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The Agri-Tech Catalyst supports businesses and research organisations, including academia, to respond to challenges across the agricultural sector. It will fund projects to make the UK a world leader in agricultural technology, innovation and sustainability. Early stage projects will explore the commercial potential of an early-stage scientific idea through feasibility studies.

Key Objective:
The objective of pre-industrial feasibility studies is to explore the commercial potential of an early-stage innovative idea. All projects must be based on prior underpinning research evidence. Examples of project work in this early-stage award category may include, but are not limited to:

  • development projects that encompass validation of disease targets (but not discovery of novel targets involving fundamental research), identification of agchem candidates, characterisation and optimisation, initial manufacturing process development and formulation, demonstration of safety and efficacy, plant and animal breeding trait assessment and marker identification, and material testing for engineering solutions
  • diagnostic devices or other analytical technology projects that may include exploration of user requirements, initial design and engineering, systems integration and prototyping, laboratory-based evaluation and characterisation.

Applicants wishing to evaluate or trial the commercial potential of their technologies in a field testing or real-life environment should apply for a late-stage award.

Eligibility: This round is for Early Stage Technical Feasibility. Early-stage projects may be led by businesses (any size) or research organizations; working collaboratively. Collaboration may be B2B or B2RO but not RO2RO

Funding available:  Total project costs can be between £150k- £500k for early-stage awards. SMEs may receive 55% funding and large companies 45% funding of total eligible costs. Total research base partner costs must not exceed 50% of total project costs. Where .there is an international element to the project partners from specific developing countries are also eligible for funding

Duration: Projects may run for upto 18 months

Opening:  These awards follow a single-stage application process.  Opened on 8th January 2015

Application deadline: Applicants must first register via the Innovate UK website by noon 17 June 2015. The deadline for applications is noon 24 June 2015

Timeline:  Applicants will be notified if successful on the 14th August by email and conditional letters sent out in September.

Details: Early-stage awards will fund projects that explore and evaluate the technical potential of an early-stage innovative idea or research concept through technical feasibility studies. The project will aim to establish if a pre-industrial concept is ready for further technology development and evaluate the commercial potential.
Projects may last upto 18 months

Scope: The Catalyst will take innovative ideas from any sector or discipline that demonstrate the potential to advance sustainable intensification of agriculture and deliver economic impact for the UK Agri-Tech industry by tackling domestic or international challenges. The scope of the Catalyst includes:

  • Primary crop and livestock production, including aquaculture
  • Non-food uses of crops including ornamentals
  • Food security and nutrition challenges in international development
  • Addressing challenges in downstream food processing , provided the solution lies in primary production

Applications from the aquaculture and livestock sectors are particularly encouraged, as are crop sector projects targeting weed control and on-farm storage and management.

The following are examples of project subjects within scope:

all aspects of arable and horticultural food production including plant genetics and breeding, crop establishment; agronomy, precision farming, soil and land management practices; tackling weeds, pests and diseases; crop harvesting and storage; sustainability of production methods; non-food uses of crops (for example, for biomass or high-value products); developing sustainable solutions to increase the productivity of the UK and global livestock sector (including aquaculture) while reducing the industry's adverse impacts on the environment, reducing waste and limiting human health issues; livestock genetics
and breeding, health and disease, nutrition, welfare and husbandry.

In all projects, multi-disciplinary collaborations involving engineering, IT or any other relevant disciplines and approaches are encouraged.
Conditions: There are a limited number of areas where the Agri-Tech Catalyst will not fund projects currently, we are happy to advise on scope and general eligibility.

To discuss this grant and how we can help maximise your chances of success, save you time and get the biggest possible grant please complete the enquiry form and a relevant consultant will contact you within 24 hours

News Flash: Latest

First of a kind deployment of innovation


Innovate UK are using a novel scheme to assist businesses, particularly SMES to break into markets with novel disruptive technologies in specific sectors.

Contracts covering up to 100% of the cost of demonstrating new technology are available to SMEs operating in the fields of

  • solutions for affordable, sustainable and secure energy delivery
  • solutions for connected transport through the integration of multimodal transportation systems
  • integrated solutions to systemic challenges in urban areas
  • resilience of infrastructure and cities to environmental and societal pressure.

Contracts in value between £250 K and £5 million are available.

Read more ...

Energy Catalyst, (Round 4) Early Stage Technical Feasibility Grants

The ENERGY CATALYST, an ‘Innovate UK’ grant, supports both businesses and research organisations, including academia, that are UK based or are moving there to respond to challenges across the energy sector. It will fund projects delivering innovative solutions that address ALL the elements of the energy trilemma namely:

  • Reducing Emissions
  • Improving Security of supply
  • Affordability

Key Objective:
It will help stimulate and support innovation at all stages through to commercial readiness. Thus The Energy Catalyst can fund projects from early concept stage through to pre-commercial technology validation, based upon innovation that incorporates, for example:

Read more ...
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