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Sustainable bio-based materials and manufacture: CR&D

Fund Name

Sustainable bio-based materials and manufacture: CR&D

Project Length

12-24 months

Project Value

£300k - £1m



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.

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Fund details

This competition aims 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.

The need for change is driven by the three strategic imperatives:

  • climate change
  • supply chain resilience
  • the cost of energy

Your proposal must support organisations in biomanufacturing in the future to be:

  • net zero and resource-efficient
  • resilient and responsive
  • technologically advanced and digital

Your project must address the challenge of developing innovations in sustainable biomanufacturing processes.

This can be by:

  • increasing the use of bio-based feedstocks
  • using biotechnology for alternative bio-based chemical replacements including low-carbon polymers and, liquid and gaseous fuels for transport, heating and renewable energy
  • enhancing the sustainability profile of biotechnology processes
  • innovative use and re-use of renewable feedstocks
  • biotechnology-based manufacturing processes for sustainable and circular products with a whole systems approach
  • consideration of broader life cycle thinking

Your project must focus on one or more of the following themes:

  • improving the extraction of existing bio-based feedstocks and optimising these processes
  • using biotechnology based systems for developing alternatives to traditional manufacturing processes, including processing and catalysis for sustainability
  • the design and development of future advanced bio-products with improved or differentiated properties
  • the discovery of novel or optimisation of enzymes to whole organisms for biomanufacturing
  • securing value from non-food crop biomass and other waste streams
  • improving manufacturability and consistency at scale and progressing the development and adoption of biotechnology, across multiple manufacturing industries and sectors


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

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.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

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 the 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

Talk to us today if you would like to apply for this opportunity.

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