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Prototyping and Demonstrator Fund

Funding Available: £150,000

Closed

Who is eligible to apply: UK-registered businesses of any size

Opening date: 20.11.2023 End date: 24.01.2024

Grant Information

This competition is now closed and you can no longer apply. 

Apply for a share of up to £750,000 for the development and demonstration of innovative new technologies in the horticultural food and drink supply chain.

Grants worth between £50,000 and £150,000 will be awarded through a competitive process.

The aim of this competition is to support business-focused innovative technology development, with an emphasis on industrial prototyping and demonstration.

The technologies developed in these projects must aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve sustainability, or deliver improved productivity in horticultural and food production systems.

You must have a detailed plan to commercialise your technology or product. You will be required to deliver a demonstration of your technology in a real-world operational environment.

Who can apply

This competition is open to collaborations only.

You can be a UK-registered business of any size to lead the application. You can be based outside of Kent and Medway, but you must collaborate with at least one organisation in the Kent and Medway area.

Collaborations with research organisations in the Kent and Medway area are encouraged but not mandatory. These organisations are:

Please note, collaborations with research organisations from outside the Kent and Medway area are not permitted in this competition.

You will need to carry out at least 60% of your project activity in the Kent and Medway area and intend to exploit the results from, or in, the region.

If you would like help to connect with a business or research organisation in the region, please get in touch with our team.

About the project

The competition focuses on:

  • Horticultural production including the production of novel, high-value compounds from plants
  • Fresh produce packaging
  • Food and drink processing and manufacturing

Your proposal must focus on innovative technology development and:

  • design, develop, test, and deploy a technology
  • conduct a technical and economic assessment

We want to fund real-world prototypes or demonstrators of innovative technologies in an operational setting in the horticultural food and drink production sector.

Your project must focus on one or more of the following:

  • moving towards net zero carbon emissions targets
  • minimising waste and maximising recycling
  • improving resource use efficiency and sustainability
  • increasing productivity
  • resilient food production, for example: supply chain resilience, nutritional security
  • addressing current and future labour or skills shortages, supply or demand driven, within the Kent and Medway agri-food sector.

You must deliver a meaningful operational demonstration in real-world conditions for at least two weeks before 30 November 2025. You must also produce a clear, detailed, and costed plan to fully scale and enter the solution into UK and global markets over the next 3 years.

You will be expected to deliver a certain amount of social value as a condition of the grant.

Project size

Your project’s total grant funding request must be between £50,000 and £150,000. 

Your total project costs can exceed this amount, but the funding requested must be no more than £150,000.

The funding you are eligible for is dependent on your project type and organisation size. Full details are available on the Innovation Funding Service website.

How to apply

Full details about the competition and the application form are available from the Innovation Funding Service.

Please ensure you read the full details before you apply.

Timeframes

Applications open on 20th November 2023 and close at 11 am on 24th January 2024.

Projects may last up to 12 months and can start from 1 May 2024. Projects must end by 30 September 2025.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome in March 2024.

Catch up on the recording of the online briefing. 

 

You may also be interested in our Business Innovation Vouchers. Take advantage of 50% funding towards research projects costing up to £60,000 and work with University of Greenwich, University of Kent or NIAB. 

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  • Speak to an advisor

    Sophie Packer

    If you have questions about the grant or would like help to be connected with an organisation in Kent and Medway, please get in touch with one of our team.

    1/4

    Sophie Packer
  • Speak to an advisor

    Robert Saville

    If you have questions about the grant or would like help to be connected with an organisation in Kent and Medway, please get in touch with one of our team.

    2/4

    Robert Saville
  • Speak to an advisor

    Parag Acharya

    If you have questions about the grant or would like help to be connected with an organisation in Kent and Medway, please get in touch with one of our team.

    3/4

    Parag Acharya
  • Speak to an advisor

    Gary Horton

    If you have questions about the grant or would like help to be connected with an organisation in Kent and Medway, please get in touch with one of our team.

    4/4

    Gary Horton

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