Competitions

There are many competitions and awards open to businesses in Essex with some great prizes to be won, ranging from cash prizes to coaching and advice. Competitions and awards are a great way to increase your credibility, access marketing and benchmarking your business. Please take a look at the information below to find out what competitions and awards your business can access.

  • Impacting Business by Design

    Impacting Business by Design – University-based Product design and development support to accelerate and de-risk your innovation activities.

    Impacting Business by Design is a new design support programme that aims to accelerate and de-risk the innovation activities of start-ups, scale-ups, and SMEs by helping them harness the potential of design to increase product innovation success. Businesses seeking support will be able to work directly with the professional design and development teams based within each of the three partner universities delivering this Research England funded programme; Brunel, De Montfort and Nottingham Trent.

    Access to specialised academic expertise

    As well as product design expertise, participants would be helped to access support drawn from each partner university’s academic communities. This expertise covers a variety of subjects such as; advanced manufacturing, materials science, engineering, electronics, med-tech, clean technology and artificial intelligence, cyber security and many others.

    Funding Support is available

    Recognising that product innovation is inherently risky, the programme also makes available funding support to both resource and de-risk their use of design during the project. Design work is always undertaken at market rates however, our de-risking mechanism takes the form of a ‘deferred advance’ scheme that sees product design fees incurred by participants during the project being repaid only when the new product when launched, has generated significant revenues. For the right company, this is an important benefit in cash-flow terms.

    Who can apply?

    The programme welcomes applications from businesses with active plans to invest in product innovation to address an identified market opportunity.

    You are eligible for Impacting Business by Design if you:

    • Are an SME; start-up, scale-up or established, that has not previously worked with professional product designers. • Have an innovation challenge or opportunity requiring design and development expertise not available within your own organisation. • Have a coherent plan however, light touch, to commercialise your innovation. • Are keen to work collaboratively with a university and can support the product development activity within your own organisation. • Are committed to gaining new knowledge of design to ultimately grow organisational capability in design to drive future innovation, and long-term growth.

    Next steps

    The combination of professional design support and specialised academic expertise plus the financial de-risking mechanism built into the programme, offers a unique opportunity for participating businesses to harness the expertise of the UK university sector to support their product innovation goals in a very pragmatic way. To find out more, or to discuss your innovation challenges and opportunities, contact Principal Project Manager, Ian Ferris – ian.ferris@brunel.ac.uk

  • Commercialising quantum technology: technology projects round 1, full stage

    UK businesses can express an interest in applying for a share of up to £30 million to collaborate on quantum technology development projects. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

    Description

    The aim of the competition is to address technological barriers to the commercial or industrial exploitation of quantum technologies in the UK. Your project must focus on one or more of the following technical barriers:

    • connectivity
    • situational awareness
    • computing

    Your project must also:

    • exploit second generation quantum techniques
    • demonstrate how the technological advance will accelerate the commercialisation and industrialisation of quantum technologies in the UK

    Your application’s lead organisation must be a business unless a research and technology organisation (RTO) gained approval from Innovate UK to lead at the expression of interest phase.

    This is the full competition, following the expression of interest phase.

    Only successful expression of interest applicants are eligible to apply for funding in this phase. You will be required to attend an interview.

    Project size

    Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £4 million and £20 million. The total grant requested must be below £10 million.

    Eligibility

    To be eligible for funding you must be one of the following:

    • a UK registered business of any size
    • an academic institution
    • a charity
    • a public sector organisation or
    • a research and technology organisation (RTO)

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 9 December 2019
    • Competition closes: Wednesday 5 February 2020 12:00pm

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  • ISCF smart sustainable plastic packaging: demonstrator projects, round 1

    UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £12 million for practical demonstrator projects in smart and sustainable plastic packaging. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

    Eligibility

    To lead a project your organisation must:

    Description

    Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £36 million from the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Programme to demonstrate solutions to create a more circular economy for plastic packaging. This funding will be provided in 3 rounds, including one invitation-only competition.

    Your project must also include significant industry investment.

    This competition aims to invest in up to 3 practical demonstrators. We are also running a feasibility studies competition, to help applicants develop proposals for later rounds under this programme.

