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Different types of vegetables in grocer's crates

Pump Priming Opportunities

Academic applicants are invited to bid for pump priming funds. Notionally between £500 to £10K per application is expected, to support The University of Manchester activities. Larger bids may be covered, under exceptional circumstances, if matched by equivalent sums from other N8 partners or industry.

Proposals may be submitted at any time and will be assessed by a panel comprised of Business Engagement and Knowledge Exchange Personel, N8 Chairs and Researchers.

We now have a deadline of Thursday 6th September 2018 for, what we anticipate as, our last round of funding. Please do make sure you get your applications ready in time for this final opportunity. 

To be eligible, proposals must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be collaborative with at least one or more of the N8 partner Universities and preferably with another external organisation. For help finding collaborators in N8 institutions or externally, please contact
  • Pump priming funds are available from the other N8 institutions and these should be applied for as match funding where possible.
  • Demonstrate that the inter-institution and interdisciplinary partnering will deliver significant and sustainable benefits / impact beyond what could be achieved by each of the partners alone.
  • Provide a defined route, with timescales, as to how the funding will lead on to one or more specific and significantly larger funding opportunities, alongside the N8 partner institutions. These may include H2020 Calls, Innovate-UK / Agri-Tech Catalyst Competitions, themed RC-UK Calls (eg Global Food Resilience), Newton Awards, direct Industry or Foundation funding.
  • Contribute to the N8 AgriFood strategy by addressing one or more of the N8 AgriFood themes.

Proposals that show novel usage of resources and assets within partner N8 institutions are particularly welcome, as are those that demonstrate how the N8 partners may exploit the national Agri-Tech Innovation Centres.

Proposals that address the following key research questions will also be particularly encouraged:

  • Balancing production with environmental and social sustainability, UK and international
  • Challenging inequalities in the food system (production, supply chain and consumption), UK and international
  • How would we redesign the north of England food system?
  • What would a food and agricultural system look like post Brexit domestically and internationally?

We also have a small amount of funding available to help out with workshops that may lead to pump priming applications. These are typically for <£500 and can help out with catering/travel expenses etc. If you would like to find out more about this, please contact  

Proposal Themes

Application forms can be found in the proposal themes accordions below. Applications should be submitted to:

It is expected that your proposal will address one or more of the following areas:

Academic Outreach

Academic outreach aims to connect academic researchers with industry, agriculture, NGOs, the third sector, governments, non-N8 universities, producer groups, levy boards, etc., to explore and develop opportunities for further, funded collaboration.

This may include organising or attending events, sharing access to facilities and expertise, writing policy and position papers and developing materials for the website. There may be opportunities for academic placements within industry and other stakeholders to ensure long-term transfer of skills and knowledge and a two-way exchange of ideas. Expenditure relating to this may include covering for colleagues on placement.

Workshops may form part of the academic outreach strategy including policy papers and briefings, workshops, sandpits and other events to engage key influencers and provide two-way discussion forums between researchers and policymakers.

Nb. Manchester Museum are happy to facilitate/enable outreach activities. Please contact Henry McGhie for further information.

Project Resources and Seed Corn Funding

These funds will be to provide financial support to either develop high-quality, large, complex research proposals that will bring in future funding to assure the programme’s financial sustainability or to stimulate the development of new projects and collaborations to investigate an aspect of agri-food. Eligible expenditure may also include development activities for well-networked collaborative researchers.