Funding competition African agriculture knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2020 to 2021, round 5

UK registered higher or further education institutions, RTOs or Catapults can apply for a share of up to £2 million to help fund an innovation project with another knowledge base and a business partner registered in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya or South Africa

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Competition sections

Description

The African agriculture strand of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme supports a partnership between:

  • a UK registered higher education or further education institution, research and technology organisation (RTO) or Catapult (which we will refer to as the ‘UK knowledge base partner’)
  • an African business or not-for-profit organisation (which we will refer to collectively as the ‘business partner’)
  • a knowledge base in Africa (which we will refer to as the ‘African knowledge base partner’)

The business partner and African knowledge base partner must both be based in the same one of the following countries: Republic of Ghana, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Republic of Kenya or Republic of South Africa.

The partnership brings new skills and the latest academic thinking into the business partner to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project. The knowledge base partner will recruit 1 or 2 graduates (known as ‘associates’) to work on the project.

In this round Innovate UK is investing up to £2 million towards the funding of projects.

Each application must be led by a UK registered knowledge base, working with an African business partner and African knowledge base. If you are from a knowledge base that has not yet developed a project, get started by reading the KTP guidance.

If you are from a African business, read the guidance then contact the Knowledge Transfer Network or a knowledge base.

By applying for this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. The competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated. It takes time to prepare an application. If yours will not be ready before the close date, please apply to a later round.

Funding type

Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)

Project size

We will consider partially funding project costs of any amount if we judge the costs to be appropriate. Typically projects cost no more than £125,000 per year.

Who can apply

This award is provided on a non-aid basis. This means the knowledge base partner must publish or make openly available, on a non-selective basis, all project outputs. If the business partner decides to commercially exploit the project outputs, it can only do so with no selective advantage.

Innovate UK is unable to award grant funding to organisations meeting the condition known as undertakings in difficulty (UiD). However, as per the amendment on 2 July 2020 to the General Block Exemption regulation, we will provide funding to organisations that can prove they were not a UiD on the date of 31 December 2019 but became a UiD between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2021. We will ask for evidence of this.

Each African agriculture KTP is a partnership between the following:

  • a UK knowledge base, which will be the lead organisation and submit the application
  • an African knowledge base and business partner, both in one of the following countries: Republic of Ghana, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Republic of Kenya or Republic of South Africa

Typically projects last 24 months, depending on the project requirements.

KTP does not support projects with public sector organisations.

UK knowledge base partner

Each application must be created by a UK knowledge base, with the help of a knowledge transfer adviser.

The UK knowledge base must lead the project and must:

  • be a UK registered higher education (HE) or further education (FE) institution, RTO or Catapult
  • invite one business or not-for-profit organisation from Republic of Ghana, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Republic of Kenya or Republic of South Africa to join the application and collaborate with them on the development of the project
  • invite one African knowledge base from the same African country to join the application and collaborate with them on the development of the project
  • invite one knowledge transfer adviser to join the application
  • not act in any way to gain selective commercial or economic advantage from the outputs of the project
  • allow associates to carry out the majority of the project at the business partner’s premises
  • make sure the application is completed and submitted before the competition closes

The knowledge base partner cannot work alone.

African business partner

Business partners can work with knowledge bases of their choice, one from the UK and one from their own country. We encourage business partners to approach knowledge bases directly.

To collaborate with the knowledge bases, the business partner must:

  • be a business, of any size, or a not-for-profit organisation registered in Republic of Ghana, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Republic of Kenya or Republic of South Africa
  • have more than 2 employees
  • demonstrate its ability to support the project
  • be invited by the UK knowledge base and complete its parts of the application
  • provide business finance information for the past 3 years

The definition KTP uses for ‘not-for-profit organisation’ includes social enterprises and charities.

We use the term ‘business partner’ for both businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are not allowed in this competition.

Funding

We will consider partially funding project costs of any amount if we judge the costs to be appropriate. Typically, projects cost about £125,000 per year.

Find out which project costs are eligible for funding.

Contribution from Innovate UK

Innovate UK has allocated up to £2 million in this round of the African agriculture KTP programme, which will contribute towards the total costs of the individual projects.

Funding for African agriculture KTP comes through Innovate UK from the UK Global Challenge Research Fund.

Contribution from the business partner

The business partner must fund the time spent on the project by their own staff and other non-eligible costs such as the purchase of capital equipment.

State aid

This competition provides funding that is classed as ‘non-aid’. The business partner should seek independent legal advice on what this means for it, before applying.

