For Researchers

Ceres funding at a glance

Who can apply?

Projects must be led by an academic from a Ceres partner university. If you are a researcher at a Ceres university and have an idea for a project, we want to hear from you. Contact us at info@ceresagritech.org for more information.

What do we support?

Ceres supports translational research projects in plant-related agri-tech with strong commercial potential (excluding small molecule agrochemicals and plant variety breeding). Read about our current projects here.

How does it work?

We provide quick access to milestoned translational investment, typically between £100,000-£250,000 per project, based on a short 15 minute pitch to the Ceres Investment Committee. Funding rounds are held quarterly, with decisions on the day.

How to apply

If you are a researcher from a Ceres university and have an idea for a commercially relevant agri-tech project, we want to hear from you. For more information or to apply for translational funding, please get in touch with us at info@ceresagritech.org, or download a sample slide deck here.

Description of application process

Criteria

  • Projects must be in the area of plant agri-tech (excluding small molecule agrochemicals and plant variety breeding)
  • Technologies can come from any scientific discipline (e.g. robotics, chemistry, computer science)
  • Projects must have strong commercial potential and have reached at least proof-of-concept stage
  • All projects must be led by a researcher from one of the five named Ceres universities
  • The lead Ceres university must manage any intellectual property produced by the project (foreground IP)
  • Awards are in the form of milestoned translational investment, typically between £100,000-£250,000 per project
  • Applications only via a pitch to the Ceres Investment Committee

How Ceres can help you

The Ceres Team can help with:

  • Refining project ideas into viable commercial propositions;
  • Developing your idea to maximise the commercial opportunity;
  • Building a business case by exploring the scope of the opportunity, including competitor analysis, route to market, IP management, potential return on investment…and much more;
  • Finding collaborators with complementary expertise;
  • Preparing project pitchdecks;
  • How to pitch for success….or even pitching as part of your team on the day.

Developing your idea

The Ceres Team will help you work through key questions such as:

  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • How big is the problem, i.e. what is the commercial opportunity?
  • How will your technology fix the problem?
  • What is the competition? Are there other solutions on the market and if so, how is yours better?
  • Who will your customers be and how will you get them to adopt your solution?
  • What supporting data do you have to show your solution works?
  • Do you need to consider sponsors or industry collaborators? For example, who funded any prior work? If background intellectual property is involved, will you be free to exploit it during and after the Ceres project?
  • How will you get your technology to market?
  • How much Ceres funding do you need and what will you use it for? How long will the project take?
  • How will you structure the project? Have you included milestones (stop/go points during the project), and what are your longer-term plans i.e. after Ceres?

Preparing your pitch

The Ceres Team will help you develop your project from idea to pitch to give your project the best chance of winning Ceres funding:

  • The Ceres Team, together with Ceres representatives from your university can talk you through the process and help you develop a draft pitchdeck;
  • Pitches are short, 15-minute presentations by appropriate members of your project team, followed by up to 25 minutes of questions;
  • You should aim to present around 10-12 slides for the pitch itself, together with additional supporting slides covering all elements of your project in more detail;
  • The Committee will want to know about your project’s commercial relevance, so your pitch should focus on your business case;
  • We have a template pitchdeck available which contains suggestions and guidance on the type of content likely to be required;
  • Your final pitchdeck must submitted via your university’s Ceres representative no later than 14 days before the Investment Committee meeting.

Post-award support

After your project is awarded funding, the Ceres Team continues to support you on your journey towards the commercialisation of your technology by facilitating:

  • Project management during the lifetime of the project;
  • Technology development to licensing stage;
  • IP protection and exploitation;
  • Technical feasibility studies and prototype development;
  • Access to mentor networks;
  • Establishment of spin-out companies;
  • Connection to potential onward investment.

Submission deadlines

Draft slidedeck submission Final slidedeck submission Pitch date
Thu 20th Aug 2020 Wed 16th Sep 2020 Wed 30th Sep 2020
Mon 26th Oct 2020 Mon 23rd Nov 2020 Mon 7th Dec 2020

Funded projects

Explore a selection of Ceres funded projects