    Your project must aim to:

    • help make the plastics packaging supply chain more circular
    • deliver the targets of the UK Plastics Pact
    • improve on current state-of-the-art plastic packaging, while still demonstrating practical and close-to-market solutions

    Your proposal must:

    • show how your project supports the objectives of the Pact and delivers systemic change
    • clearly explain how you would reduce the UK plastic packaging system’s overall environmental impact

    We welcome projects across 1 or more of 4 areas:

    1. Materials.
    2. Design.
    3. Technology or process.
    4. Business model or behaviour change.

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £2 million and £48 million.

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 9 December 2019
    • Competition closes: Wednesday 19 February 2020 12:00pm

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  • ISCF smart sustainable plastic packaging: feasibility studies for demonstrators

    UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £700,000 to develop proposals for practical demonstrator projects in smart and sustainable plastic packaging. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

    Description

    Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £36 million from the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Programme to demonstrate solutions that create a more circular economy for plastic packaging. This funding will be provided in 3 rounds. Your project must also include significant industry investment.

    We are funding feasibility studies for demonstrators, which will create a proposal to enter into a later, invitation-only demonstrator projects competition. We are also running a demonstrator projects competition for projects that are ready to start work.

    Your project must aim to:

    • help make the plastics packaging supply chain more circular
    • deliver the targets of the UK Plastics Pact
    • improve on current state-of-the-art plastic packaging, while still demonstrating practical and close-to-market solutions

    Your proposal must:

    • show how your project supports the objectives of the Pact and delivers systemic change
    • clearly explain how you would reduce the UK plastic packaging system’s overall environmental impact

    We welcome projects across 1 or more of these 4 areas:

    • materials
    • design
    • technology or process
    • business model or behaviour change

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £25,000 and £50,000.

    Eligibility

    To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

    • be a UK based business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO)

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 9 December 2019
    • Competition closes: Wednesday 19 February 2020 12:00pm

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  • December expression of interest: ATI programme

    The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme provides funding for industrial research and capital projects to encourage innovation in UK civil aerospace.

    Description

    The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme represents a £3.9 billion joint government and industry investment to maintain and grow the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace.

    This programme is co-ordinated and managed by:

    • the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
    • Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation
    • the Aerospace Technology Institute

    We work in collaboration to deliver a portfolio of projects to meet the objectives of the Aerospace Technology Strategy, ‘Accelerating Ambition’.

    This is an expression of interest competition. There are 3 stages and the whole process takes at least 6 months.

    1. Expression of interest (EoI): opens monthly and is reviewed by ATI only.
    2. Full stage application (FSA): invite only, if successful in the expression of interest stage, with proposal development on the Innovation Funding Service by applicants. Independent assessment by Innovate UK, value for money (VfM) and policy review by BEIS, and strategic assessment by ATI.
    3. Final approvals by BEIS and contracting through Innovate UK.

    More information is on the ATI website.

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    Total eligible project costs and project duration must be appropriate and in proportion to the planned objectives and prioritisation within the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy.

    Eligibility

    To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

    • be a UK registered business of any size to lead a research project
    • be a UK registered business of any size, an academic institution, or a research and technology organisation (RTO) to lead a capital investment project
    • plan to carry out an aerospace research or technology development project in the UK
    • address the requirements of the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy
    • sign up to the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) framework agreement

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 2 December 2019
    • Competition closes: Wednesday 18 December 2019 12:00pm

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  • SBRI: innovation in automated survey processing for railway structure gauging, phase 1

    Businesses can apply for a share of £720,000, plus VAT, to develop a demonstrator for automated railway structure gauging processing.

    Description

    This is phase 1 of a 2-phase Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition open to organisations of all sizes based in the UK, EU or EEA. A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1.

    Network Rail will invest up to £720,000 (plus VAT) in phase 1 of this competition. An extra £1,080,000 (plus VAT) will be available for phase 2. This will support the development of a technological demonstrator for automated structure gauging processing. The competition process is managed by Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation.

    The competition also supports the objectives of Network Rail’s Control Period 6 (CP6) funding strategy for research and development.

