It is predicted that 60% more food will be needed worldwide by 2050. To help UK companies to scale up to this opportunity, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) has recently announced a £20m grant competition – the Transforming Food Production Challenge - to invest in large-scale projects that either develop new and efficient low-emission food production systems or address technological bottlenecks holding back advanced systems from supplying consumers.
This competition targets projects that disrupt the traditional land-based models of food production by creating integrated, data-driven solutions to drive agricultural productivity whilst targeting net zero emissions. Areas of work could include indoor growing systems, aquaculture, and new food sources such as insects and fermentation-based systems.
Successful project must demonstrate that they will significantly contribute to achieving net-zero emissions across one or more food products and provide nutrient dense foods that are accessible to mainstream consumers. In addition, they should deliver other relevant benefits to society, such as reduced resource consumption and waste or improved animal welfare.
The competition is open to business of any size, but all applications must be collaborative, working with at least one SME and a research organisation. Eligible project costs should be a minimum of £1 million but less than £10 million. Levels of grant intervention will depend on the type of research and development undertaken. All businesses involved must be eligible to receive state aid and projects must be completed by March 2023.
This competition is open for registration now and has an application deadline of 22nd January 2020. Full details can be found on the gov.uk website.
Applicants should also consider the impact of grant funding on potential R&D Tax Credit claims – this is an area that our specialist tax teams can advise on, For further details contact our Head of Technology, Fast Growth & Innovation, Pippa Clarke, to establish what tax and funding options are available.