The UK Seafood Innovation Fund welcomes applications from all organisations, as long as your idea, product or technology will benefit the sustainability and/or productivity of the UK seafood industry.
All applications must be submitted via the Bravo procurement portal.
You will need to register as either yourself or your organisation before you can access the documents. Click here to register. After registering, search for ‘Seafood Innovation Fund’ and you will be able to download all relevant documents and guidance to support your application.
Please note all applications must be submitted using the application pack relevant to the current open call. These new documents will be available when you register to apply (search ‘Seafood Innovation Fund’ once you’ve applied).
Please make sure you read all the documents carefully as they provide essential guidance for your application. Your application will not proceed to the next stage if it is:
If you have any issues with submitting an application online, or would like to access the documentation in Welsh, please contact us.
The UK Seafood Innovation Fund is running a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) open competition procurement scheme and is highly competitive. The SBRI programme (part of Innovate UK) aims to solve big challenges facing society by connecting innovative businesses and government organisations. The funding scheme is open to all organisations, and is structured to support businesses of any size. Through open competition, the scheme aims to encourage the highest level of innovation by applicants.
If you successfully receive funding for a feasibility study, and have demonstrated a successful outcome upon project completion, there will be the opportunity to compete for funding to undertake a full R&D project. You will be invited to complete a formal application through a closed call. Full R&D project funding following a feasibility study is NOT guaranteed for all applicants.
Assessment criteria will be included in the pack of information downloaded by applicants when you register. These are specific to each call.
The programme supports the research and development of new, innovative ideas and technologies that will benefit the future of the UK seafood sector.
The fund is open to all organisations who have an innovative idea meeting the objectives of the fund. The idea must benefit the sustainability and productivity of the seafood industry in the UK.
Collaborative projects including both seafood sector experts and technology businesses are encouraged.
Non-UK organisations can apply as a project lead or can be part of an application as a subcontractor, but your project must demonstrate strong links to the UK seafood sector.
The fund is for research and development projects that meet the fund objectives, with all justifiable costs eligible. This includes capital purchases and overheads where essential to deliver the innovation project. There are no quotas per UK region nor sector area – funding will be awarded to the most innovative ideas.
Therefore, to be considered for funding your application must:
Ideas or technologies that are currently used in other sectors but could be applied to the seafood sector may be eligible for funding. See ‘What is disruptive innovation & technology’ on our About page for more information.
Projects are eligible (✔) or ineligible (❌) for funding from the UK Seafood Innovation Fund as per the following topics:
You can apply for up to £50,000 for a feasibility study. These are projects funded for up to five months, to develop an idea for a new technology or process, and to undertake the initial testing to assess whether progressing further is beneficial.
If you successfully receive funding for a feasibility study, and have demonstrated a successful outcome upon project completion, there will be the opportunity to compete for funding to undertake a full R&D project. These projects can be up to 15 months long and should aim to further develop a technology or process that is already through the initial feasibility stage. You will be invited to complete a formal application through a closed call.
All reasonable costs contributing to the delivery of the project can be included. This might include (for example): salary/labour, materials, capital equipment purchases, subcontractor costs, travel and subsistence, overheads etc.
Please note that this is a pre-commercial procurement scheme, not a grant scheme, and projects will be assessed for value for money, as per the assessment criteria.
Yes, if applicable. It is the responsibility of the applicant to understand and adhere to your organisation’s VAT requirements and regulations. If necessary, please seek independent legal advice for confirmation.
The maximum award of £50k (for feasibility studies) cannot be exceeded and so must include VAT, where applicable. Should you consider that you are VAT exempt, then you may quote without VAT but you will not at a later date be able to increase invoice values to cover VAT.
The UK Seafood Innovation Fund is mindful that the COVID-19 pandemic has, and will continue to, impact organisations applying and delivering projects funded by this scheme. The programme has made adjustments to timescales, deadlines, and delivery milestones where appropriate and will continue to support all organisations facing unavoidable impacts caused by COVID-19.
Projects that are already funded by the UK Seafood Innovation Fund may be able to redistribute their upcoming payment schedules if the pandemic impacts project delivery in the upcoming weeks and months. As circumstances will differ for individual projects, please contact your Cefas project monitor directly in the first instance, or the Cefas procurement team.
This website will be updated as needed, with ongoing advice in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UK Seafood Innovation Fund has been active since July 2019, and has not been set up specifically to support industries impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Some applications submitted during this funding call could present solutions to improve the resilience of the UK fishing, aquaculture and seafood industries moving forward from the pandemic. However, please note that the UK Seafood Innovation Fund will assess all applications received for this funding call to the same assessment process, and will continue to support innovations that are broader in scope.
If you require more urgent financial support in light of the coronavirus pandemic, check your eligibility for other UK Government support packages at GOV.UK.
An Expression of Interest (EOI) is used to briefly outline your project, for review by the SIF programme management team prior to completing a full application. You will receive feedback on your idea and be advised of the next steps.
