of the following areas:

  • Preclinical testing.
  • Formulation and delivery.
  • Clinical trials.
  • Manufacture.

Stream 2 projects must aim to develop key platform technologies to advance the development and commercialisation of regenerative medicines and cell therapies, and address at least one of the following challenges:

  • Confirming product safety or efficacy.
  • Manufacturing treatments at scale.

Stream 2 applications concerned with modernising current methods and processes, which aim to achieve greater efficiency or reduce the time involved in launching products to market are particularly sought.

Eligibility Criteria

Projects must be business-led and may be single-company or collaborative. Partners can include other businesses or research organisations, such as universities and catapults. Applicants are encouraged to engage with the Cell Therapy Catapult, or other Catapult centres.

Value Notes

Up to £7.5 million has been allocated to this Call by TSB. In addition, the Welsh Government has allocated up to £500,000 to support projects which will have a positive impact specifically on the Welsh Economy. Projects are expected to range between £500,000 and £2.5 million, projects which fall outwith this range may still be eligible and potential applicants should discuss this with TSB before applying.

Business partners can receive up to 50% (60% for SMEs) of eligible costs. The maximum level of costs that can be shared by research organisations is 50%. Academic and research organisations undertaking non-economic activity will be funded as follows:

  • Universities: 80% of Full Economic Costs (fEC).
  • Non-profit distributing research and technology organisations, catapults, public sector research establishments and research council institutes: 100% of eligible costs.

Match Funding Restrictions

A maximum of 60% (SMEs) of research and development project costs (50% for academic organisations) is awarded; therefore the applicants must have the funding in place to meet the remainder of the project costs.


Projects relating to the discovery of new therapies will not be awarded funding.

Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions include:

  • A collaboration agreement must be in place to ensure the allocation rights of any intellectual property arising from the project.
  • The results of the project must be exploited within the UK and European Economic Area (EEA) within a maximum of five years from the end of the project funding period.
  • Monitoring of the project is likely to be carried out by specialist contractors and will most likely involve quarterly reporting and progress meetings.
  • An independent auditor to audit the project costs is required to be appointed and an accountants report will need to be produced.

Application Procedure

The key dates for this competition are as follows:

  • Competition open: 2 June 2014.
  • Competition briefing in London: 10 June 2014.
  • Registration deadline: 12 noon, 9 July 2014.
  • Expression of interest deadline: 12 noon, 16 July 2014.
  • Stage 2 opens to invited applicants: 4 August 2014.
  • Deadline for invited applications: 12 noon, 8 October 2014.

Applicants must first register with the Technology Strategy Board through the competition webpage.

Application is via a two stage process:

  • Stage 1: An expression of interest must be submitted and will be assessed.
  • Stage 2: Selected applicants will be invited to submit an application.

A part of the application process, candidates are required to submit a project description which is suitable for publishing to a public audience. If funding is awarded this description will be published on the TSB website.

Information taken from: Grantfinder, Idox

Royal Society: Brian Mercer Feasibility Award

This scheme is for scientists who wish to investigate the feasibility of commercialising an aspect of their research.

The scheme provides initial support of up to £30,000 to test the feasibility of a project, enabling applicants to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of commercialising an aspect of their scientific research, possibly in conjunction with a third party.

This award and the Brian Mercer Award for Innovation (which is intended for concepts at a more advanced stage) are designed to promote innovation and fill the funding gap between scientific research and the exploitation of an idea through venture capital investment.

The Brian Mercer Awards were established by the Society in 2001 as the result of a generous bequest received from the late Dr Brian Mercer.  Dr Mercer was an enthusiastic inventor and entrepreneur and these awards aim to encourage these qualities in the next generation of scientists.

Eligibility requirements

The scheme covers the built environment, clean technology, energy and nanoscience, nanotechnology and biomedical sciences.

The applicant must:

  • have a PhD or be of equivalent standing in their profession
  • hold a substantive post in either a university or not-for-profit research organisation in the UK
  • expect to be in post for at least the duration of the project

Applicants should ensure that they meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes (PDF).

Value and tenure

The scheme provides an award of up to £30,000 (including VAT where applicable). Awards are not expected to exceed 12 months in duration.

Application process

Applications are checked by the selection panel chair for eligibility and then reviewed by the members of the panel with the most appropriate scientific expertise. The application is then reviewed by two independent referees suggested by the panel.

The selection panel then considers the applications before reaching a decision. This process takes around six weeks.

For further information, contact Research & Income Generation Support at Research & Enterprise.

TSB: Agri-Tech Catalyst

The Agri-Tech Catalyst supports innovative ideas from any sector or discipline, which can help make the UK a world leader in agricultural technology, innovation and sustainability.

Three categories of grant are available:

These categories are designed to form a pipeline, supporting the development of an idea from concept to commercialisation, from the early-stage exploration of commercial and technical potential through to proving utility in the field and development prior to commercialisation.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for assessment by independent experts. Applicants may apply for the award category most appropriate for their work without having received a prior award.

The Agri-Tech Catalyst will fund proposals relating to:

  • primary crop and livestock production, including aquaculture
  • non-food uses of arable crops (for example, for biomass)
  • food security and nutrition challenges in international development
  • challenges in downstream food processing, provided the solution lies in primary production.

The Agri-Tech Catalyst will not fund equine-related proposals, or proposals relating to forestry or wild-capture fisheries.

Agricultural science and technology is one of the world’s fastest-growing and exciting markets. It is driven by global changes: a rising population, climate change, rapid development of emerging economies with western lifestyle aspirations, and growing geopolitical instability around shortages of land, water and energy. A technology revolution is also taking place. Breakthroughs in nutrition, genetics, informatics, satellite imaging, remote sensing, meteorology, precision farming and low-impact agriculture are driving major global investment in agri-tech.

In order to meet these challenges, businesses and researchers need to work together to develop innovative technologies and processes which provide solutions that are economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. That is the vision of the Government’s UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies, which aims to put the UK at the forefront of the sustainable intensification of agricultural production.

And to help achieve this, the Government is investing £70m in a new Agri-Tech Catalyst. The Agri-Tech Catalyst offers funding for collaborative projects, taking innovative ideas from any sector or discipline with the potential to provide an economic boost to the UK Agri-Tech industry, by tackling challenges in agriculture. These may be domestic or international challenges: funding for the Agri-Tech Catalyst includes an element specifically targeted at contributing to international development.

Funding through the Agri-Tech Catalyst is available to UK businesses of any size, as well as researchers. Funding is also available to partners in developing countries for applications targeting international development challenges.

Support is available for projects arising from any sector or discipline that are aimed at addressing relevant challenges, and multi-disciplinary collaborations are encouraged.

The deadline for applications for the first round is 4 June 2014. In the case of industrial research awards, the deadline for second-stage applications is 11 June 2014.