Sustainable bio-based materials and manufacture: CR&D

Research and innovation projects to develop sustainable biomanufacture based products. Design and deliver new and disruptive sustainable biomanufacturing. Can be by innovative use and re-use of renewable feedstocks and biotechnology-based manufacture processes for sustainable and circular products.



Competition closes: 3 May 2023 11:00am

Applicants notified: 6 June 2023

Project start date & duration: 1 October 2023 for up to 24 months


Need for change is primarily driven by climate change, supply chain resilience, and the cost of energy. The overall aim is to support organisations in biomanufacturing in the future to be net zero/ resource efficient, resilient/responsive, and technologically advanced/digital. This can be via increasing the use of bio-based feedstocks, using biotechnology for alternative bio-based chemical replacements including low carbon polymers and liquid and gaseous fuels for transport, heating and renewable energy, enhancing the sustainability profile of biotechnology processes, innovative use and re-use of renewable feedstocks, biotechnology-based manufacture processes for sustainable and circular products with whole systems approach, and consideration of broader life cycle thinking.

Specific themes

  • improving extraction of existing bio-based feedstocks and optimising these processes
  • using biotechnology-based systems for developing alternatives to traditional manufacturing processes, including processing and catalysis for sustainability
  • the design and development of future advanced bio-products with improved or differentiated properties
  • the discovery of novel or optimisation of enzymes to whole organisms for biomanufacturing
  • securing value from non-food crop biomass and other waste streams
  • improving manufacturability and consistency at scale and progressing the development and adoption of biotechnology, across multiple manufacturing industries and sectors

Projects that will not be funded

  • focused on enabling areas such as energy, regulations and policy, skills and relations
  • focused on value models
  • focused on incremental improvements of sustainable biomanufacture processes
  • biopharmaceuticals for diagnosis or therapeutics, including recombinant protein, or nucleic acid-based vaccines or antimicrobials microbiomes towards human health therapeutics
  • sustainable aviation fuel
  • alternate protein sources for example, food and beverage
  • carbon capture and storage technology, however the use of captured carbon as a feedstock is in scope
  • fundamental research/feasibility studies


  • state aid funding rules apply
  • project must be collaborative
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • project must involve at least 1 UK SME
  • subcontracting is max 20% of total project costs

Funding rates

  • Total eligible project costs between £300,000 and £1M (£12M pot).

For Industrial Research (TRL3-5) you could 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 (TRL 6-7) you could 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

Research organisations in your consortium can share up to 50% of the UK total eligible project costs.

How PNOcan support you

The UK team has a strong track record in securing some of the most competitive national and European grants on behalf of its clients, with a full understanding of how a project should be presented to stand the highest chance of success. Each year in the UK alone, we are responsible for the submission of more than 100 funding applications across all sectors and priority areas. Based on this extensive experience, through careful project selection and using key insight into how a project should be best positioned, we consistently achieve success rates that are more than 5 times the typical success rates for UK national schemes and EU programmes.

For further information or to discuss a project idea please contact PNO Consultants

0161 488 3488 |

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