£4.5m call for the agri-tech and food technology launchpad for Eastern England is now open.

Innovate UK Launchpad is a programme supporting emerging clusters of SMEs in the UK. The UK Food Valley successfully secured £7.5m for our important agri, food and drink clusters across the Eastern England region.

Launchpad Programme

A partnership of the  Greater Lincolnshire LEP, Norfolk County Council, Suffolk County Council and the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority has been awarded funding from Innovate UK under the Launchpads programme.

The programme is available to businesses working in the region to apply for competitive grants for R&D and innovation projects who work in the agrifood sector and supply chains.

Round 2 of the Launchpad funding opened on the 7th May and closes on 19th June for bids under both ‘New Innovators’ and ‘Collaborative R&D (CRD)’ funding mechanisms.

New Innovators

For the New Innovators award your project’s total costs and grant funding request must be between £25,000 and £50,000.  Designed specifically for SMEs who have not accessed innovation before, new innovator projects do not need to involve partners and are funded at a 100% grant rate with 70% the funding provided as soon as the project starts to help you manage cashflow.

Your project, for both New Innovators (or the larger CRD projects), can focus on one or more of the following:

  • Enhancing the productivity of primary crops, livestock, aquaculture, or ornamental crops
  • Biotechnologies related to agriculture, aquaculture, food processing and nutrition
  • Food that promotes safe, lower carbon or more sustainable healthy and nutritious diets
  • Resource efficient production and processing methods for low emission foods

New Innovator projects must last between 3-6 months and be completed by 31stMarch 2025. Full details of the New Innovators call is here.  

Collaborative Research and Development (CRD)

Running in parallel to the New Innovators call, CRD projects are larger and require collaboration with other businesses and/or research and technology providers.

Your project’s total grant funding request for CRD projects must be between £150,000 and £300,000.  Projects funded under CRD must last for between 6-18 months and be completed by the 30th September 2026.

For industrial research projects, you can get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you can get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Full details of the CRD call can be found here.

For more information and support please contact effie.warwick-john@lincolnshire.gov.uk

Watch our webinar here for more advice on applying for Innovate UK grants:

To further help support Launchpad applications and to advise on grants more generally, we held an event at Bishop Grosseteste University, attended by over 70 people: