KTN's online platform helps you to make the connections you need


The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) has refreshed its online platform to intelligently connect you to relevant events, funding, thought pieces and specialist staff to help your business innovate and grow.

You can discover content using your area of interest, from biotechnology to transport; from space to health – all major UK economic sectors are covered. Once you have selected your interests, using our intelligent tagging system, we will then display rich and relevant content related to your area, often from surprising sources.

An example might be new satellite technology from the space sector that is applicable in the agri-food sector. KTN-UK.co.uk will help you form these unusual and valuable connections.

All content on the platform has been carefully curated by our team of innovation specialists – not by an automated algorithm – so you can be confident that KTN is connecting you to the most relevant cutting-edge information.


The move also marks a closer alignment with our main funder, Innovate UK , with the website branding making a clear visual link. Knowledge Transfer Network is Innovate UK's innovation network partner, and also works with other funders to provide innovation networking services and fulfil our mission to drive UK growth.

We link new ideas and opportunities with expertise, markets and finance through our network of businesses, universities, funders and investors. From agri-food to autonomous systems and from energy to design, KTN combines expertise in all sectors with the ability to cross boundaries. Connecting with KTN can lead to potential partners, horizon-expanding events and innovation insights relevant to your needs.

Visit our people pages to connect directly with expertise in your sector.

Visit the KTN refreshed online platfom here

Funding opportunities in Agri-Food and Biosciences

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) has an excellent track record of assisting our members to take advantage of the many sources of public funding to support innovation in Agri-Food and Bioscience & Biotechnology.

We have extensive knowledge of various UK and European funding mechanisms and can alert our members to relevant funding calls, help set up collaborations, and provide advice and help with funding applications.

A selection of funding schemes of relevance to the Agri-Food and Bioscience & Biotechnology Communities are highlighted below.


Innovate UK Funding Schemes



Innovate UK Competitions 
You can apply for funding to test the feasibility of your idea, research and develop it and demonstrate it in a prototype.

Innovate UK funding competitions cover the following industry sectors:
  • emerging and enabling technologies
  • infrastructure systems
  • health and life sciences
  • manufacturing and materials
They also have an open programme that is not sector based.

Agri-Tech Catalyst
The Agri-Tech Catalyst offers funding to innovative businesses and researchers to develop solutions to global agricultural challenges."

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
Funding for partnerships between UK businesses and academics to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance.


Smart Awards
New R&D science, engineering and technology funding for single SMEs. Three types of grant are available:Proof of market grant; Proof of concept grant; Development of prototype grant.

Technology Strategy Board

Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)
SBRI competitions use the power of government procurement to drive innovation by providing innovative solutions to public sector challenges and business opportunities for technology companies.

Technology Strategy Board

Innovation Vouchers
Funding of £5k projects for SMEs in the area of Agri-food, Built Environment, to allow businesses to work with an external expert for the first time, gaining new knowledge to help businesses innovate, develop and grow.

Research Councils UKResearch Councils UK


BBSRC Research Funding
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK's principal funder of basic and strategic biological research.


EPSRC Funding
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) operates a small number of flexible funding schemes including Fellowships, Industrial CASE Awards, Networks and Mobility Awards.


BBSRC Industrial Partnership Awards
Science-led, responsive mode grants where an industrial partner contributes at least 10% of the full economic cost of the project.


BBSRC CASE Studentships
CASE (Co-operative Awards in Science and Engineering) PhD studentships involve an academic institution and a commercial company. Awarded as a training grant to the academic partner.


BBSRC "Stand-alone" LINK
The LINK scheme promotes academic & industrial collaboration in pre-competitive research. Projects are typically funded 50:50 by industry and government support.



Research and Technology Clubs

Supporting research in areas identified as strategically important by BBSRC and industry. RTCs support academic research and encourage closer links between academia and industry.


EU FlagEuropean Funding Schemes




Eureka Eurostars (for SMEs)
Specifically targeting the development of new products, processes and services and the access to transnational and international markets.

EU Flag


Horizon 2020
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). Help and advice are availble from the National Contact Point.

EU Flag

SME Instrument
The dedicated SME instrument's supports close-to-market activities, with the aim to give a strong boost to breakthrough innovation. The fund provides grants, coaching and access to risk finance with no need for an international consortia.

EU Flag Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
Marie Curie Actions  provide funding opportunities for mobility and training at all stages of a researcher's career.

