Overview

This funding is for projects working on agri-tech and food chain innovations with partners in eligible African countries.

The aim of this competition is to increase the pace of innovation in the development of agricultural and food systems in Africa. Your project must result in more use of innovations by farmers and food systems organisations, such as manufacturers, processors, retailers, distributors and wholesalers.

Scope

There are many opportunities and challenges for food systems, as described by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition.

Innovate UK are looking to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets, technological maturities, research categories and different strands of the competition.

Your proposal must show the potential to have a positive impact on poverty through the uptake of agricultural and food systems technology and innovation.

You can choose from one or more of the following areas:

  • primary crop and livestock production, including aquaculture
  • non-food uses of crops, excluding ornamentals
  • challenges in food processing, distribution or storage, and value addition (such as through a change in the physical state or form of the product)
  • improving the availability and accessibility of safe, healthy and nutritious foods

Your project’s innovations must:

  • be sustainable in the context of environmental challenges such as climate change and resource scarcity
  • minimise negative effects such as pollution, food loss and waste
  • promote safe, healthy and nutritious diets

Your project and its outcomes must fit within the Official Development Assistance (ODA) criteria.

Your application must demonstrate how the primary benefit from your project will be a contribution to international development outcomes, specifically:

  • enhanced food and nutrition security and
  • welfare of the poor in urban and rural areas in developing countries

Activities carried out in the UK must clearly deliver impact in an eligible African country. Any benefits to the UK must be secondary in nature and result from delivering the primary benefit. Your proposal must clearly demonstrate the ways it will have an impact in the country.

If your project will support crop breeding it must have clear potential for impact at scale, in more than one eligible African country.

Your project can focus on any area that improves the uptake of agricultural and food systems technology and innovation, for example:

  • integrating smallholders into global and local supply chains
  • increasing the value of production to smallholders
  • control of crop pests, weeds and diseases
  • meeting quality standards and improving productivity
  • reducing food losses ‘post-farm gate’ and through the value chain
  • addressing food safety issues through the value chain
  • new food technologies and data-driven food systems, including for urban areas
  • addressing challenges in downstream food processing, distribution, or storage and value addition
  • innovation that supports food systems to deliver nutritious, healthy and safe food

You can view the full list of eligible African countries here.

Exclusions

This competition is not funding:

  • forestry or ornamentals
  • wild-capture fisheries
  • equine
  • crops for energy production
  • projects that support the tobacco industry

 

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book a 30-minute consultation

Our team are available to discuss your innovative business, your project ideas and how we can help you to write a successful application for this Grant Funding opportunity.

Use the calendar to select and book a consultation with one of our experts, at a time that’s convenient for you.


Eligibility & Funding Costs

Up to £2.5 million is available from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) to fund innovation projects in the 3 strands of this competition.

All projects must:

  • be collaborative
  • include a UK registered lead applicant organisation (known in previous rounds as the ‘administrative lead’)
  • include a technical lead, from any country
  • include at least one business (from the UK or an eligible African country from the list below)
  • include at least one partner from an eligible African country
  • implement significant activity in the eligible African country

The roles of lead applicant and technical lead could be carried out by a single UK organisation.

Early Stage

The lead applicant:

  • will be responsible for completing the application
  • will be the recipient of the award (referred to as ‘project manager’ in the Innovation Funding Service)
  • will manage and be accountable for the project’s finances in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award
  • must be a UK registered business of any size, academic institution, charity, public sector organisation or research organisation
  • must claim grant funding through this competition
  • can partner in up to 2 other applications where they are neither the lead applicant nor the technical lead

The technical lead:

  • will lead on the development of the scope, work packages within the project and other work from a technical perspective
  • can be a UK registered business of any size, academic institution, charity, public sector organisation or research organisation, or a partner organisation from any country
  • must claim grant funding through this competition and be invited to join the application by the lead applicant
  • can also be the lead applicant if it is a UK registered organisation

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £100,000 and £500,000
  • start by 1 April 2021
  • last between 12 and 18 months

For the 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

Mid Stage

The lead applicant:

  • will be responsible for completing the application
  • will be the recipient of the award (referred to as ‘project manager’ in the Innovation Funding Service)
  • will manage and be accountable for the project’s finances in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award
  • must be a UK registered business of any size, academic institution, charity, public sector organisation or research organisation
  • must claim grant funding through this competition
  • can partner in up to 2 other applications where they are neither the lead applicant nor the technical lead

The technical lead:

  • will lead on the development of the scope, work packages within the project and other work from a technical perspective
  • can be a partner organisation from any country
  • must be a business (of any size)
  • must claim grant funding through this competition and be invited to join the application by the lead applicant
  • can also be the lead applicant if it is a UK organisation

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £250,000 and £1 million
  • start by 1 April 2021
  • last up to 3 years

For the mid stage industrial research projects, 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

Late Stage

Lead organisations

The lead applicant:

  • must be a UK registered business of any size
  • will be responsible for completing the application
  • will be the recipient of the award (referred to as ‘project manager’ in the Innovation Funding Service)
  • will manage and be accountable for the project’s finances in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award
  • must claim grant funding through this competition
  • can partner in up to 2 other applications where they are neither the lead applicant nor the technical lead

The technical lead:

  • will lead on the development of the scope, work packages within the project and other work from a technical perspective
  • can be a business of any size from any country
  • must claim grant funding through this competition and be invited to join the application by the lead applicant
  • can also be the lead applicant if it is a UK registered business

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £150,000 and £800,000
  • start by 1 April 2021
  • last up to 18 months

For the late stage experimental development projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 25% if you are a large business

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