New £15 million programme to stimulate food industry sector growth
£15 million is to be invested by the Government in new research and development projects and studies that will stimulate innovation and growth in the UK's food industries.
Up to £15 million will be invested in major R&D projects that increase the efficiency, sustainability and competitiveness of the food processing and manufacturing sector, focussing on increasing efficiency and reducing supply chain waste. A further £500,000 - targeted at micro, small and medium-sized companies - will be provided for feasibility studies that will consider better and more cost effective systems and processes, and the delivery of better products and services across the broader agri-food sector.
The primary focus of this competition will be downstream of the "farm gate" so proposals for projects, which must be business led, will need to secure industrial leadership for the food processing, manufacturing, distribution, retail or food service sectors, rather than those involved in primary production. However, proposals that may generate opportunities for innovation in relevant aspects of primary production are not ruled out.
The competition will open on the 11th June 2012 and expressions of interest must be submitted by the 18th July 2012. Further information is available here.
Grants of up to £25,000 will be available for feasibility studies that will support the rapid development of an innovative idea and demonstrate its practical feasibility. Open only to micro companies and SMEs, applications will be through a two-minute video submission and a written submission. The competition opens on 16th April 2012, the registration deadline is the 16th May 2012, and the deadline for applications and video submissions is 30 May 2012.
A series of regional workshops, to explain the competition process, rules and application procedure in more detail will be held across the country between 20th March and 4 April, followed by a briefing event on 24th April.
Further information is available here.