Growing Kent & Medway is making £900,000 available for innovative ideas that can help transform the horticultural, plant-based food and drink supply chain in a new Business Sustainability Challenge.
Businesses are being invited to compete for grants each worth up to £50,000. Funding is available for innovative project ideas, processes or technologies to support sustainable production, products and packaging. The project must relate to the horticultural and plant-based food and drink supply chain.
Partnerships between businesses are encouraged, and collaborating companies can be based anywhere in the UK. The lead applicant needs to be based in Kent or Medway.
Dr Nikki Harrison, Programme Director, said: “We’re particularly interested in collaborative partnerships between businesses; working together to tackle some of the biggest sustainability challenges facing the fresh produce and plant-based food and drink sector.
“Our experienced team can help match businesses seeking new partnerships within the region. We’d encourage anyone with an innovative idea that can be applied to our sector to get in touch.”
Successful project ideas will need to be innovative and relate to sustainability or the creation of viable circular economies. These could be exploring alternative uses for waste to stop material from going to landfill, boosting biodiversity, or testing alternative sustainable ingredients.
Dr Robert Saville, Innovation Growth Manager at Growing Kent & Medway, said: “We’ve seen incredible examples of innovation taking place in the sector. Businesses are finding value from all types of waste material. From beauty products being created from waste fruit, to tomato leaves being processed into new material that is formed into punnets for packaging tomatoes.
“We’re looking for novel ideas that can help to find value in materials that would otherwise be classed as waste, or more sustainable ways of growing, processing, and producing the food we eat.”
Successful applicants will be able to claim 50% of the eligible project costs, which will be reimbursed at the end of the project. The grant will be awarded directly to the business and enable them to conduct their own research and development.
Applications for the Growing Kent & Medway Business Sustainability Challenge close at Midnight on 31 May. For full details about the grant and how to apply, visit bit.ly/BusinessSustainabilityChallenge
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