Sustainable bio-based materials and manufacture: CR&D UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £12 million for collaborative research and development. This is to develop step-change improvements to sustainable biomanufacturing in the UK. Eligibility This competition is open to collaborations only. To lead a project your organisation must be a UK registered: business of any size academic institution research and technology organisation (RTO) You must be or involve at least one grant claiming micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). Opening soon Opens: 7 March 2023 Closes: 3 May 2023

Programme: Innovate Uk


Opens: 7 March 2023

Closes: 3 May 2023


Innovate UK, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), all part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £12 million for this competition. The funding will support research and innovation projects to develop sustainable biomanufacture based products.

The aim of this competition is to develop the design and delivery of new and disruptive sustainable biomanufacturing by 2050. Enabling the UK to be more globally competitive by supporting collaborative research and development (CR&D) across different industries and sectors.

This can be by innovative use and re-use of renewable feedstocks and biotechnology-based manufacture processes for sustainable and circular products.

Projects will allow businesses and researchers to work together to develop more sustainable bio-based products, biotechnology processes and innovations.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type


Project size

Your project’s total costs must be between £300,000 and £1 million.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • have total costs between £300,000 and £1 million
  • start by 1 October 2023
  • end by 30 September 2025
  • last between 12 and 24 months
  • be collaborative
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian, Belarusian or Myanmar entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian, Belarusian or Myanmar source.

If your project’s duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to at least 10 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request.

If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible. Your application will then not be sent for assessment.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • be a UK registered academic institution or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • collaborate with other UK registered organisations
  • be or involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

Applications involving collaborations of businesses with academic institutions and research organisations are particularly encouraged to apply.

If the lead organisation is an academic institution or a research and technology organisation (RTO), it must collaborate with at least one business of any size and must include one grant claiming SME.

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.


Up to £12 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance.

If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.

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