SHARE

About United Kingdom Agri-tech Catalyst Funding

The aim of this competition is to increase the pace of development of agricultural and food systems innovation and its uptake by farmers and food systems actors in Africa. Actors can include manufacturers, processors, retailers, distributors and wholesalers.

All projects must be collaborative and must include at least one partner from the UK and one from an eligible African country. All funding for businesses and research organisations will be sent through the administrative lead organisation.This competition closes at midday 12pm UK time on the deadline stated.

Who can apply

State aid

Any UK business claiming funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time we confirm you will be awarded funding. If you are unsure please take legal advice. For further information see our general guidance.

Your project

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between:

  • £100,000 and £500,000 for early stage feasibility studies
  • £250,000 and £1 million for mid stage industrial research
  • £150,000 and £800,000 for late stage experimental development

Projects must start by 1 November 2019.

Early stage feasibility studies must last between 12 and 18 months. Mid stage industrial research can last up to 3 years. Late stage experimental development can last up to 18 months.

If your project’s total eligible costs or duration fall outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to support@innovateuk.ukri.org at least 10 days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request.

All projects must:

  • be collaborative
  • include a partner from an eligible African country from the list below
  • include a technical lead from any country
  • include a UK-based administrative lead
  • implement significant activity in the eligible African country
  • include at least one business

See the table in the guidance for applicants to fully understand the different international collaboration options.

Lead applicants

The administrative lead:

  • will be the recipient of the award
  • will manage and be accountable for the project’s finances in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award
  • must be UK based
  • can be a business of any size, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or research organisation for early and mid-stage projects
  • must be a business, of any size, for late stage projects
  • must claim funding through this competition
  • can partner in up to 2 other applications

The technical lead:

  • will lead on the development of the scope, work packages within the project and other work from a technical perspective
  • can be a partner organisation from any country
  • can be a business of any size, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or research organisation for early and mid stage projects
  • must be a business, of any size, for late stage projects
  • must claim funding through this competition
  • can also be the administrative lead if a UK organisation

For late stage projects, research organisations cannot claim funding but can participate as subcontractors.

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society organisations (CSOs) and other organisations can:

  • claim grant as project partners or
  • join the consortium as non-grant claiming partners

Innovate UK acknowledges that the legal categories for institutions differ in other countries. If you wish to partner with an organisation that does not fit into the categories listed above, email support@innovateuk.ukri.org at least 10 days before the competition registration deadline.

Additional assurances

In view of the overseas nature of this funding Innovate UK is imposing some additional assurance requirements:

  • successful UK applicants must demonstrate they have proper and transparent arrangements for passing grant monies to African participants or we will withdraw grant funding
  • Innovate UK will carry out initial due diligence and final audit checks on African participants

Innovate UK and DFID have the right to refuse funding to projects where the cost of due diligence and monitoring requirements outweigh the potential benefits of funding. This decision will be made as part of our risk-based considerations.

Eligible countries

  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Congo (Brazzaville)
  • Congo, Democratic Republic of
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gambia, The
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mozambique
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

If you have any questions concerning the eligibility or grant rate of African country partners, email support@innovateuk.ukri.org.

Funding

We have allocated up to £3 million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

For early stage feasibility studies and mid stage industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

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

For late stage experimental development projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

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

Find out if your business fits the EU definition of an SME.

For early and mid stage projects:

  • UK academic partners will be funded through Je-S at 80% of full economic cost (FEC)
  • other UK research-base partners will be funded at 100%
  • research-base partners from eligible African countries will be funded at 100%

For early stage feasibility studies and mid stage industrial research projects the total costs for your research partners must not exceed 50% of the total project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum will be shared between them.This competition provides state aid funding under article 25, ‘Collaborative R&D, Industrial Research’, of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). It is your responsibility to make sure that your organisation is eligible to receive state aid.

For more information, visit the official website of the United Kingdom Agri-tech Catalyst Funding Competition