Non-aid is only granted to organisations which declare that they will not use the funding:

It is important to note that it is the activity the business partner intends to perform in the project which is assessed as eligible for non-aid, and not the business as an entity.

Application rules

Multiple applications

Each knowledge base can collaborate on any number of applications.

Each African business partner (including separate businesses with a business group) can take part in up to 4 KTP funded projects at any one time. Additional applications may be allowed at the discretion of the programme manager. You must provide justification by email to support@innovateuk.ukri.org at least 20 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request.

Previously submitted applications

You cannot use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

We will not award you funding if you have:

  • failed to exploit a previously funded project
  • failed to comply with grant terms and conditions

Your project

Your project must align with the scope of the ‘Agri-tech catalyst round 9: agriculture and food systems innovation, late stage’ competition.

Your application must be for a specific, strategic innovation project that tackles one or more challenges faced by the business partner. It can be any kind of project but it must show:

  • that it helps the business with a real need
  • how it fits the strategic aims of the business partner
  • there is a genuine market opportunity and route to market
  • how the knowledge gained will be embedded within the business partner
  • the commercial impact for the business partner, and any wider impacts
  • that you have a clear understanding of what qualifications, skills, attributes and experience the associate will need

The UK knowledge base, African knowledge base and the business partner must sign the KTP joint commitment statement.

You must deliver an exploitation plan during your project. Your initial exploitation plan is part of your application.

Projects we will not fund

We are not funding:

  • projects which are classed as state aid
  • undertakings which gain a selective economic or commercial advantage from the funding
  • research projects
  • projects that are not strategic for the business partner
  • projects that work with public sector organisations
  • projects that do not demonstrate a genuine market opportunity

We are also not funding projects with the following themes:

  • forestry or ornamentals
  • wild-capture fisheries
  • equine
  • crops for energy production

2 November 2020
Competition opens
27 January 2021 11:00am
Competition closes
25 March 2021
Funders panel
15 April 2021
Applicants notified

Before you start

You must read the guidance for KTP applicants before you apply.

The assessors will score your overall application holistically. They will score on:

  • impact
  • challenge
  • innovation
  • cohesiveness

They will score each of these 4 areas out of 10 marks (for a maximum total of 40 marks). They will also take into account the financial viability of the overall project. You will not be funded if you have failed to meet all the eligibility rules.

What we ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions.
  3. Finances.

1. Project details

This section provides background for the assessors and is not scored.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

Please complete the EDI survey and then select yes in the application question. We collect and report on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) data to address under-representation in business innovation and ensure equality, diversity and inclusion across all our activities.

The survey will ask you questions on your gender, age, ethnicity and disability status. You will always have the option to ‘prefer not to say’ if you do not feel comfortable sharing this information.

Public description

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

If your application is successful, Innovate UK will make use of this public description to comply with government requirements. Summarise the project goals. Please ensure it is suitable for public disclosure. We reserve the right to amend the description before publication if necessary but will consult you about any changes.

Scope

Describe how your project fits the scope of the competition.

To show how your project aligns with the scope of this competition, you need to:

  • read the competition brief in full
  • understand the background, challenge and scope of the competition

Your application must be for a specific, strategic innovation project that tackles one or more challenges faced by the business partner. It can be any kind of project but it must show:

  • that it helps the business with a real need
  • how it fits the strategic aims of the business partner
  • there is a genuine market opportunity and route to market
  • how the knowledge gained will be embedded within the business partner
  • the commercial impact for the business partner, and any wider impacts
  • that you have a clear understanding of what qualifications, skills, attributes and experience the associate will need

If your project is not in scope it will not be eligible for funding.

Once you have submitted your application, you should not change this section unless:

  • we ask you to provide more information
  • we ask you to make it clearer

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long.

2. Application questions

Specialist knowledge transfer advisers are available to help you with your application. Contact the Knowledge Transfer Network for more information about African agriculture KTPs.

You must not name an associate in your application or include any website addresses (URLs) in your answers.

Question 1. Number of associates

How many associates do you need to support this project?

You can have 1 or 2.

Question 2. Business partner type

Select from the following:

  • limited company
  • limited liability partnership (LLP)
  • not for profit
  • partnership
  • public limited company
  • sole trader
  • unlimited company
  • other

Question 3. Business partner size

Give the size of the business partner’s organisation. If the business partner is part of a group give the size of the overall group.

Select from the following:

  • micro
  • small
  • medium
  • large

We use the EU size definitions.

Question 4. Business area

What area does the business partner work in? Clearly state its revenue generating activities.