    Gauging is the process through which Network Rail ensures adequate clearance between passing trains and lineside objects and features. The objective of this competition is to:

    • demonstrate innovations to Network Rail that will enhance the interpretation of point-cloud data
    • provide accurate information on the location and identity of trackside features to enable accurate gauging clearance processing

    The 2 phases will have the following objectives.

    Phase 1:

    • training the application
    • categorising 10 types of structure

    Phase 2:

    • demonstrating the application
    • analysis and recording of structures

    The competition closes at midday 12pm UK time on the deadline stated.

    Funding type

    Procurement

    Project size

    Your project’s total eligible costs for phase 1 must be up to £90,000 plus VAT. For phase 2, the total eligible costs will be up to £360,000 plus VAT.

    Eligibility

    Your organisation:

    • can be any size
    • must be from the UK, EU or EEA

    Partners can only be involved as subcontractors.

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 2 December 2019
    • Registration closes: Wednesday 22 January 2020 12:00pm

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  • SBRI: innovation in railway platform end and edge technology

    Opportunity for businesses to apply for a share of £1.08 million, plus VAT, to develop solutions to detect and deter trespass at railway platform ends and edges.

    Description

    This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition. It is open to organisations of all sizes based in the UK, EU or EEA.

    Network Rail will invest up to £1.08 million, plus VAT. This will support the development of a technological and/or physical solution which will detect and deter trespass onto the railway from platform ends and edges.

    Whilst Network Rail are eager to embrace new forms of innovation, the solution must be scalable to suit a variety of station environments. This will be tested through trials at multiple live station environments.

    Funding type

    Procurement

    Project size

    Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £200,000 and £360,000, plus VAT.

    Eligibility

    Your organisation:

    • can be any size
    • must be from the UK, EU or EEA
    • must carry out your demonstration activity in the UK

    Partners can only be involved as subcontractors.

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 2 December 2019
    • Registration closes: Wednesday 22 January 2020 12:00pm

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  • ATI programme: R&D funding for smaller business, expression of interest

    UK companies can apply for a share of up to £8 million to carry out industry-led civil aerospace collaborative R&D projects.

    Description

    The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £8 million in research and technology projects. This is to deliver world leading aerospace technologies in the UK.

    This call supports and encourages industrial investment into the aerospace sector and its supply chain, through the funding of innovative and high impact projects. These projects will demonstrate forward-looking and disruptive solutions to UK civil aerospace challenges.

    This is phase 1 of a 2-phase competition. This phase is for expressions of interest. Phase 2 of this competition will open in February 2020 (dates to be communicated separately). Successful submissions to phase 1 will be reviewed for changes when submitted to phase 2; we will not accept unjustified changes to the project consortium or costs. Changes made, may lead to your application being rejected.

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £250,000 and £1.5 million.

    Eligibility

    To lead a project your organisation must:

    • be a UK registered business of any size
    • work with other organisations
    • plan to carry out a civil aerospace research or technology development project in the UK
    • address the specific requirements of the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy

    ATI will update this strategy in November 2019. Projects which address any new elements included in the updated strategy are also in scope for funding.

    All project partners must sign up to the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) framework agreement.

    Projects in this competition are currently exempt from paying the industrial contribution to the ATI.

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 25 November 2019
    • Competition closes: Wednesday 15 January 2020 12:00pm

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  • ISCF TFP science and technology into practice: feasibility studies

    Apply for between £75,000 and £250,000 to test the feasibility of solutions that can transform food production and help the industry move towards net zero emissions by 2040. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

    Description

    Up to £15 million of grant funding is available through the Transforming Food Production Science and Technology into Practice programme. We are running 2 strands through this competition:

    • feasibility study projects (this competition): we expect to spend £5 million
    • demonstration projects: we expect to spend £10 million

    It is your responsibility to make sure you are applying for the correct strand.

    Your feasibility study must:

    • evaluate the early stage feasibility of precision solutions to transform food production
    • work with end users, such as farmers and producers
    • evaluate, in practice, the potential of early stage ideas that address industry identified problems
    • consider both the technical feasibility and the feasibility of the business model
    • consider the route to adoption
    • enable decisions to be made on the future development of the solution

    Your solution must:

    • have the potential to improve productivity and sustainability
    • contribute to the target of net zero emissions from agriculture by 2040

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    Feasibility studies total eligible costs must be between £75,000 and £250,000.

