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Blended Funding in the UK – Transforming food production: series A investor partnership. Competition open until 13 January 2021. £5M in grant funding to be aligned with private investment.

This is a new blended funding opportunity for private investors and SMEs on the UK market.  

Programme name: Transforming food production: series A investor partnership. 

Funding agency: Innovate UK 

Funding budget: GBP 5 million 

Targeted applicants/ beneficiaries: UK registered SMEs that are aiming to transform food production towards net zero emissions by 2040through experimental development projects that are closer to market. 

Funding conditions:  

  • – To secure grant funding you must also secure investment of at least twice the amount of grant through one of the lead investors associated with this programme 
  • – Funding intensity up to up to 45%  (for micro or small organisation) or up to 35% for medium-sized organisation 
  • – Investment can be in the form of either direct equity investment or a convertible loan. It must come from a single lead investor from the pool of investors associated with this programme 
  • – The lead investor may decide to syndicate with other investors from within or outside of the pool. 

Project requirements:  

  • – The total eligible project costs submitted must be between £1 million and £3 million for experimental development.  
  • – Start by 1 October 2021 
  • – End by 31 March 2023 
  • – Last 18 months 
  • – The project focuses on the specific themes of the competition 
  • – The project meets the overall aims of the ISCF Transforming Food Production Challenge 

Competition timeline 

  • – Submission of applications: 4 November 2020 – 13 January 2020 
  • – Investor bootcamp activities: 17 February – 19 March 2021
  • – Deadline to reach heads of terms with lead investor: 3 June 2021
  • – Final results communication: 21 June 2021 

Private investor details: 

  • – Private investors have already been selected prior to the SME competition 
  • – The lead investor pool is presented here 

Blended funding schemes have many benefits such as less risk and easier investment decisions, but there are also challenges as well, for instance, the complexity of the application process, and the long duration of the process and waiting time. Here is a link to our recent survey and results from investors involved in past competitions to help you understand their views after being engaged in Innovate UK pilot competitions during 2017-2019.   

For more information on funding conditions, requirements, and the list of lead investors please access the official programme website. 


Source: the information above is based on the official guidelines published by the Fund Operator.   

At Winnovart, it is part of our mission to bridge the gap between stakeholders of the grants-funding market-space across Europe. We believe in the potential of blended funding schemes to reshape this market-space and we aim to support innovative SMEs, private investors and funding agencies to make the most of it.  Our presence in Western, Eastern and Northern Europe enables us to create international business cases for our clients, in the context of attractive funding programmes as well as beyond it, by opening up international development opportunities.