Growing Kent and Medway: Collaborative Research and Development

Apply for a share of up to £2M for business-focused innovation to support the transition to net-zero, deliver improved productivity and sustainability in horticultural food and drink production in the Kent and Medway area. Interested? Feel free to contact us!


Competition closes: 20 October 2021, 11am

Applicants notified: 17 December 2021

Project start date & duration: 01 May 2021; between 12 and 30 months


Projects must:

  • provide solutions that tackle new or emerging needs
  • demonstrate a realistic potential to support business growth, scale-up, and job creation
  • deliver benefit to the region as well as further afield

Activities can solve challenges at any point in:

  • horticultural production including the production of novel, high–value compounds from plants
  • fresh produce packaging
  • food and drink processing
  • enabling technologies that underpin the supply chain

Specific Themes

Projects must focus on one or more of the following:

  • moving towards net-zero carbon emissions
  • minimising waste and maximising recycling
  • improving resource use efficiency and sustainability
  • increasing productivity
  • resilient food production, for example: supply chain resilience, nutritional security
  • precision technologies, e.g. sensor technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), robotics
  • addressing current and future labour shortages, supply or demand driven, within the K&M agri-food sector

Projects that will not be funded

  • do not demonstrate the potential to positively impact on the economy of the K&M area
  • fail to commit to delivering social value
  • have a focus on animal or fish-based production systems and animal or fish derived food and drink products
  • grow plants with the primary purpose of producing animal feed
  • dependent on export performance or, dependent on domestic inputs usage


  • Subsidy control and WTO Agreement on Agriculture funding rules apply.
  • Projects must be undertaken in the Kent & Medway area and results exploited from K&M.
  • Projects must be collaborative, led by a UK registered business of any size and must include at least one of the following: NIAB; University of Greenwich; University of Kent; Canterbury Christ Church University.
  • Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK but preferably K&M-based.
  • No resubmissions.

Funding Rates

  • Total eligible project costs between £50,000 and £250,000 (£2M pot) for Industrial Research.
  • Micro/small/medium sized business can claim up to 40%.
  • Research organisations can claim 80% of full economic costs (FEC)
  • RTOs/charities/non-profit/public sector organisations can claim 100% costs.

Contact us for further information

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