Collaborative R&D grant funding

The R&D grants are available for projects that support net zero ambitions through the development of environmentally sustainable technologies, processes or products.  A unique requirement of the funding application will be an expectation that businesses commit to delivering social value back to the region. 

Project scope 

Priority innovation themes set out for the grant funding include;

  • Minimising waste and maximising recycling
  • Improving resource use efficiency and sustainability
  • Increasing productivity
  • Resilient food production, such as supply chain resilience and nutritional security
  • Precision technologies, including sensor technologies, AI or robotics
  • Solving the challenge of access to labour.

Project grants will range from £50,000 to £250,000 and typically support projects of between 18-30 months in duration.

What does the social value commitment involve? 

Depending on how much funding your business is awarded, we will ask you to commit a commensurate amount of your time to community engagement. This could include, signing up to the STEM Ambassador Programme; becoming a volunteer business mentor; raising awareness around career pathways in horticulture, food production or AgriFood technologies; or contributing to community initiatives around nutrition and well-being. 

How to apply 

The first application round opens on 6 September 2021. Funded projects are expected to start from April 2022. If you would like to be notified when applications are open, please register your email address with us.  

Who is eligible to apply? 

The grants are open to businesses operating in horticultural food production, packaging, processing or enabling technologies (e.g. robotics, sensors, advanced manufacturing). Your business must be based in Kent or Medway, or carry out significant economic activity in the region. Applicants must collaborate with a research organisation in Kent or Medway. Research organisations can share up to 30% of the project total eligible costs.

Further information

A total of £3million is available for these large-scale collaborative R&D grants. Further grant schemes will be announced at a later date for small-scale innovation and prototyping, as well as technology demonstrator funds. If you’d like to find out more about the grants, please contact [email protected].