This is an open competition.
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 Delta procurement portal.
You will need to register as either yourself or your organisation. After registering you can download all relevant documents and guidance to support your application.
Please note all applications must be submitted using the new second call documents (with reference SIF2 in the footer). These new documents were available on the Delta procurement portal when you registered to apply.
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, please contact us.
The fund is not currently open for applications.
This website will be updated in due course to advertise the dates for the next funding call.
The UK Seafood Innovation Fund is running a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) open competition procurement scheme. 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.
Assessment criteria is included in the pack of information downloaded by applicants through the Delta Procurement Portal.
The full assessment criteria is also available here for your information.
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 within the EU and UK 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. EU organisations can apply as a project lead, or can be part of an application as a subcontractor.
Collaborative projects including both seafood sector experts and technology businesses are encouraged.
EU organisations can apply as a project lead, or can be part of an application as a subcontractor.
While the lead applicant must be from the UK or EU, organisations from outside the EU can be subcontracted to complete part of the project, if required to deliver the aims of the project.
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 if they are related to the following topics:
You can apply for up to £50,000 for a feasibility study. These are projects funded for up to three months, to develop an idea for a new technology or process, and to undertake the initial testing to assess whether progressing further is beneficial.
You can apply for up to £250,000 for a full research and development (R&D) project. These projects can be up to 18 months long, and should aim to further develop a technology or process that is already through the initial feasibility stage.
The total funding pool for the UK Seafood Innovation Fund is £10 million across the 3-year programme.
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 programme, not a grant fund, 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) or £250k (for R&D projects) 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 coronavirus pandemic is impacting the very industries that the fund was designed to support. We are also aware that the pandemic will impact people and organisations who are applying to the fund, as well as those already completing work for their 2019 funded projects.
The previous call for applications was extended to give applicants more time to consider and develop their innovative applications during this challenging time.
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 weekly, or as needed, with ongoing advice in light of the coronavirus 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.
Finally, funding from this round of applications to the UK Seafood Innovation Fund will not be awarded until after the robust application process has been completed – towards the end of September 2020. If you require more urgent financial support in light of the coronavirus pandemic, check your eligibility for other UK Government support packages including: the fisheries response fund or the coronavirus future fund.
Expressions of Interest (EOIs) have now closed for the second funding call.
All EOIs submitted before the deadline of COP Monday 27 April 2020 are now being processed, and you will receive a response in due course.
Please note that a positive response to your EOI does not necessarily mean that your project will be awarded funding.
Also note that you are still eligible to submit an application to the UK Seafood Innovation Fund if you did not submit an EOI.
Feasibility studies are projects funded for up to three 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.
Full research and development (R&D) projects are up to 18-month-long projects that 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, you will be given the opportunity to progress to a full R&D project. You will not have to apply through the next open competition call.
A separate call will be run specifically for the projects that were awarded feasibility study funding under a given call (e.g. first call: SIF01) and you will be competing only against those feasibility studies for the full R&D funding. You will still be required to submit a full application for the R&D funding which will be assessed to the same criteria and assessment process as all applications.
Applicants do not need to apply for a feasibility study first, but it is expected that the proof of concept phase is already complete and evidence should be provided in the application to show that the idea is relatively well developed.
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 Delta procurement portal.
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.
Our Steering Group is made up of representatives from the seafood, fishing, aquaculture and innovation sectors. You can reach out to their organisations if you have an idea and are looking for guidance on finding a collaborator for your project.
Additionally, you can post your project on konfer, a free to use platform devised and run by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to facilitate collaboration. Why not post your project on konfer to find a collaborator to bring additional expertise into your UK Seafood Innovation Fund project?
Once you have registered with konfer, you can post a ‘collaboration’ on their website to outline the details of your project and the type of expertise you are looking for in a collaboration partner. Your project will then be visible and searchable by konfer’s user base: of over 127,000 university connections from 152 UK institutions and more than 27,000 businesses.
There are some helpful guidelines for posting an effective collaboration opportunity on the konfer website.
You can also view the UK Seafood Innovation Fund on konfer, and if you are a registered user, you can search the user base to find relevant people to connect with, to create a new, expert consortium for your project.
There are no upcoming webinars scheduled. We hosted three webinars about the second funding call in March and May 2020.
Answers to specific questions asked at those webinars 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 Delta 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.
You cannot use the forms downloaded from the first call for funding.
All applications must be submitted using the new second call documents (with reference SIF2 in the footer). Applications submitted using previous versions of documents from the first call will not be accepted.
These new documents were available to download from the Delta procurement portal when you registered to apply.
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.
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 was available with the other application documents on the Delta procurement portal.
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.
Thank you to everyone who applied to our second funding call – applicants will be notified of the outcome in due course.