10 innovative agri-food projects win £10K each with SPARK Awards

Posted on: 29/01/2020

The KTN SPARK Awards have been awarded to ten exciting agri-food projects.



The awards encourage new collaborations between the research community and industry. The projects include research on salt reduction in food, CO2 extraction of lipids from sea buckthorn, advanced online milk monitoring, unlocking the breeding potential of orphan crops and more innovative research.


The winning projects span four sectors: Livestock and Aquaculture, Food and Drink, Industrial Biotechnology, and Plants & Crops.


Each awarded project involves a UK-based SME and a research partner (University or Research Technology Organisation), working together on a student project, data analysis, technical consultancy, a feasibility study or literature review.


The research partners have been awarded £10,000 each to tackle a problem relevant to the SME.

The SPARK Awards have been a success in the past and have helped improve interaction, new research and technology transfer projects.


Here are the ten winning projects:


Food and Drink


– SPG Innovation Ltd and Campden BRI

Working on Smartsalt – salt reduction in food

РHearts Milk Bank CIC and Queen’s University Belfast

Working on reducing the analytical burden of measuring medicines in human milk


Industrial Biotechnology


– Chip[s] Board Ltd and the Biorenewables Development Centre

Working on Parblex‚Ñ¢: from food waste to bioplastic.

– Seabuckthorn Scotland CIC and Bangor University

Working on supercritical CO2 extraction of lipids from Scottish Sea Buckthorn seeds, pulp and leaves.


Livestock and Aquaculture


– Grosvenor Farms and the University of Liverpool

Working on Advanced Online Milk Monitoring.

– Beta Bugs Limited and the Imperial College London

Working on Phenoscopes: a high-throughput platform for phenotyping insect strains for the food industry.

– Peacock Technology Ltd and the University of Nottingham

Working on a Dairy Cattle Automated Udder Classification Feasibility Study.


Plant and Crops


– LettUs Grow Ltd. and Brunel University London

Working on environmental sustainability assessment of aeroponic food production – benefits and drawbacks.

– Elsoms Seeds Ltd and the Earlham Institute

Working on developing a low-cost marker discovery platform to unlock the breeding potential of orphan crops.

– Sperotec Ltd and the Stockbridge Technology Centre Ltd

Working on investigating the effects of Electroponic systems in butterhead lettuce


If you’re working on an agri-food project and would like support to connect with research organisation, get in touch with our agri-food team, here.

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