UK Seafood Innovation Fund: New Funding Round Open

Worth £10 million, the UK Seafood Innovation Fund supports the UK’s fishing, aquaculture and seafood industries to deliver cutting-edge technology and innovation. The aim is to prompt a step change in the productivity and sustainability of UK seafood into the future. Running for three years, the programme is administered by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and funding calls are issued on a regular basis.

The fund supports projects, ideas and technologies that aim to disrupt the seafood sector. Disruptive innovation is when the application of the technology or idea has a significant impact on the industry or market. Disruptive innovations may have the potential to be scaled up and could be applicable to any part of the seafood supply chain. Projects should consider the following priorities:

Sustainability: To reduce the environmental impact of seafood.

Innovation: Technologies to bring the industry into the twenty-first century.

Productivity: Ensuring seafood security for the future.

Collaboration: Creating new partnerships across the seafood and technology sectors.

Management: Strengthening the evidence base for sustainable management.

Risk reduction: To improve future certainty for seafood business.

Projects are eligible for funding if they are related to the following topics: primary producers, onshore supply chains, marine fisheries (including for species that move between freshwater and marine environments), and marine and land-based aquaculture. Projects will be supported that aim to deliver longer-term, cutting-edge innovation across the seafood sector and supply chain. Projects will also be funded that take innovative ideas from early stage research to commercial viability.

The scheme is open to all organisations of any size within the EU and UK that have an innovative idea that meets the objectives of the UK Seafood Innovation Fund. EU and UK organisations can apply as a project lead or can be part of an application as a subcontractor. Organisations from outside the EU can be subcontracted to complete part of the project if required.

Collaborative projects including both seafood sector experts and technology businesses are encouraged. Technology involvement can include engineering, data science and app development.

Application is open to organisations from both inside and outside of the seafood sector (ie fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing) as long as the idea, technology or product benefits the sustainability and/or productivity of the UK seafood industry.

The following funding is available:

Up to £50,000 for up to three months for feasibility studies to develop an idea for a new technology/process and undertake initial testing.

Up to £250,000 for up to 18 months for full R&D projects to further develop a technology or process that is already through the initial feasibility stage.

All justifiable costs are eligible as long as projects meet the fund objectives. This includes capital purchases and overheads where they are essential to delivering the project.

Applications must be submitted by the deadline of 20 April 2020.

Note: For organisations requiring feedback on an idea in advance of submitting a full application, an Expression of Interest (EoI) form can be completed as a first step. A response will be provided within 10 working days of receipt of the form. EoI forms must be submitted via the Delta portal by 31 March 2020.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.