    Eligibility

    To lead a project your organisation must:

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 18 November 2019
    • Competition closes: Wednesday 26 February 2020 12:00pm

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  • UK-Israel open collaborative R&D competition 2019

    UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £1.5 million to develop innovative technologies targeting global markets in partnership with Israeli companies.

    Description

    Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £1.5 million to fund collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects focused on industrial research.

    The UK and Israel are announcing a joint funding competition under the EUREKA framework. This will support collaborative, business led research and development (R&D) projects which should result in a new product, industrial process or service. Projects must be innovative, involve a technological risk and target large global markets.

    The competition will fund projects from any technological or market area.

    The national funding agencies will fund their respective participants in the projects.

    All documents required by Innovate UK must be completed and uploaded to the Innovate UK secure site by midday 12pm UK time on the deadline stated.

    The EUREKA project application form must be completed and emailed to projects@eurekanetwork.org by 10:59pm UK time (11:59pm Central European Time) on the deadline stated.

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    UK project total eligible costs are expected to be between £200,000 and £250,000.

    Eligibility

    To be eligible for funding from Innovate UK your collaboration:

    • must include at least one eligible business partner from each of the participating countries
    • can include other UK registered businesses of any size
    • must follow the full process correctly

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 11 November 2019
    • Registration closes: Wednesday 19 February 2020 12:00pm

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  • ISCF TFP science and technology into practice: demonstration

    Apply for between £400,000 and £4 million to demonstrate solutions that can transform food production and help the industry move towards net zero emissions by 2040. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

    Description

    Up to £15 million of grant funding is available through the Transforming Food Production Science and Technology into Practice programme. We are running 2 strands through this competition:

    • feasibility study projects: we expect to spend £5 million
    • demonstration projects (this competition): we expect to spend £10 million

    It is your responsibility to make sure you are applying for the correct strand.

    Your demonstration project must:

    • demonstrate the viability of combinations of precision solutions to transform food production
    • demonstrate solutions across different production environments, to encourage their widespread use
    • work with end users
    • produce evidence of technical feasibility and economic viability at commercial scale

    Your solution must:

    • have the potential to improve productivity and sustainability
    • contribute to the target of net zero emissions from agriculture by 2040

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    Demonstration projects total eligible costs must be between £400,000 and £4 million.

    Eligibility

    To lead a project your organisation must:

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 11 November 2019
    • Competition closes: Wednesday 26 February 2020 12:00pm

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  • Bilateral UK and US offshore wind R&D programme, EoI

    Express an interest in applying for a share of up to £1.5 million from the bilateral Innovate UK and US national offshore wind programme to tackle 9 challenge areas.

    Description

    Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £1.5 million in UK companies partnering with US consortia to work on projects as part of the $40 million US National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium programme (NOWRDC).

    Nine challenge areas have been identified which aim to reduce the cost and risk of offshore wind development projects throughout the US.

    This is the expression of interest phase of the UK competition. There are 3 phases:

    1. UK expression of interest (EoI): applications are reviewed by Innovate UK.
    2. NOWRDC application: UK applicants join a US-based consortium to apply via the NYSERDA solicitation process.
    3. UK full stage competition: you will be invited to apply only if you are successful in this UK EoI phase.

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    There is no funding for this EoI. If invited to apply into the main competition, your UK project’s total eligible costs must be between £150,000 and £600,000.

    Eligibility

    To lead the UK partners of a project you must:

    • work with a US consortium which intends to apply, or has already applied, to the US competition
    • addresses the requirements of the current NYSERDA solicitation

    The UK partners must include a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), either:

    • working alone
    • or in a collaboration led by a UK registered business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO)

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 4 November 2019
    • Competition closes: Wednesday 15 January 2020 12:00pm

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  • ISCF transforming foundation industries: fast start projects

    UK registered organisations can apply for a share of £5 million for fast start projects to improve the resource and energy efficiency of foundation industries. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

    Description

    Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £5 million in innovation projects for the foundation industries. These will be cross-sector, collaborative, fast start, short duration, industrial research and development (R&D) projects.

