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Agri-tech Catalyst round 8: Agriculture and food systems innovation

Registration is closed
Funding details
Registration opens
01 Apr 2019, 00:00
Registration closes
29 May 2019, 12:00
05 Jun 2019, 12:00
A share of up to £3 million
Department for International Development (DFID) and Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)
Support phone number
0300 321 4357

There is up to £3 million of funding available from the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) for early stage feasibility studies, mid stage industrial research and late stage experimental development. Projects must work on agri-tech and food chain innovations with partners in eligible African countries.

You can read the definitions of research categories in the general guidance for applicants here.

The aim of this competition is to increase the pace of development of agricultural and food systems innovation and its uptake by farmers and food systems actors in Africa. Actors can include manufacturers, processors, retailers, distributors and wholesalers.

All projects must be collaborative and must include at least one partner from the UK and one from an eligible African country. All funding for businesses and research organisations will be sent through the administrative lead organisation.


Competition scope

The aim of this competition is to increase the pace of development and scale of uptake of agricultural and food systems technology and innovation in Africa by:

  • farmers
  • other food systems actors such as manufacturers, processors, retailers, distributors and wholesalers

Agriculture and food systems are changing rapidly, which has important consequences for diets. Uptake of new technology and innovation in this area is low in developing countries, particularly Africa.

Your project proposal must show benefits to African country agriculture and food systems in order to contribute to healthy, safe and nutritious diets. It must clearly demonstrate a research or innovation component.

Your project’s innovations must:

  • be sustainable in the context of environmental challenges such as climate change and resource scarcity
  • minimise negative effects such as pollution, food loss and waste
  • promote safe, healthy and nutritious diets

There are many opportunities and challenges for food systems, as described by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition.

The Agri-tech Catalyst will take innovative ideas from any sector or discipline. Ideas must show the potential to have a positive impact on poverty through the uptake of agricultural and food systems technology and innovation. The scope of the Catalyst includes:

  • primary crop and livestock production, including aquaculture
  • non-food uses of crops, excluding ornamentals
  • challenges in food processing, distribution or storage, and value addition (such as through a change in the physical state or form of the product)
  • improving the availability and accessibility of safe, healthy and nutritious foods

Your project and its outcomes must fit within the Official Development Assistance (ODA) criteria.

Your application must demonstrate how the primary benefit from your project will be a contribution to international development outcomes, specifically:

  • enhanced food and nutrition security and
  • welfare of the poor in urban and rural areas in developing countries

Activities carried out in the UK must be clearly relevant to delivering impact in a developing country. Any benefits to the UK must be secondary in nature and result from delivering the primary benefit. Your proposal must clearly demonstrate the ways it will impact in developing countries.

If your project will support crop breeding it must have clear potential for impact at scale, in more than one country.

DFID are looking to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets and technological maturities.

You can find more detail on the competition scope here.


KTN support for the Agri-Tech Catalyst Round 8

KTN held a briefing and consortia-building workshop on Friday 22nd March 2019 in Birmingham to promote Round 8 of the Agri-Tech Catalyst Competition. The aim of this workshop was to enable potential applicants to get a better understanding of the competition process, rules and scope. The workshop was also designed to help with networking and consortia building, offering a great opportunity for delegates to pitch their capabilities to potential collaborative partners. The presentations from this event are available to download below.

KTN also organised three webinars on 5th April 2019 to provide dedicated support to organisations developing projects for Round 8 of the Agri-Tech Catalyst funding scheme, with each webinar focussing on one of the following areas: crop production, livestock and aquaculture, and food systems and nutrition.

Please contact a member of the KTN Agri-Food team on if you would like to discuss a potential application or need help finding a project partner. You can also search for partners in our dedicated LinkedIn group here.

Supporting documents & links

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