New funding call for sustainable food and drink research set to open
Partner with leading research specialists in Kent and Medway and apply for up to £350,000 of grant funding.
We are funding projects that help the transition to net-zero, and deliver improved productivity and sustainability in horticultural food and drink production.
From fresh produce packaging, food and drink processing, horticultural production to the supporting technologies, your project can solve a challenge at any point in the supply chain.
You can get funding for up to 40% of your project costs, claiming between £50,000 and £350,000.
Previous Grant Winners
Over £1m was awarded to six projects in our first round of funding. The wide-ranging projects included increasing vitamin C and iron levels in tomato crops to make them more nutritious and better able to cope with stress caused by heatwaves, to reducing food waste by growing the best cherries for longer storage.
Doug Wanstall, Re-generation Earth, whose project is looking at using biochar from farm waste to lock carbon into soils, said: “We tapped into the Growing Kent & Medway funding because we wanted to build an alliance with the University of Kent and this was a great way to start that relationship.
“We’ve got some really good practical ideas that we want to develop and demonstrate, but we really want to add the academic verification to that. And this is what the Growing Kent & Medway funds will be helping to finance. That cost of the two organisations working together to develop the protocols, to further the development of biochar use within agriculture.”
Partner with our specialists
Kent and Medway is home to state-of-the-art horticultural and plant-based food and drink research facilities, with a wide-range of expertise, from crop protection, new product development, sustainable packaging to post-harvest storage. The region also boasts research strengths in engineering and the enabling technologies.
We recommend you contact our Innovation Growth Managers to discuss your project idea and they will match you with the best specialists to help solve your research challenge.
How to apply
You must be partnered with a Kent-based research organisation in order to apply. The competition opens Monday 5 September and is a joint application process with your academic partner.
Applications will be made through the Innovation Funding Service, where you can find full eligibility, scope and further information on how to apply.
Your proposal must demonstrate the potential to positively impact on the economy of the Kent and Medway area. Grant recipients are also expected to deliver social value back to the community.
Download guidance and further information about our social value requirements.
Find a Research Partner
You must partner with a research organisation based in Kent and Medway in order to apply for a grant.
NIAB, GreenTech Hub for Advanced Horticulture
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.
University of Kent, Biotechnology Hub for Sustainable Food and Drink
Run by Kent’s School of Biosciences. The Biotechnology Hub 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.
University of Greenwich, Medway Food Innovation Centre.
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.
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.
24.08.2022R&D Collaborative Grants