    The aim of this competition is to bring businesses from different foundation industries together to work on common resource and energy efficiency opportunities. Your project can focus on any part of the manufacturing process, including:

    • feedstock inputs
    • production
    • material product development

    Your consortium must include at least 2 businesses representing at least 2 sectors in the foundation industries (cement, glass, ceramics, paper, metals and bulk chemicals).

    Your project must not focus on fuel switching or technologies for the capture of emissions, such as carbon capture and storage.

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £50,000 and £500,000.

    Eligibility

    To lead a project your organisation must:

    • be a UK registered business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO)
    • involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
    • collaborate with businesses from 2 or more of the foundation industries

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 28 October 2019
    • Competition closes: Wednesday 5 February 2020 12:00pm

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  • Innovate UK Smart Grants: October 2019

    Opportunity to apply for a share of up to £25 million to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations that can make a significant impact on the UK economy.

    Description

    Smart is the new name for Innovate UK’s ‘Open grant funding’ programme.

    Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas. All proposals must be business focused.

    Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as but not exclusively:

    • the arts, design and media
    • creative industries
    • science or engineering

    Whilst we welcome projects that overlap with the grand challenge areas this is not a requirement, as we are also keen to support projects in other areas. All SMEs involved in funded projects will also be offered business growth support from the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).

    We may share application details with other public sector co-funders if this is appropriate.

    We may consider eligible project costs over £2 million (but not exceeding £3 million), subject to the process set out under ‘Eligibility’.

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    Duration between 6 and 18 months and total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £500,000: can be single or collaborative. Duration between 19 and 36 months and total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £2 million: must be collaborative.

    Eligibility

    To lead a project your organisation must:

    • be a UK registered business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO)
    • carry out your research and development (R&D) project activity in the UK
    • intend to commercially exploit the project results from the UK
    • be, or collaborate with, at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Thursday 17 October 2019
    • Competition closes: Wednesday 8 January 2020 12:00pm

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  • Agri-tech catalyst round 9: agriculture and food systems innovation, late stage

    UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £5 million to work on agri-tech and food chain innovations in Africa.

    Description

    Up to £5 million of funding is available from the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). This is for projects working on agri-tech and food chain innovations with partners in eligible African countries.

    We are running 3 strands to this competition at the same time:

    1. Early stage feasibility studies
    2. Mid stage industrial research
    3. Late stage experimental development (this competition)

    It is your responsibility to make sure you are applying for the correct strand.

    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.

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    For late stage experimental development, your total eligible project costs must be between £150,000 and £800,000.

    Eligibility

    Your project must be collaborative and include all of the following:

    • at least one business from the UK
    • at least one business from an eligible African country

    The technical project work can be led by a business from the UK, an eligible African country or another country.

    The administrative work must be led by a business from the UK.

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 14 October 2019
    • Competition closes: Wednesday 8 January 2020 12:00pm

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  • Agri-tech catalyst round 9: agriculture and food systems innovation, mid stage

    UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £5 million to work on agri-tech and food chain innovations in Africa.

    Description

    Up to £5 million of funding is available from the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). This is for projects working on agri-tech and food chain innovations with partners in eligible African countries.

    We are running 3 strands to this competition at the same time:

    1. Early stage feasibility studies
    2. Mid stage industrial research (this competition)
    3. Late stage experimental development

    It is your responsibility to make sure you are applying for the correct strand.

    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.

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    For mid stage industrial research, your total eligible project costs must be between £250,000 and £1 million.

    Eligibility

    Your project must be collaborative and include all of the following:

    • a business
    • at least one partner from the UK
    • one partner from an eligible African country

    The technical project work can be led by a partner from the UK, an eligible African country or another country.

    The administrative work must be led by a partner from the UK.

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 14 October 2019
    • Competition closes: Wednesday 8 January 2020 12:00pm

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  • Agri-tech catalyst round 9: agriculture and food systems innovation, early stage

    UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £5 million to work on agri-tech and food chain innovations in Africa.

    Description

    Up to £5 million of funding is available from the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). This is for projects working on agri-tech and food chain innovations with partners in eligible African countries.

