The latest agri-food news from KTN


The latest agri-food news from KTN

Welcome to the latest edition of KTN's Agri-Food newsletter. This month we have opened registrations for two agri-food events - Food Industry Innovation 2018 on 7th March in Manchester and a Plant Science Event on 27th March in Sheffield - and KTN is hosting briefing events for the latest Health & Life Sciences and Emerging & Enabling Technologies competition. We also delighted to announce that the Food Innovation Network (FIN) has extended the deadline for its Innovation Voucher competition to 31st January.

Driving engagement, innovation and impact in plant science

Plant science plays a crucial role in many of the challenges facing the modern world including food security, environmental sustainability and climate change. KTN, working in partnership with the University of Sheffield and the UK Plant Science Federation (UK PSF), is organising an event on 27 March to bring together plant scientists, growers and producers, food manufacturing companies, social researchers and innovators.

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Latest Articles

FIN Innovation Awards - Deadline extended to 31st Jan

Small food and drink businesses with a bright idea can apply for a Food Innovation Network Innovation Award to help develop their concepts in partnership with researchers or academic institutions. The application deadline has been extended to 31st January.

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Developing high-value, healthy and nutritious foods

Food Industry Innovation 2018  will focus on enhanced food quality and the post-farm gate food supply chain and will provide a unique opportunity for organisations across the food and drink community to exchange knowledge on technical approaches and innovations.

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Ella's Kitchen innovate with Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Organic baby food producers Ella’s Kitchen have taken part in three Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) with the University of Reading, which has helped them to bring new skills and knowledge to the business. 

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Creating a strong UK-wide aquaculture ECR community

The Aquaculture Research Collaborative Hub (ARCH-UK) is conducting a survey on the training needs of early-career researchers (ECRs) working in aquaculture-relevant research in the UK.

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Latest KTN Events

Food Industry Innovation 2018

Wed, 7 Mar, Manchester

This event will focus on enhanced food quality and will showcase a number of Innovate UK funded projects  on the post-farm gate food supply chain. We will also be welcoming leading specialists to discuss challenges and opportunities in the following areas: Improving food supply chain efficiency; Food processing and manufacturing efficiency; Sustainable protein production; Optimising food composition.

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Driving Engagement, Innovation and Impact in Plant Science

Tue, 27 Mar, Sheffield

This interactive workshop will bring together plant scientists, social researchers and innovators to explore novel approaches and learning from other sectors, and thus facilitate more effective co-design, knowledge exchange and public understanding. KTN will also be launching its pre-competitive R&D vision for the agricultural sector at this event.

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Health & Life Sciences and Emerging & Enabling Technologies Competition Briefing Events

Mon, 22 Jan, London  |  Wed, 24 Jan, Edinburgh  |  Mon, 29 Jan, Cardiff  |  Thu, 8 Feb, Leeds

Innovate UK is to invest up to £19 million to support innovation that offers significant changes in productivity and cutting-edge innovation. The competition has 2 strands - strand 1 is for health and life sciences projects (including increasing agricultural productivity, improving food quality and sustainability) and strand 2 is for emerging and enabling technologies projects. A further £12 million is available to fund Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. KTN is hosting briefing events for the competition. There will be a live webcast on 22 Jan.

Please Note: The afternoon sessions of the event will be split into separate strands to discuss the scope further including a Q&A session. Please only register for one strand per delegate.

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Emerging Imaging Technologies in Agri-Food Workshop

Tue, 23 Jan, Birmingham

This workshop will bring together experts from the imaging and agri-food sectors to discuss industry needs, technological gaps and potential opportunities for emerging imaging technologies in agri-food. Please note that we are now running a waiting list for places at this event.

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Leicester Innovation Week: Now is the time to innovate! - Food and Drink Focus

Wed, 28 Feb, Leicester

With a focus on the Food & Drink Sector, this free breakfast seminar will provide you with information on local and national innovation support to help you grow and scale your business.

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Innovate UK's Regional Events

Thu, 25 Jan, Exeter  |  Tue, 30 Jan, Coventry  |  Thu, 8 Feb, Daresbury  |  Tue, 27 Feb, Ipswich |  Tue, 27 Feb – Thu, 1 Mar, Leicester  |  Tue, 27 Mar, Farnborough

Innovate UK is running a series of regional events in early 2018 to help you get up-to-date, relevant information about government funding to support your project plans, learn about resources and facilities to enable growth, and make new professional contacts.

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9th Intelligent Imaging

Thu, 15 Mar, Glasgow

Share knowledge, network, develop collaborations, and promote and speed up business innovation development in the imaging technology sector in the UK. The event will feature expert speakers from industry and research, as well as providing an opportunity for companies to exhibit.

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47th Intelligent Sensing Program – Sensing in Manufacturing

Tue, 27 Mar, Manchester

Bringing together manufacturers, technology providers, developers, and other relevant stakeholders, to network, share knowledge, develop collaborations, and promote innovation development in manufacturing sensing technologies in the UK. There will also be a limited number of exhibition spaces.

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Other Events

Open Innovation & Funding Opportunities

Tue, 16 Jan, Webinar

Has your innovation project or market launch stalled because you need to find specific expertise externally and aren't sure how to find it? Learn how EEN can help your organisation, as well as about the free resources which are available.

