SBRI: Reducing pollution resulting from domestic burning or agricultural practices: Phase 1

Key Features

Organisations can apply for a share of £2 million, inclusive of VAT. This will be to develop products or services that reduce the volume of harmful pollutants entering the atmosphere as a result of domestic burning or agricultural practices.

Programme:     SBRI

Award:     Share of up to £2 million

Opens: 18th Apr 2023

Closes: 24th May 2023

! This scheme is now closed


This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).


The aim of this competition is to develop products or services that can help reduce harmful pollutants in the atmosphere resulting from domestic burning or agricultural practices that generate ammonia, including from anaerobic digestion.

Domestic combustion is a major source of particulate matter (PM) emissions. Emissions of PM2.5 from domestic wood burning increased by 124 per cent between 2011 and 2021, to represent 21 per cent of total PM2.5 emissions in 2021. If we are to meet statutory PM2.5 targets we will need to find ways to reduce emissions from domestic wood burning.

Your solution must reduce emissions by introducing a new fuel type, improving wood burning stoves and fires or by post-burning emissions capture and filtration.

The agriculture sector accounts for 87% of UK emissions of ammonia. This is emitted mainly during storage and spreading of manures, slurries and digestate from anaerobic digestion and from the application of inorganic fertilisers. Ammonia reacts with nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide to form secondary particulate matter which significantly impacts on human health in rural and urban areas.

Your solution must either prevent emissions of ammonia, extract it from the air or reduce deposition onto sensitive habitats.

Your phase 1 project must:

  • demonstrate the technical feasibility of the proposed innovation, developing minimum viable products or early prototypes as appropriate
  • develop the plan and lay the foundations to deliver potential phase 2 projects
  • establish collaborations and agreements which will enable testing of the innovation in a real-world setting as part of potential phase 2 projects

Contracts will be given to successful applicants.

At this stage contracts will be given for phase 1 only.

You must define your goals in your application and outline your potential plan for phase 2. This is part of the full commercial implementation in your phase 1 application.

You must demonstrate a credible and practical route to market, so your application must include a plan to commercialise your results.

In phase 2 we will ask successful applicants from phase 1 to further develop their innovations, deploying, testing and iterating them in a real world or representative environment, working closely with potential users and customers.

Specific Themes

Your phase 1 project must focus on one of the following:

  • reducing harmful pollutants entering the atmosphere as a result of domestic burning
  • reducing the production and impact of ammonia from agricultural practices, including from anaerobic digestion

If you wish to apply for both themes you must submit separate applications. Within those applications you must state that you are applying to both themes and satisfy the assessors that you have the capacity to deliver both projects successfully in parallel should they both be funded.

Research Categories

Phase 1: technical feasibility studies

This means planned research or critical investigation to gain new knowledge and skills for developing new products, processes or services. In phase 1 the supplier will work closely with stakeholders to develop a solution.

Potential Phase 2: prototype development and evaluation

This can include prototyping, demonstrating, piloting, testing and validation of new or improved products, processes or services in environments representative of real-life operating conditions. The primary objective is to make further technical improvements on products, processes or services that are not substantially set.


Projects must:

  • start on 1 August 2023
  • end by 31 October 2023
  • last up to 3 months

Lead applicant

To lead a project, you can:

  • be an organisation of any size
  • work alone or with others from business, research organisations, research and technology organisations or the third sector as subcontractors

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

Contracts will be awarded to a single legal entity only. However, if you can justify subcontracting components of the work, you can engage specialists or advisers. This work will still be the responsibility of the main contractor.


We will not fund projects that:

  • focus on tackling pollutants which have no demonstrated health or environmental impact
  • generate more harmful pollutants than are removed
  • result in a significant negative overall environmental impact
  • duplicate other UK government or EU funded initiatives you have already been funded for
  • duplicate existing innovation
  • have existing commercial agreements to deliver the proposed solutions

Funding Costs

A total of up to £2 million, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to this phase 1.

Phase 1 feasibility study R&D contracts will be up to £60,000, inclusive of VAT, for each project up to 3 months in duration. We expect to fund up to 30 projects in total across the two competition themes.

Potential Phase 2, involves up to 6 contracts being awarded to organisations chosen from the successful phase 1 applicants. Up to £315,000 inclusive of VAT will be allocated for each contract, to develop a prototype and undertake field testing for up to 10 months.

The total funding available for the competition can change. The funders have the right to:

  • adjust the provisional funding allocation between the phases
  • apply a ‘portfolio’ approach

The contract is completed at the end of phase 1, and the successful organisation is expected to pursue commercialisation of their solution.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

You must select whether you are VAT registered before entering your project costs.

VAT is the responsibility of the invoicing business. We will not provide any further advice and suggest you seek independent advice from HMRC.

VAT registered

If you select you are VAT registered, you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT. As part of the application process VAT will be automatically calculated and added to your project cost total. Your total project costs inclusive of VAT must not exceed £60,000.

Not VAT registered

If you select you are not VAT registered, you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT and no VAT will be added. You will not be able to increase total project costs to cover VAT later should you become VAT registered. Your total project costs must not exceed £60,000.

Research and development

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to R&D services, including solution exploration and design. R&D can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service. This lets you incorporate the results of your exploration and design and demonstrate that you can produce in quantity to acceptable quality standards.

R&D does not include:

  • commercial development activities such as quantity production
  • supply to establish commercial viability or to recover R&D costs
  • integration, customisation or incremental adaptations and improvements to existing products or processes

SBRI competitions involve procurement of R&D services at a fair market value and are not subject to subsidy control criteria that typically apply to grant funding.

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.