Diet and health innovation: Early stage feasibility projects

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million for early stage feasibility projects working with one or more of the Diet and Health Open Innovation Research Club (OIRC) hubs. This funding is from BBSRC and Innovate UK.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £2.5 million

Opens: 14th Feb 2024

Closes: 8th May 2024

Overview

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to invest up to £2.5 million in Diet and Health innovation projects.

Scope

The aim of this competition is to support UK registered businesses and UK research organisations in the design and development of innovative food products to support sustained health and wellbeing. Projects can be focussed across the life course and are not restricted to older populations.

Your project must have the potential to impact the nutritional quality of food and drink products consumed by the UK population.

Portfolio approach
Innovate UK want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, markets, technological maturities and Diet and Health OIRC hub themes. Innovate UK call this a portfolio approach.

Eligibility

Your project must:

  • have total costs between £100,000 and £250,000
  • last between 9 and 18 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • start by 1 October 2024
  • end by 31 March 2026

Projects must always start on the first of the month and this must be stated within your application. Your project start date will be reflected in your grant offer letter if you are successful.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a business of any size

or

Your consortium must include at least one business and one research organisation, as a minimum.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service (IFS) by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once partners have accepted the invitation, they will be asked to login or to create an account in IFS. They are responsible for entering their own project costs and completing their Project Impact questions in the application.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.

The lead applicant and partners must be members of a Diet and Health Open Innovation Research Club (OIRC) hub. Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) will be checking names, organisations and job titles against applicant’s membership of the OIRC hubs.

Non-funded partners

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Number of applications

A business can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in two further applications.

If a business is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

A research organisation can collaborate and lead on any number of applications.

Use of animals in research and innovation

Innovate UK expects and supports the provision and safeguarding of welfare standards for animals used in research and innovation, according to best practice and up to date guidance.

Any projects selected for funding which involve animals will be asked to provide additional information on welfare and ethical considerations, as well as compliance with any relevant legislation as part of the project start-up process. This information will be reviewed before an award is made.

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Exclusions

Innovate UK are not funding projects that are:

  • are focussed on foods that are not for human consumption, for example pet food
  • are not sustainable in the context of environmental challenges

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example, giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example, giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

Up to £2.5 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

This competition is funding early stage feasibility studies.

You could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

Research participation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 50% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them. Of that 50% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.