Contact

Get in touch

Talk to us about Ceres

Phone number: +44 (0)1223 760339
Email: info@ceresagritech.org

FAQs

Working with industry and other collaborators

Does Ceres fund research coming out of companies and other industrial partners?

No. Ceres does not fund any aspect of company or industrial R&D.

I am working on an Innovate UK funded project and there is the potential to take some of this forward through a Ceres award, would that be possible?

This is possible in principle; however, Ceres would need to first understand the status of any background IP coming out of the Innovate project. IP status for every Ceres proposal is always assessed early in the application process, so previous Innovate UK work should not be viewed as a barrier to your application.

I am an academic from a UK University; can I still get involved in Lincam Ceres Agri-Tech or Agri-Tech Globalfunded research?

There are 2 funding streams

Lincam Ceres Agri-Tech for UK Universities and RTOs – is open to academics from UK Universities and EPSRC approved RTOs

and

Agri-Tech Global – which is only open to academics from the Universities of Lincoln, Cambridge and East Anglia. Collaborations with researchers outside the partnership are possible but generally via subcontract.

I am an academic from a Agri-Tech Global partner university; can I work with researchers from the other partner institutions on joint projects?

Yes! Collaboration across our partner universities is a key part of Agri-Tech Global and we particularly encourage joint proposals within the partnership.

Scope of Ceres funding

What is the range of funding available?

There are 2 funding streams available each with its own agri-tech scope. Please see relevant pages for details

Lincam Ceres Agri-Tech

  • For Universities of Lincoln and Cambridge
    • Project Awards £20,000 – £150,000 (no FEC)
    • Proof of Concept Awards: £5,000 – £20,000 (no FEC)
  • For UK Universities and EPSRC approved RTOs
    • Project Awards £20,000 – £150,000 (no FEC)
    • Proof of Concept Awards: £5,000 – £20,000 (no FEC)

Agri-Tech Global – for Universities of Lincoln, Cambridge and East Anglia only

    • Project Awards £50,000 – £250,000 (80% FEC)
    • Small Project Awards: up to £50,000 (80% FEC)

 

How long does a Lincam Ceres Agri-Tech or Agri-Tech Global project need to be?

There is no set length; this is determined by the requirements of the work and ultimately what is best for the project.

Does Lincam Ceres Agri-Tech or Agri-Tech Global fund basic or fundamental research?

No. Lincam Ceres Agri-Tech and Agri-Tech Global are commercially focused and offers translational funding to agri-tech innovations with strong commercial potential. Project Awards need to have reached at least proof-of-concept stage.

How do I know if my proposal is in scope?

Lincam Ceres Agri-Tech will fund proposals with application in the area of crop-related agri-tech with ca 50% of the project must be in EPSRC scope, e.g., robotics, AI, complex systems, sensors, 5G and networks, machine learning, digital phenotyping, digital economy, engineering for net zero. Applications must detail how their crop-related agri-tech would have impact in the Lincam region in terms of economic and/or environmental and social.

Agri-Tech Global will fund proposals with applications in the broad area of plant agri-tech, excluding small molecule agrichemicals and traditional plant variety breeding.  Technologies must be relevant to plant agri-tech but can come from a variety of one or more scientific disciplines, e.g. plant sciences, robotics, chemistry, computer science, etc. If you are still unsure or feel that your proposal may be borderline, feel free to contact the Ceres Team at info@ceresagritech.org

What can Lincam Ceres Agri-Tech or Agri-Tech Global funding be spent on? Can I get money for staff or equipment?

Lincam Ceres Agri-Tech or Agri-Tech Global funding can be used to pay for staff costs, equipment or consumables, subcontractors’ fees, and most other costs as long as they are part of the project plan. However, funding generally does not fund publication costs or conferences.

Will Lincam Ceres Agri-Tech or Agri-Tech Global also pay for intellectual property protection costs?

No. It is the responsibility of the lead university or EPSRC approved RTO to cover patent fees and other IP costs.

Applying to Ceres

I am a PhD student, can I apply?

PhD students are welcome to apply as part of a project team.

My background is in academic research and I have little experience of working commercially or pitching for investment. Is there support to guide me with this?

Yes! The Ceres Team is available to help develop your project to give it the best chance of winning Lincam Ceres Agri-Tech or Agri-Tech Global funding. The Ceres Team can assist with market research, building your business case, and preparing the slide deck for the final pitch. Support is also available to help you practise your pitch.

What is the application format? Do I need to fill in a grant form to apply?

There is no requirement to fill in a grant application form; all applications for Lincam Ceres Agri-Tech or Agri-Tech Global funding take the form of a short pitch presentation to the Ceres Investment Committee, developed with the help of the Ceres Team. Pitches are 15 minutes for Project Awards, 8  minutes for Small Project Awards and  7 minutes for Proof-of-Concept Awards.

I would like to apply for Lincam Ceres Agri-Tech or Agri-Tech Global funding; can I still disclose my work publicly, e.g. by speaking at conferences or publishing in academic journals?

The timing of publication or any other public disclosure needs to be carefully managed to protect commercially sensitive aspects of the project and any IP that may be generated; otherwise, the commercialisation of your technology could be jeopardised. If you would like to publish, please get in touch with your university’s technology transfer office and discuss with the Ceres Team well in advance to establish the best route forward.