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 Search 
Challenge-led and technology-led funding competitions for industry-led consortia. There is a useful competitions search facility on the website.

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

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


Recommended Reading

Horizon 2020 Funding

KTN, in collaboration with Innovate UK, is holding a series of events to launch 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 News

Call for Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) in food supply chains and added-value manufacturing

The  European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)  has launched its ...

UK SMEs Funded Under Phase One of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument

Horizon 2020 SME Instrument beneficiaries included innovative UK companies.  For...

Evaluation of UK involvement with the EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has commissioned ICF Consulting...

Horizon 2020 Events

Wed 15 Jun 2016

Save the Date - H2020 European Brokerage Event

All Day

“H2020 European Brokerage Event: Materials & Nanotechnology, Process Industries & Manufacturing”...

From Sustainability & Resource Efficiency

Thu 03 Mar 2016

European Funding in Biobased Industries

All Day

European Funding for Biobased Industries: Information and Consortium Building Workshop This free...

From Sustainability & Resource Efficiency

Wed 24 Feb 2016

Live Webcast: H2020 Coordinator's Day

All Day

This meeting is invitation only for coordinators of proposals who were invited to prepare a grant...

From Sustainability & Resource Efficiency

Funding for International Collaborations

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

Find out more >>

Other funding news

Call for Short-Term Scientific Missions from the Methagene COST Action

The  Methagene COST Action   is looking to fund short term scientific missions...

New call for projects by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre

The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has issued a call for expressions of...

Companies and inventors across Northern Ireland invited to take part in the INVENT 2016 Awards

Companies and inventors across Northern Ireland are bring invited to demonstrate their prowess...

Call for Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) in food supply chains and added-value manufacturing

The  European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)  has launched its ...

Leverhulme Trust funding for talented individuals in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences

The Leverhulme Trust provides grants and scholarships for research and education and is one of...

Want to discuss a potential funding proposal or project?

Contact the team

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