    We are running 3 strands to this competition at the same time:

    1. Early stage feasibility studies (this competition)
    2. Mid-stage industrial research
    3. Late stage experimental development

    It is your responsibility to make sure you are applying for the correct strand.

    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.

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    For early stage feasibility studies, your total eligible project costs must be between £100,000 and £500,000.

    Eligibility

    Your project must be collaborative and include all of the following:

    • a business
    • at least one partner from the UK
    • one partner from an eligible African country

    The technical project work can be led by a partner from the UK, an eligible African country or another country.

    The administrative work must be led by a partner from the UK.

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 14 October 2019
    • Competition closes: Wednesday 8 January 2020 12:00pm

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  • UK-China: precision for enhancing agricultural productivity

    UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £5 million to work with Chinese partners to develop new integrated precision farming technology and help achieve net-zero emissions. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

    Description

    Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MoST) are each investing around £5 million in innovation projects. Innovate UK will fund the UK partners and MoST will fund the Chinese partners.

    The aim of this competition is to encourage the use of data-intensive methods for commercial farming. This approach, described as either ‘precision farming’ or ‘smart farming’, is defined as the complete incorporation of:

    • monitoring
    • intelligent decision support
    • action planning
    • timely and effective intervention autonomous technologies (sensors, systems, vehicles and robotics)
    • data-driven solutions to enhance productivity while reducing emissions

    Your project must be business-led and aim to develop one or both of the following:

    • autonomous technologies (sensors, systems, vehicles and robotics)
    • data-driven solutions to enhance productivity while reducing emissions

    Your solution must have the potential to improve productivity and sustainability. It must lead to a significant reduction of emissions from agriculture, contributing to the target of net zero emissions from agriculture by 2040.

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    The maximum grant available for UK partners is £500,000 per project. The total amount of grant available for Chinese partners is 50,000,000 RMB to fund 10 projects.

    Eligibility

    Your consortium must include at least:

    • a UK registered business of any size
    • a UK academic institution or research and technology organisation
    • a Chinese business of any size
    • a Chinese academic institution or research organisation

    The UK partners must:

    • carry out their project work in the UK, and in China where reasonable
    • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 14 October 2019
    • Registration closes: Wednesday 15 January 2020 12:00pm

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  • Application of whole genome sequencing approaches to cancer

    UK businesses and research organisations can apply for a share of up to £5.4 million. This is for projects involving the application of whole genome sequencing to analyse cancers. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

    Description

    Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £5.4 million. This is for innovation projects that use whole genome sequencing to analyse cancers. This competition is funded through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

    The aim is to encourage the development of new approaches to targeted therapy based on the molecular signatures of cancers. Your project can develop new analytical methods or validate new targets using new and existing genomic data from cancers.

    We will fund feasibility studies, industrial research and experimental development.

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    Feasibility projects must have total eligible costs between £50,000 and £100,000. Industrial research and experimental development projects must have total eligible costs of between £100,000 and £1 million.

    Eligibility

    To lead a project you must:

    • be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) for feasibility studies
    • be a UK registered business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO) for collaborative research and development (R&D)
    • include an SME if you want to collaborate with others

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Monday 7 October 2019
    • Competition closes: Wednesday 22 January 2020 12:00pm

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  • ISCF Future food production systems

    Apply for a share of up to £20 million to transform food production systems, improve productivity and sustainability, and help the industry move towards net zero emissions by 2040. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

    Description

    Up to £20 million of grant funding is available for projects that disrupt the traditional land-based models of food production.

    Projects must create integrated, data-driven solutions to drive agricultural productivity as well as target net zero emissions. We will consider a broad range of technologies and systems.

    Your project must aim to determine the transformation of future food production systems. It must be ambitious, multidisciplinary and systems-focused rather than dedicated to developing a single technology.

    We are particularly looking to support large-scale, ambitious projects.

    Funding type

    Grant

    Project size

    Your project’s total eligible costs must be greater than £1 million but less than £10 million.

    Eligibility

    To lead a project your organisation must:

    Dates

    • Competition opens: Tuesday 17 September 2019
    • Competition closes: Wednesday 22 January 2020 12:00pm

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