Call for Proposals for £10m Bioeconomy Growth Fund

FUNDING of up to £10m is available from our Bioeconomy Growth Fund to grow our area’s businesses.

The Bioeconomy Growth Fund is being made available to the sector which provides a low carbon, renewable alternative to our fossil fuel based economy. The sector covers everything from forestry, agriculture, horticulture, food, drinks, and water utilities to name just a few. According to our estimates, in Yorkshire the sector already generates £8.7 billion GVA and employs 105,000 people.

With the area’s historical strengths in agriculture and food plus our excellent research organisations, it is well placed to become a global leader in the bioeconomy. The fund is intended to provide industry with the financial support needed to build innovative commercial infrastructure for the growth of bioeconomy supply chains. For example, building a network of bio-hydrogen fuelling stations across Yorkshire to fuel 4,000 fleet vehicles.

The Local Enterprise Partnership Chairman Barry Dodd, CBE, said:

“The bioeconomy affects everybody but not everyone realises it. This is about looking to the future and creating a long term solution to our global food and energy problems using renewable resources. Our area has the foundations to lead the world in this sector, and we are looking forward to receiving some exciting and highly commercial proposals for this fund.”

To be eligible for the funding, the proposals must be for capital projects with a minimum value of £1,000,000. Match funding will need to be provided by the applicants.

Proposals must deliver infrastructure which enhances local bioeconomy capacity, supply chains or clusters; or commercial innovations which boost the area’s reputation, stimulate cluster effects and/or lead to the development of related supply chains.

Proposals must also deliver benefits, such as jobs in the LEP’s area and be completed by March 2021. Applications are open to the public and private sectors and need to be industry-led, with evidence of demand.

With their industry insight, the newly appointed Bioeconomy Task Group will advise the LEP Board on the commerciality of proposals. Final decisions will be taken by the LEP Board via a competitive process.

The application process is operated in two-stages, with an initial expression of interest for the first round to be sent in by 8th October 2016. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a full application by 20th February 2017. Depending on the funds available after the first round an additional round may take place starting on 1st December 2016.

Here is more information about the application process and the Expression of Interest form that needs to be completed.