• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Investment of up to £10 million to support collaborative R&D projects aimed either at reducing levels of salt, sugar or fat in food, or at increasing dietary fibre. 

  • Programme: Collaborative research and development

  • Award: Up to £10 million

  • Opens: 05 Oct 2015, 00:00

  • Registration closes: 18 Nov 2015, 12:00

  • Closes: 25 Nov 2015, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

Optimising food composition: fat, sugar, salt and fibre


**Please note that the full stage of this competition will now open on 18 January 2016. The deadline will remain the same.**
Innovate UK is to invest up to £10 million in collaborative R&D projects to enhance the nutritional quality of food and drink through the reduction of sugar, salt and fats, and through an increase in dietary fibre.
The aim of this competition is to stimulate the development of new processes and products that lead to the availability of healthier food choices for consumers, and open up new market opportunities for the industry.
Proposals must be collaborative and led by a business, but may include research partners. We expect to fund mainly industrial research projects. Small businesses could receive up to 70% of their eligible project costs, medium-sized businesses 60% and large businesses 50%.
We expect projects to range in size from total costs of £250,000 to £1 million, although we may consider projects outside this range.
This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 5 October 2015. The deadline for expressions of interest is at noon on 25 November 2015.
There will be a webinar briefing for potential applicants on 14 October 2015. Consortium-building workshops organised by the Knowledge Transfer Network are on 15 September 2015 (Birmingham) and 17 September 2015 (Manchester).

Supporting documents & links


We are inviting proposals that have the potential to significantly improve the nutritional composition of food and drink, focusing specifically on one or more of the following high-level challenges:
  • reducing levels of salt
  • reducing levels of sugar
  • reducing levels of saturated fat and/or total fat
  • increasing levels of dietary fibre
Projects must also ensure that:
  • calorific content is improved or not adversely affected
  • any new ingredients are sustainably sourced
  • foods remain appealing or increase their consumer appeal

Out of scope

Similarly, proposals may be deemed out of scope where:
  • the primary focus of the work is human allergens or other nutritional enhancements outside of the competition aims
  • substantial novel ingredient regulatory approval is likely to be required – where this is an expected outcome, applicants should contact us to check the project is eligible for funding
  • approval for a ‘health' claim (as opposed to ‘nutrition' claim) is likely to be required from the European Food Safety Authority

Key dates

Competition opens 5 October 2015
Competition webinar briefing 14 October 2015
Registration deadline noon 18 November 2015
Expressions of interest (EOI) deadline noon 25 November 2015
Stage 2 opens for invited applicants 18 January 2016
Deadline for invited applications noon 10 March 2016