Funding provides opportunities for food and drink manufacturers to address both contemporary and future business challenges through the development of innovative solutions.

Funding bodies in the UK including Innovate UK, the KTN, and the research councils (such as BBSRC and the EPSRC), run several calls throughout the year which are in line with the UK’s Industrial Strategy. The FDF maintains close ties to these organisations and seeks to provide an understanding of what funding is available to its members.

The FDF has also established connections with researchers within academic institutions and businesses, which provide innovative solutions to various business challenges. The FDF can connect you with the right people to drive innovation through suggesting funding routes and collaboration partners for project consortia. Project support is also available to our members when funding applications are submitted.

Information on industry developments, funding and supported projects are updated on our site regularly. 

Updates & milestones

Call: Driving the Electric Revolution- Supply Chains for Net-Zero

Update

Opened: 8 March 2021
Closes: 30 June 2021
Total project costs: £500k- £5 million

Eligibility and Scope:

The aim of this competition is to address key R&D in power electronics, machines, and drives for low volume/high value and high volume/high efficiency supply chains.

  • Up to £22 million is available for investment into solutions which result in productivity, capacity, quality or efficiency.
  •  The competition is targeting multiple sectors and solutions should be applicable across sectors.
  • The project should start by 01/02/2021 and last between 18 and 36 months.
  • Projects can focus on the areas of manufacturing process development, design for manufacture, innovative end-of-line testing or product validation circular economy.

For further information on the call and how to apply, click here.

 

Call: Innovate UK Smart Grants

Update
Opened: 6th January 2021
Closes: 26th May 2021
Total project costs: £25,000-£2 million
 

Eligibility and scope:

  • You must be a UK-registered business or research and technology organisation. You must include at least one SME in you project or be an SME if you wish to work alone.
  • Your project can utilise any type of technology and be applied to any industry but must be disruptive.
  • You must be able to demonstrate strong deliverables with a clear plan to achieve ROI through commercialisation and growth.
  • The project must have a clear, considerable potential to impact the UK economy or productivity.
  • The following R&D project types will be considered: feasibility projects, industrial research projects, experimental development projects.

More information

Call: IETF Feasibility and Engineering Studies Spring 2021

Update
Opens: 8th March 2021
Closes: 14th July 2021
Project Duration: 12 months a feasibility study/ 24 months if an engineering study
 
  • Maximum grant for an engineering study is £14 million and £7 million for a feasibility study.
  • Potential projects taking place across the East and West Midlands, North East, North West, and Yorkshire and the Humber as well as Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Includes factories installing electric motors and heat pumps to replace their natural gas-fired boilers and steam turbines, manufacturers using heat recovery technology to recycle waste heat and generate renewable electricity, and industries such as the food and drink sector carrying out studies to replace natural gas with hydrogen as their primary fuel.
  • Online briefings to take place on 11 March and 8 June 2021

Further information

Call: IETF Deployment of Energy Efficient Technologies

Update
Opens: 8th March 2021
Closes: 14th July 2021
Project Duration: 24 months
 
  • The minimum grant support available per project is £100,000. The maximum grant funding that an individual project can claim is £14 million.
  • This competition aims to support the commercial roll out and permanent installation of technologies at industrial sites, corresponding to Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) of 8, 9 and above Includes equipment monitoring.
  • Heat exchange, driers, energy recovery, waste reduction, efficient refrigeration heating measures.
  • Online briefings to take place on 11 March and 8 June 2021.
  • Targeting a diverse set of geographical areas, technologies, industrial sectors, organisation sizes, project sizes.

Further information

Call: SSPP Business-led Research and Development

Update
Opens: 29th March 2021
Closes: 30th June 2021
Grant: £200k-£4m
 

All projects must:

  • Support the UK to deliver one or more of the Plastic Pact targets.
  • Clearly explain how they would reduce the UK plastic packaging system’s overall environmental impact.
  • Show a clear commitment to commercial scaling.

The following R&D projects are of particular interest:

  • Those which minimise and reduce plastic packaging.
  • Enable refill at scale.
  • Create sustainable solutions for films and flexibles.
  • Enable food grade recycled polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE).
  • Promote behaviours change leading to less packaging waste and/or higher recycling rates.
  •  Address the UK Plastic Pact target for problematic or unnecessary single use plastic packaging items.
For more information, please contact evangelia.thoukididou@fdf.org.uk

Call: SSPP Large-scale Demonstrators Round 2

Update

Opens: February 2021
Grant: £1 million-£12 million
Project Duration: 36 months

All projects must:

  • Support the UK to deliver one or more of the Plastic Pact targets.
  • Clearly address existing plastic packaging.
  • Show clear innovation in design, processes, business models, supply chains.

The following R&D projects are of particular interest:

  • Those which minimise and reduce plastic packaging.
  • Enable refill at scale that is able to be positioned close to packaged alternatives.
  • Enable cost-effective refill with price point comparisons demonstrated.
  • Create sustainable solutions for films and flexibles.
  • Enable food grade recycled polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE).
  • Promote behaviours change leading to less packaging waste and/or higher recycling rates.
  • Are widely applicable and able to fit into different formats.

*In order to participate in this call, companies must first participate in the Expression of Interest.

For more information, please contact evangelia.thoukididou@fdf.org.uk

News

Next Welsh Government must support growth of vital food and drink industry

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Cymru and the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) have today launched what it sees as the key priorities for the next Welsh Government.

Read more

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