New £15 million programme to stimulate food industry sector growth

New £15 million programme to stimulate food industry sector growth

14 Mar 2012

£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.

Jim Paice, Food and Farming Minister, said:

“The UK has a world class reputation for innovation. I want to take this strength and use it to the economic advantage of the whole country.

“That’s why the Government is investing £15 million in the development of cutting edge ideas that increase efficiency and reduce waste in farming, food and drink production and manufacturing.

“By getting businesses innovating and enhancing the UK’s reputation as a world class pioneer of new production and manufacturing techniques, the food and farming sector can be a real engine for growth.”

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said:

“There are tremendous opportunities for UK businesses to develop technologies and innovative systems that can improve the competitive position of the food and drink manufacturing sector, which has a turnover of over £75 billion a year, and to help grow  the British economy.

“We will be seeking proposals for projects and feasibility studies that will deliver innovation and technological advances throughout the UK’s food and drink supply chain,   creating opportunities for the export of goods and services to the wider global agri-food      industry.”

The Food Processing and Manufacturing Efficiency competition for collaborative research and development funding will be managed by the Technology Strategy Board ( in partnership with Defra, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Scottish Government.  The partners are also contributors to the Global Food Security programme.

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 from 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 11 June 2012 and expressions of interest must be submitted by 18 July 2012.  Further information is available at: FPME competition

The Innovation for Growth in Agriculture, Food and Drink competition for feasibility study funding is jointly-financed by the Technology Strategy Board and Defra.   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 16 April 2012, the registration deadline is 16 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 20 March and 4 April, followed by a briefing event on 24 April.  Further information is available at Innovation for Growth competition.

View the press release including notes to editors here


Last updated on Wednesday 14 March 2012 at 16:49

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