Please note that a positive response to your EOI does not mean that your project will be awarded funding. You are still eligible to submit a full application even if you have not submitted an EOI.
Feasibility studies are projects funded for up to five months, to develop an idea for a new technology or process, and to undertake initial testing to assess whether progressing further is beneficial. They can be funded up to the value of £50,000. Call 3 will only be accepting applications for feasibility studies.
Full research and development (R&D) projects are up to 15-months long and look to further develop a technology or process that is already through the initial feasibility stage. They can be funded up to the value of £250,000.
If you successfully receive funding for a feasibility study, and have demonstrated a successful outcome upon project completion, there is the opportunity to compete for funding to undertake a full R&D project. You will be invited to complete a formal application through a closed call. You will not have to apply through the next open competition call.
Call 3 is only accepting feasibility study applications. No full R&D study project applications can be submitted to Call 3. Only successful feasibility study applicants to Call 3 will be able to compete for full R&D funding. This has changed since the Call 1 and 2 rounds.
Yes, you can submit multiple applications to a single call. There is no limit on the number of applications an organisation can submit. However, each application that you wish to submit will require separate application documents and submission to separate tenderboxes on the BRAVO procurement portal (click here to register for the portal).
Please read the guidance on the BRAVO portal very carefully if you intend to submit more than one application, and do contact our procurement team via the message centre on the portal if you are unsure.
Yes, you can apply for SIF alongside other funding for your project. Any additional funding or application for funding should be detailed in the appropriate section on the application form.
It is important that your application clearly describes which specific deliverables will be achieved under the SIF-funded portion of the overall project. Applicants must therefore also outline the work streams for the other project funding, to ensure there is no duplication or overlap of deliverables. You should also briefly describe how the different areas of work will come together to achieve overall project aims.
There are two events scheduled for the third funding call, one for mid-October 2021 and the other for early November 2021. Details will be posted on the BRAVO portal.
Answers to specific questions asked at previous events have been posted on this FAQs page.
If you have an innovative idea, and you think that you meet all the eligibility criteria, you should apply to the next call for the UK Seafood Innovation Fund!
All innovative ideas are welcome, but priority research areas for the fund are:
Projects that foster new collaborations are particularly encouraged.
All applications received via the BRAVO procurement portal during the open call for funding are assessed in the same way. Cefas have a dedicated fund management team that are separate from our science and business development teams. All applications are strictly confidential and are only seen by specific named persons who are working on administering the programme.
After applications close, the following assessment process applies:
Applications are each assessed by three different assessors. Assessors are independent experts from the seafood, technology or engineering sector.
All of these assessments are presented to the UK Seafood Innovation Fund Steering Group, who review them and agree the list of proposals to be recommended for award.
The UK Seafood Innovation Fund Executive Board reviews the recommendations and makes the final decision about which projects are awarded funding.
Yes, feedback will be provided.
An overview of the UK Steering Group panel outcome will be given, along with feedback from the independent assessors, in summary form.
Where appropriate, feedback will aim to indicate areas of the project which require strengthening should the applicant decide to reapply for any future funding calls.
If you are not satisfied with any aspect of the programme, we encourage you to let us know and we will do our best to resolve the matter. In most cases, this can be done relatively quickly. You can appeal only if a decision has been made based on a factual, legal, or processing error. Further information can be found here.
Matched funding is not a requirement for applications, but contribution from the organisation and/or partners/supporting organisations will be assessed favourably, as indicated in the assessment criteria.
The fund aims to facilitate organisations/small businesses which might find it difficult to contribute costs but still want to bid into the fund with innovative ideas. Therefore, 100% funding can be awarded.
Successful projects will receive a 30% upfront payment on signing of contract.
A payment schedule for the remainder of funding will be agreed with the authority, in-line with the delivery of specified project milestones.
Application packs can be downloaded from the BRAVO procurement portal when you register for a call. Click here to register for the portal. Once registered, search for ‘Seafood Innovation Fund’ and you will be able to download the application pack with all relevant documentation. All applications must be submitted only using the most recent versions of the documents.
Ownership of and rights to intellectual property are covered by clauses in the contract.
Typically intellectual property rights are retained by the applicant although certain rights of usage may be applied by the funding authority including royalty-free, non-exclusive licence rights and the right to require licenses to third parties, at a fair market price.
If you require further clarification, please seek your own legal advice. Please register on the BRAVO procurement portal to access the contract.
The contract is non-negotiable. You must ensure that your organisation and any subcontractors agree to the terms before you submit your application.
If you are awarded funding, the contract included in the application pack cannot be amended. The contract is available with the other application documents on the BRAVO procurement portal when you register to apply. Click here to register for the portal.
We strongly advise that you seek legal advice before submitting your application if you have any queries concerning the contract.
We are always looking for qualified people to help assess applications for the UK Seafood Innovation Fund.
To be an assessor you need to adhere to these conditions:
Please read this article if you would like further information about being an assessor for the fund.
If you meet these criteria and would like to be an assessor for the fund, please contact us for further information.
Take a look at the projects we’ve funded so far.