Projects invited for science study pot

Research funding offer for horticulture proposals comes with cash investment requirement to ensure industry relevance.

The horticulture industry is set to benefit from £7m of industry-focused research funding as part of a scheme launched by the Biotechnology & Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC).

The funding will be available for research related to horticulture and potatoes and requires projects that have scientific importance and industry relevance. The BBSRC is asking companies to contribute 10 per cent, of which five per cent must be in cash.

It will now contact organisations that might be interested and is set to hold a workshop on 28 February for interested researchers and companies.

BBSRC business interface programme manager Dr Dan Godfrey, who is leading the programme, said: "We've held a number of discussions with companies about the challenges they are facing and this will form the scope of the funding."

"We will be putting a call out to potential partners. They will have to come to us with a proposal for a project of scientific interest and have at least one company partner. They must contribute five per cent of the cost in cash, while the other five per cent can be in-kind resources."

Application Criteria - Cash element ensures industry bridge

GreenGene managing director Professor Geoff Dixon said the requirement for investment by companies will mean that the research must have an industry focus.

"Previous schemes have allowed investment to be in kind, but this time the research council is looking for the industry to give five per cent in cash towards its proposed scheme, so the criteria should be that the project has some industry relevance."

Dixon added: "A project has to have an underlying stratum of good science.

The council is looking for project applications that are publishable in peer review journals that will cross the bridge between basic science and having an industry focus."

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