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.
Local businesses are being invited to compete for grants each worth up to £50,000 to fund projects that support sustainable production, products, and packaging.
Collaborative partnerships between businesses are being encouraged. The lead applicant must be a Kent or Medway-based business and at least 75% of the project’s activity needs to take place in the region too.
Dr Nikki Harrison, Programme Director, said: “Local businesses will be able to invest this funding in innovative, sustainable ideas. This could be for projects to help make their processes more efficient, find new ways of working with their supply chain or find alternative uses for their waste and by-products.
“We’re keen to see how their ideas will positively impact the local economy and we will also be expecting anyone who receives our grant funding to deliver social value back to their area.”
Successful project ideas will need to be innovative and relate to sustainability or the creation of viable circular economies in Kent and Medway. 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 across our region. 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 31stMay. For full details about the grant and how to apply, visit bit.ly/BusinessSustainabilityChallenge
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