Six months after the UK Seafood Innovation Fund (SIF) was launched and the first call for applications opened, successful applicants have now been awarded funding. The first round of SIF projects are diverse, covering innovative aquaculture feed development, the investigation of potential new kelp products, and the feasibility of using cameras to automatically grade catch.
The SIF programme is administering a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI; Innovate UK) competitive procurement programme to encourage the highest levels of disruptive, long term innovation across the seafood sector.
The election put a pause on Government spending, but following intensive scrutiny by our independent assessors, Steering Committee, and Executive Board, we are now excited to announce just over £3,000,000 in funds have been awarded across 26 UK innovation projects!
Funding has been awarded to 14 shorter feasibility studies and 12 longer research and development (R&D) projects. The successful applications represent 36% of the projects that applied, and between them received 31% of the total funding requested during this call.
The 26 funded projects span the aquaculture, capture and processing sectors, with the majority of projects investigating innovative solutions for various parts of the aquaculture industry.
Reflecting the large aquaculture sector in Scotland, and the high number of aquaculture R&D projects funded from this call for applications, just over 50% of the funds were awarded to projects lead by Scottish institutions.
A higher number of feasibility studies were awarded to applicants from England, with funding awarded to exciting projects spanning wild capture, seafood processing, and aquaculture research and innovation.
Reflecting the fewer applications received from Wales and Northern Ireland, one feasibility study from each was awarded funding. We are looking forward to receiving a more diverse selection of applications in our second round, which is due to be opened in the coming weeks. Find out how to apply with your innovative idea.
In exciting news for smaller businesses across the UK, the majority of funded projects were awarded to micro- (56.5%) and small-scale (13%) businesses, with a third of funding allocated to larger organisations.
Reflecting the large number of micro- and small-scale businesses awarded funding, the private sector was awarded the majority of funds (71%), with the public and academic sectors each receiving approximately 14% of the awards.
We have developed project profiles for each of the projects funded in this round – search our projects page to read more about these innovative solutions, and perhaps be inspired to submit an application for a future funding call.
If you have an innovative idea you think can disrupt the seafood sector and support the future of UK seafood, read our FAQs to see whether it meets our eligibility requirements.
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This post was updated on 13 February 2020 as one previously funded project has has not proceeded to the contract stage of the programme.
Search our projects page to find out more about the projects funded during our first round of applications.