Collaborative R&D Grant Funding

Up to £2 million is available for R&D projects that support net zero ambitions through the development of environmentally sustainable technologies, processes or products.  A unique requirement of the grant funding will be an expectation that businesses commit to delivering social value back to the region.


Priority innovation themes for this grant funding competition 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.

Grants of between £50,000 and £250,000 are available to support projects of between 18-30 months in duration.

How To Apply

competition opens on Monday 6 September 2021.

Full competition details (summary, scope, eligibility, dates, supporting information) and the application form can be found on the Innovation Funding Service.

The closing date for applications is 11am 20 october 2021.

To watch a recording of the online briefing event held on Tuesday 14 September, click here

Applicants will be notified on 17 December 2021. Funded projects are expected to start by 1 May 2022.

What does social value commitment involve?

Depending on how much grant funding your project is awarded, we will ask your project team to commit a commensurate amount of time to community engagement in Kent and Medway. We will ask you to outline your plans in your grant application.

For further guidance, download our Social Value Framework.

Meet the Research Organisations



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.

"We believe that growing the economy in Kent & Medway and raising sustainable productivity can be driven by increasing industry-led research and innovation."

Want to know more?

If you need more information about how to apply, email [email protected]  or call 0300 321 4357. Phone lines are open Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).