Research and Innovation Grants

We are making up to £5 million available to support research, development and business innovation in the Kent and Medway region.

Large-scale Collaborative R&D Grants

Grants have been awarded to six innovative projects in Kent that will make horticultural and plant-based food and drink production more sustainable.

The funding was awarded following a competitive process in Autumn 2021.

The collaborative research grants, awarded to Kent-based businesses and research organisations are wide-ranging. All projects focus on either helping the industry reduce carbon emissions or use resources more efficiently, or enabling production to be more resilient to the impact of climate change.

A further round of this funding competition will open in Autumn 2022 (exact timing to be confirmed).

Priority innovation themes for our large-scale collaborative 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.

Applications for our large-scale collaborative R&D grants must be a partnership between a business and a research organisation based in Kent or Medway. Our research organisations welcome the opportunity to discuss ideas and opportunities to help support your business. Please get in touch using the contact details below.

Business Innovation Vouchers

Take advantage of 75% funding towards research projects costing up to £20,000.

Use our Business Innovation Vouchers to access leading experts and research facilities in the Kent and Medway region.

Worth up to £15,000, these grants can support your research needs; whether you need to test a new prototype product, trial a new peice of technology or get data to validate your idea.

Other Funding Opportunities

Further funding competitions will support early-stage R&D, feasibility studies and AgriFood Technology demonstrations. Details of these funding rounds, including guidance for applicants, will be announced in the coming months.

If you’d like to hear when our future funding becomes available, please register your interest here.

Meet the Research Organisations

With cutting-edge facilities and leading researchers, our partners can help your business grow. Please get in touch with any of our regional research organisations if you’d like to explore how they can support your innovation.



Specialists in molecular genetics, genomics, pest and disease biology and management, crop and post-harvest physiology, agronomy and environmental science.

The GreenTech Hub for Advanced Horticulture is a new state-of-the-art glasshouse and propagation unit. Features include; plant growth rooms with controlled environment and a Wine Innovation Centre.

Contact Prof. Xiangming Xu

[email protected]

University of Kent, Biotechnology Hub for Sustainable Food and Drink

University of Kent, Biotechnology Hub for Sustainable Food and Drink

Run by Kent’s School of Biosciences. Applies high-tech approaches to production and processing of high-value foods and plant-based compounds from plant material and waste, pathogen identification and control, and maintenance of healthy soil.

Contact Dr Alessia Buscaino

[email protected]

University of Greenwich: Natural Resources Institute

University of Greenwich: Natural Resources Institute

Research specialists in crop protection, post-harvest storage, value addition and food innovation. The Medway Food Innovation Centre can help your business solve your food processing, product development and packaging challenges.

Contact Dr Debbie Rees

[email protected]

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University

Specialists in engineering, design and technology with expertise in assistive technologies; AI robotics; IoT; advanced sensors; advanced and additive manufacturing; application of bioprocesses and biocatalysis in sustainable manufacturing.
Life science expertise around sustainable agriculture including the circular economy, soil science and biodiversity.

Contact Abbie kempe

[email protected]

Find a Partner

To help you find the right partner(s) to collaborate with for the Growing Kent & Medway R&D grants, we have launched an open group on LinkedIn.

The aim of the group is to facilitate networking between businesses, technologists and research organisations. Participants will be able to engage with others who are interested in collaborating on R&D and innovation projects. You will be able to share your areas of expertise, interests and ideas on the group to help you build new R&D partnerships.

"These grants for horticulture, food production and related technology businesses will help drive inclusive, sustainable economic growth that will benefit local people across Kent and Medway, and help them move towards a sustainable net zero future."

David Sweeney, Executive Chair of Research England.