UK Government invests £70 million in new Agri-Tech Catalyst to support the transfer of technology and new products in agriculture to developing countries.
Agricultural science and technology is one of the world’s fastest-growing and exciting markets, driven by global challenges: - a rising population - rapid development of emerging economies - shortages of land, water and energy
The Agri-Tech Catalyst The vision of the Government’s new UK strategy for agricultural technologies is to make the UK a world leader in agricultural technology, innovation and sustainability. To achieve this, the Government is investing £70m in a new Agri-Tech Catalyst. The Agri-Tech Catalyst has been set up by the Technology Strategy Board and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The Department for International Development is contributing £10m to the Catalyst, to support the transfer of technology and newproducts to developing countries. Tanzania is one of the developing countries also to benefit from this.
How will it work? The Agri-Tech Catalyst is now open for applications, to support businesses and academia in developing innovative solutions to challenges in the agri-tech sector. The Agri-Tech Catalyst will fund proposals relating to:
- primary crop and livestock production, including Aquaculture non-food uses of arable crops (for example, for biomass)
- food security and nutrition challenges in international development
- challenges in downstream food processing, provided the solution lies in primary production.
The Agri-Tech Catalyst will not fund equine-related proposals, or proposals relating to forestry or wild-capture fisheries. With two competitions per year, the Agri-Tech Catalyst will award grants for early-stage pre-industrial research feasibility studies, industrial research, and late-stage pre-experimental feasibility studies and experimental development.
Who can take part? Subject to eligibility, any UK business or academic undertaking research and development may apply. All projects must be collaborative. Developing country partners must be involved for applicants targeting international development.
Types of Award
Early-stage Awards These projects will explore the commercial potential of an early-stage scientific idea through feasibility studies.
Key features Projects can be business- led or academic-led Duration: up to 18 months Total project costs: £150k to £500k Total academic partner costs must not exceed 50% of total project costs Funding of up to 60% of the total eligible project costs available for businesses (75% for SMEs).
Industrial Research Awards These projects will aim to develop innovative solutions, eg through field trials, lab-based prototyping, product development planning and market testing.
Key features Projects must be business-led Duration: three to five years Total project costs: up to £3m Total academic partner costs must not exceed 50% of total project costs Funding of up to 50% of the total eligible project costs available for businesses (60% for SMEs).
Late-stage Awards These projects evaluate the commercial potential of a scientific application. This can be through pre-experimental feasibility studies or through experimental development including field-based prototyping and experimental production and testing.
Key features – pre-experimental feasibility studies Business-led collaborative projects involving other business partners, enabling the evaluation of the commercial potential of a scientific application. Duration: up to 12 months Total project costs: £150k to £500k Academic researchers may participate as subcontractors to a business partner Funding of up to 40% of the total eligible project costs available for businesses (50% for SMEs).
Key features – experimental development Business-led collaborative projects that enable qualification of the commercial potential of a scientific application Duration: up to 12 months Total project costs: up to £1m Academics may participate as subcontractors to a business partner Funding of up to 25% of the total eligible project costs available for businesses (35% for SMEs).
For more information see: