UK government offers €17.6 million to innovative SMEs

By Niamh Michail

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: iStock/NicoElNino
Photo: iStock/NicoElNino

Related tags Food industry Food security Agriculture

Innovative small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK can apply for their share of £15 million (€17.6m) aimed at boosting their competitiveness.

Innovate UK, the UK's business innovation agency, has identified three priority research areas it wants to invest in, two of which are directly related to the food industry: increasing yield, quality and sustainability in agriculture and food production; and advancing biosciences in healthcare and agriculture and food production.

Food projects can centre around a number of themes, such as food quality, sustainability and boosting agricultural output.

Interested applicants can apply for one of two options, the first for projects under 12 months and under £100,000 (€117,607) while the second is for projects over 12 months or over £100,000.

A statement by Innovate UK explained the reasons behind these areas of interest. “A growing and ageing global population, increased burden of disease and greater wealth are all accelerating demand for food and improved healthcare.

“The food and drink sector represents 30% of the $20 trillion (€18tn) global economy and healthcare 10%. There is a £250 billion (€294bn) global market opportunity for improvements in agriculture. At the same time, advances in bioscience, medical research, engineering and physical sciences are making new business innovation possible.”

Deadline for entries is 9 November 2016, and each project must involve at least one SME.

To apply click here.

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