Novel, low-emission food production systems: feasibility studies and industrial research
Apply for a share of up to £16m to deliver resource efficient, low-emission food production systems, including alternative proteins and Total Controlled Environment Agriculture (TCEA).
Innovate UK and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, are jointly investing £16 million in this competition through their strategic partnership. This partnership will support UK businesses to engage with and benefit from the UK’s excellent research base to grow and scale innovations.
The Novel Low Emission Food Production systems competition is part of Innovate UK’s funding support for growing the future economy, as outlined in Innovate UK’s Plan for Action. There is also a separate pot of £20m funding for the Better Food for All competition, whih is divided into early, mid and late stages. You must ensure you apply for the most relevant competition for your project.
Contact Innovate UK KTN’s Agrifood team for advice, and join our upcoming briefing events linked below, if you need help to decide which of these competitions is most relevant for you.
The aim of this competition is to support the development of novel food production systems that create new sources of resource efficient, low-emission foods, particularly proteins, while delivering healthy and sustainable diets.
Your project must progress emerging novel food production systems towards commercial viability and ability to supply mainstream consumer markets.
Your proposal must:
- have the potential to significantly shift the current state of the art in at least one of six priority areas
- leverage UK strengths and expertise to create new production systems and technologies
This competition is split into 2 strands, depending on the category of research:
Novel low-emission food production systems: feasibility studies
- your project must have total costs between £200,000 and £500,000
- your project can last 6-24 months
- the lead organisation must be a UK registered business of any size, academic institution, a research and technology organisation (RTO), charity, not for profit or public sector organisation
- the project must be collaborative, and must include at least one UK registered business of any size
Novel low-emission food production systems: industrial research
- your project must have total costs between £500,000 and £1 million
- your project can last 12-24 months
- the lead organisation must be a UK registered business of any size, and must collaborate with at least one other UK registered organisation
For both strands, your project must start by 01 September 2023, and must carry out all of its project work in the UK, and intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.
A business can only lead on one application (across both strands); if it is leading, it may collaborate on 2 further applications in total. If not leading an application, it may collaborate on any number of applications. Other organisations can be involved in any number of applications, including as leads for multiple feasibility study applications.
Scope and themes (for both strands)
The aim of this competition is to support the development of novel production systems that create new sources of resource efficient, low-emission foods, particularly proteins, while delivering healthy and sustainable diets.
We are encouraging projects that:
- develop the UK alternative protein industry sector to meet domestic consumer demands for alternative proteins and export opportunities for the technologies, products and services developed
- establish world-leading Total Controlled Environment Agriculture (TCEA) capacity, reducing horticulture imports and developing technology exports
- establish sustainable, resilient and healthy local food supply chains, which can decarbonise other sectors through circular economy approaches and co-location of food production adjacent to other industries
- realise unmet consumer demand for healthier, more sustainable alternative food products through the creation of new UK products
- establish new alternative protein sources that address the UK’s reliance on imports and deliver against government net-zero and environment targets, this can include work on functional groups such as lipids for food product formulation
- enable academic researchers to collaborate with businesses to help further develop and translate research towards commercially relevant impact and wider societal outcomes
Your proposal must describe how your project:
- will support the development of novel production systems that create new sources of resource efficient, low-emission foods, particularly proteins, while delivering healthy and sustainable diets
- outputs will progress emerging novel food production systems closer towards commercial viability and being able to supply mainstream consumer markets
Your project must have the potential to significantly shift the current state of the art in one or more of the following six priority areas:
- plant based products or production systems
- acellular food production, for example, algal, bacterial or fungal fermentation systems
- cellular food production, for example, cell culture systems for meat production
- novel aquaculture systems, for example, fin-fish and shell-fish
- new food production systems, for example, insect farming, seaweed cultivation and other alternatives to traditional animal production systems
- Total Controlled Environment Agriculture (TCEA) systems
Innovate UK KTN will be holding a briefing event for both strands of the “Novel, low-emission food production systems” competition on Thursday 19th January (noon-2pm), and an online collaboration event for the related “Better Food for All: Innovation for improved nutrition” competition on Thursday 12th January (10am-noon and 1pm-2pm). If you are unsure which competition is right for you, you are welcome to attend both, and recordings will be available afterwards; the signup links are below.
Contact Innovate UK KTN’s Agrifood team if you would like further advice on which competition to apply for, or if you need help to find a collaboration partner.