Regional Funding


Scottish Enterprise


Scottish Enterprise
Various grants and funding options are available to businesses of all sizes for research and development, co-investment and technological innovations.

Scottish Enterprise
Scottish Enterprise Research & Development Grants
Supporting businesses developing new products, processes and services to improve company competitiveness and to benefit the Scottish economy. Projects typically last 6 to 36 months, and the grant can cover up to 50% of the project costs.

Scottish Enterprise

SMART Scotland
SMART: SCOTLAND provides discretionary grants to support technical and commercial feasibility studies, and research and development (R&D) projects.

Invest NI


Invest Northern Ireland
Various grants and funding options are available to businesses of all sizes for research and development, co-investment and technological innovations.

Welsh Government

Welsh Government Grants
Grants to fund schemes and initiatives that deliver the Welsh Government's priorities.



Regional Growth Fund
£2.6 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2016. It supports projects and programmes that lever private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.

Other Sources of Funding



Genomia Fund
Genomia provides seed and pre-seed funds for commercialisation of public sector research in the biosciences. This funding is only available to a closed list of public sector research establishments (PSREs).

Wellcome Trust

Wellcome Trust Funding Schemes
The Wellcome Trust offers a wide variety of funding schemes, including Investigator Awards, fellowships and Strategic Awards, Translation Awards etc.



R&D tax credits
Research and Development (R&D) Relief is a Corporation Tax relief that may reduce your company or organisation's tax bill by more than your actual expenditure on allowable R&D costs.
>> HM Revenues and Customs
>> Guide to R&D Tax Credits in NI

Zero Waste Scotland is investing European Regional Development Funds to help small and medium businesses be resource efficient and create a more circular economy.

Investment of £1K to £2M at a time in SMEs based throughout Wales. Loan repayment terms range from one to five years and interest rates are based on an SME's individual circumstances and fixed for the term of the loan.

Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851
Postgraduate Fellowships and Scholarships for advanced study and research in science, engineering, the built environment and design. It also makes a small number of Special Awards.

The Leverhulme Trust
Provides grants and scholarships for research and education in the UK, distributing approximately £80M a year.

Resource Efficient Scotland SME Loans scheme
Support for businesses that are looking to reduce costs through improved energy, material resource and water efficiency by providing an unsecured, interest free loan from £1K to £100K.


Funding from the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC)


Funding for industry-led projects that require the use of the IBioIC Equipment Centres' resource to accelerate the development & commercialisation of IB, including the Rapid Bioprocess Prototyping Centre and the Flexible Downsteam Bioprocessing Centre.
Deadlines: 30 Sep 2016, 30 Nov 2016
Up to £500K for industry-led collaborative research projects that use the synbio research capabilities of the Scottish Higher Education Institutes. 
Expressions of Interest deadline: 31 Aug 2016


Want to discuss a potential funding proposal or project?

Contact the team

Contact a member of our team


Agri-Tech Catalyst Round 6

UK businesses and universities can apply for a share of £4M to work with developing country partners on agri-tech innovations, in round 6 of the Agri-Tech Catalyst. Find out more >>

Funding for IB & SynBio

This KTN webinar provided an update on the upcoming funding opportunities for industrial biotechnology & synthetic biology, with particular focus on the remit of each competition and where applications are likely to fit best. 

Download the slide deck >>

Watch the webinar recording >>

Newton Fund Agri-food (Turkey) call now open

Innovate UK is to invest up to £1.5M for UK participants developing innovative solutions to challenges within the agri-food sector in Turkey.

  • Briefing webinar recording
  • Online partnering platform
  • Registration deadline: 16 Nov
  • Application deadline: 23 Nov

Find out more >>


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Keep up to date with the latest agri-food and biosciences news, events, funding opportunities and more.

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Horizon 2020 Funding

KTN, in collaboration with Innovate UK, is supporting the 2016 Horizon 2020 work programme for:

  • SC2 (Food security, sustainable agriculture & forestry, marine, maritime & inland water research & the bioeconomy)
  • SC5 (Climate action, environment, resource efficiency & raw materials).

Visit KTN's H2020 page >>

National Contact Point

The National Contact Points (NCPs) for Horizon 2020 can help you with a free confidential service to provide you with information, guidance and support from general enquiries about Horizon 2020, to advice and best practice on writing a research proposal. 

Find out more >>

Horizon 2020 Events

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Funding for International Collaborations

Funding for science and innovation partnerships that promote the economic development and welfare of collaborating countries.

Find out more >>