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Wed, 31 Jan - Fri, 2 Feb, Glasgow

Featuring companies at the leading edge of the exploitation of new data from space and platforms for use within a variety of sectors including agriculture and aquaculture

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Investment Pitch: Communicating your Value Proposition to Investors

Mon, 5 Feb, Webinar

This webinar will explain what a value proposition is, describe the tools you can use to build your value proposition and discus how it should be used in the investment pitch.

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Digital Business Drop-In

Thu, 15 Feb, London

Information and networking event to support digital companies and learn more about opportunities and support from the Innovate UK family organisations.

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Connected Digital Revolution

Tue, 20 Feb, Harper Adams University

Looking at the impact that digitalisation, IoT, Big Data, new sensor technologies and robotics are having on agriculture, farming, horticulture and connected businesses.

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Unavoidable Food Waste in Yorkshire: Opportunities to Add Value

Tue, 27 Feb, York

Join BioVale for a free workshop to discuss opportunities for added value from food manufacturing waste in Yorkshire.

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Next Steps for Farming Productivity - Innovation, Investment & Knowledge Transfer

Mon, 12 Mar, London

Focussing on the future of farming productivity & agri-tech in the UK, as the Government assesses policy options for a forthcoming Agriculture Bill & begins to put its Industrial Strategy into practice.

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6th Biopesticides Event

Thu, 12 Apr, London

Matchmaking event for integrated pest management and biopesticide technology stakeholders. KTN’s Dr Liliya Serazetdinova will be chairing the plenary session and speaking on the topic of KTN support for the Agri-Food sector.

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Latest Competitions

Food Innovation Network Innovation Vouchers

Application deadline (extended): 31.01.18

Springboard your small food & drink business with a £5,000 Food Innovation Network Innovation Voucher. This one-off competition will connect food business and academia to develop innovative ideas to help stimulate productivity and support business growth.

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ESA Kick-start Competition: Commercial Climate Services

Application deadline: 16.01.18

The European Space Agency (ESA) is offering support to companies to assess the viability of commercial space-based services in response to climate change to meet the demands of particular user communities. Topics include management of food and water resources.

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BBSRC/NERC Joint Call in Aquaculture: Collaborative Research and Innovation

Application deadline: 23.01.18 at 16:00

A total of approximately £4.4 million is available for projects addressing key challenges in the aquaculture sector. Two types of funding will be available: Funding for large consortia grants; Funding for smaller translation grants.

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Rural Business Investment Scheme - Food (Wales)

Application deadline: 24.01.18

The Rural Business Investment Scheme - FOOD (RBISF) is a capital investments scheme to support projects that offer clear and quantifiable benefits to the food and drink industry in Wales. The scheme is open to existing and start up micro and small food and drink processor’s and manufacturers throughout Wales.  

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Manufacturing and Materials

Application deadline: 31.01.18 at 12:00

UK businesses can apply for a share of £19 million for innovation projects in manufacturing and materials or infrastructure systems. Funded projects will target opportunities that offer significant changes in productivity and cutting-edge innovations. A further £16 million is available for KTPs. The scope includes additive manufacturing and 3D printing. 

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Open Sector Competition - Round 4

Application deadline: 28.02.18 at 12:00

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £19 million to deliver game changing or disruptive innovations with significant potential for impact on the UK economy. This Innovate UK competition is open to the best business-led cutting-edge or disruptive ideas or concepts with a view to commercialisation. These can come from any technology and apply to any part of the economy. A further £14 million is available for KTPs.

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Novel Targets for Crop Protection

Application deadline: 31.03.18

Bayer offers you financial and scientific support to promote the exploration of your ideas for novel molecular targets towards the development of innovative new crop protection solutions for weed, pest and disease control.

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BioBase4SME Innovation Bootcamp

Application deadline: 20.04.18

Applications are now open to take part in the 2018 BioBase4SME Innovation Bootcamp, which will take place on 3rd-8th June in Hawkhills. Successful applicants will receive €7,000 worth of specialist training, fully funded by the project, plus follow-on coaching for a year after the workshop.

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Horizon 2020 Calls

Horizon 2020 is the EU's €77 billion research and innovation funding scheme running from 2014 to 2020.

BEIS has further clarified Horizon 2020 underwrite for UK participants.

Currently open calls of relevance to agri-food include:

  • Sustainable Food Security - Horizon 2020's main contribution to research and innovation in relation to Food and Nutrition Security in Europe and beyond. Topics include Valorising Urban Biowaste, Personalised Nutrition, Microbiome, Integrated Pest Management, Animal Welfare, and more. Various deadlines from: 13.02.18.
  • Rural Renaissance - Enhancing the natural, social, cultural and economic potential of rural areas. Topics include Closing Nutrient Cycles, ICT Innovation for Agriculture, Modern Rural Policies, Preparing Farmers for the Digital Age, and more. Various deadlines from: 13.02.18.
  • Blue Growth - aims at sustainably harvesting the potential of resources from seas, oceans and inland waters for different uses and across the range of marine and maritime industries. Topics include Aquaculture. Various deadlines from: 13.02.18.
  • Stimulating the innovation potential of SMEs for sustainable and competitive agriculture, forestry, agri-food and bio-based sectors - SMEs can play a crucial role in developing resource-efficient and cost-effective solutions to secure sufficient supplies of safe, healthy and high quality food and other bio-based products. Various deadlines.


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