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Launchpad: Agri-tech and food tech in Eastern England - R1 CR&D

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What is the grant available for?

The funding will support projects across the three Launchpad competition strands that target the innovation cluster in Eastern England. The aim of this competition is to support outstanding innovation projects led by businesses. Your business must be active or growing work activities in the agri-tech and food technology innovation cluster in Eastern England.

Eastern England is defined as the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership area, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Norfolk and Suffolk.

This Launchpad competition supports the Government’s goals in the Levelling Up White Paper.

The projects will contribute to Eastern England’s innovation ambitions for the agri-food cluster.

Percentage of project cost

For 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

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

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

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% 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 30% 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

Any eligibility criteria

Your project must:

  • have a total grant funding request of between £150,000 and £300,000
  • last between 6 and 18 months
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • start at the earliest on 1 April 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 UK registered business of any size
  • be or involve at least one grant claiming micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • collaborate with other UK registered organisations
  • be active or growing your work activities in the agri-tech and food technology innovation cluster in Eastern England
  • have a demonstrable ambition for business growth

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in the Funding rules.

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

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)

The contribution of project partners must add to the innovation led growth of the cluster.

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service 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 the Innovation Funding Service. 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.

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 are allowed in this competition. Their contribution must add to the innovation led growth of the cluster.

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

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

Number of applications

A business can lead on only one CR&D strand application for this competition, but can be included as a collaborator in any number of applications.

If an organisation is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

If you apply to the MFA strand of this competition, as well as this CR&D strand, each project must be clearly distinctive and separate. It will be monitored closely to see this separation if you are awarded funding in both competition strands.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.
You will not be awarded funding if you have:

Any required delivery targets / outcome required

Your project must focus on one or more of the following:

  • enhancing the productivity of primary crops, the bioeconomy, livestock, aquaculture or ornamental plants
  • biotechnologies related to agriculture, food and nutrition
  • food that promotes safe, healthy and nutritious diets
  • resource efficient production methods for low emission foods

Your project must lead to increased investment into research and innovation. It must contribute to growing business activities and economic impact in the cluster.

Your proposal must explain how your team and project will contribute to equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) in the cluster.

What grant amounts are available?

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is to invest up to £2 million in innovation projects.

Your project’s total grant funding request must be between £150,000 and £300,000.

Who provides the grant?

This funding is from Innovate UK.

How to apply for the grant?

Before submitting, it is the lead applicant’s responsibility to make sure:

  • all the information provided in the application is correct
  • your proposal meets the eligibility and scope criteria
  • all sections of the application are marked as complete
  • all partners have completed all assigned sections and accepted the terms and conditions (T&Cs)

The application is split into four sections:

  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions.
  3. Finances.
  4. Project Impact.

To help you with applying for this click here

Additional information

Closing Date: 06/12/2023

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