If the business partner is not yet generating revenues please provide details of their funding sources. If part of a business group, please also indicate the broader business activities undertaken by the group.

Your answer can be up to 800 words long.

Question 5. Business partner address

Provide the full registered address of the business partner including:

  • town or city
  • county
  • postcode
  • country

Question 6. Where will the associates be based?

Will the associates be based at the business partner’s address provided in question 5? If not, provide the full address for each associate, including:

  • town or city
  • county
  • postcode
  • country

Question 7. Business partner SIC code

Enter the business partner’s Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code.

Question 8. Senior business employee

Provide details of the senior employee at the business partner who is committing its resources and finances to the project or projects.

Give their:

  • title
  • first name
  • surname
  • job title
  • email address
  • phone number

The individual named must:

  • demonstrate the business partner or its group’s commitment to the partnership
  • provide evidence of the authority received to commit its resources to support the delivery of the projects

Your answer can be up to 800 words long.

Question 9.Business partner supervisor

Which business partner employee will supervise the associate on each of the projects? If there is more than 1 business partner supervisor please give the details of each person and indicate which is the lead. Include evidence that they are the right person to supervise the associate Give their:

  • title
  • first name
  • surname
  • job title
  • email address
  • phone number

Question 10. UK knowledge base supervisor

Which knowledge base partner employee for the UK knowledge base will give the associate academic supervision on this project? If there is more than 1 UK knowledge base supervisor please give the details of each person and indicate which is the lead. Give their:

  • title
  • first name
  • surname
  • job title
  • email address
  • phone number

Question 11. African knowledge base supervisor

Which knowledge base partner employee for the African knowledge base will give the associate academic supervision on this project? If there is more than 1 African knowledge base supervisor please give the details of each person and indicate which is the lead. Give their:

  • title
  • first name
  • surname
  • job title
  • email address
  • phone number

Question 12. UK knowledge base supervisor’s background

For the UK knowledge base supervisor describe how their research interests and experience are relevant to the project.

Your answer can be up to 500 words long.

Question 13. African knowledge base supervisor’s background

For the African knowledge base supervisor describe how their research interests and experience are relevant to the project.

Your answer can be up 500 words long.

Question 14. UK knowledge base lead

Who will be the knowledge base lead for the UK? The knowledge base lead is a senior academic on the project.

Give their:

  • title
  • first name
  • surname
  • job title
  • email address
  • phone number

Question 15. African knowledge base lead

Who will be the African knowledge base lead? The knowledge base lead is a senior academic on the project.

Give their:

  • title
  • first name
  • surname
  • job title
  • email address
  • phone number

Question 16. UK knowledge base lead’s background

How are the UK knowledge base lead’s research interests and experience relevant to the project?

Provide evidence why they are the right person for the role.

Your answer can be up to 500 words long.

Question 17. African knowledge base lead’s background

How are the African knowledge base lead’s research interests and experience relevant to the project?

Provide evidence why they are the right person for the role.

Your answer can be up to 500 words long.

Question 18. Associate arrangements

How will the associate or associates be supervised?

Associate supervision is critical to the success of any partnership. We expect the majority of the project to take place at the address you have given in question 2. Each associate should be supervised by the African knowledge base supervisor for at least half a day each week or one day a fortnight (excluding travelling time).

If the associate spends any time at the African knowledge base, the business partner supervisor must make a similar commitment.

You must ask your knowledge transfer adviser what level of supervision is appropriate for your partnership.

Your answer can be up to 800 words long.

Question 19. Partnership administrator

Who will be the partnership administrator at the UK knowledge base? The partnership administrator is the main person we will contact at the knowledge base partner to ask questions about this application or partnership.

Give their:

  • title
  • first name
  • surname
  • organisation
  • job title
  • email address
  • phone number
  • town or city
  • county
  • postcode

Question 20. Person responsible for submitting claims

Provide details of the person responsible for submitting claims on behalf of the UK knowledge base partner.

Give their:

  • title
  • first name
  • surname
  • organisation
  • job title
  • email address
  • phone number

Question 21. Strategic aims

Explain how this project fits with the strategic aims of the business partner.

Explain:

  • why this project is important to the business partner
  • the business vision that this partnership addresses
  • how this partnership will make a significant difference to this business partner

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long.

Question 22.Missing knowledge

What knowledge or expertise does the business partner currently lack that it will need to carry out this project?

What knowledge, technology or skills does the business partner need from the knowledge base partner?

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long.

Question 23.Use of knowledge

How will the knowledge and expertise transferred during the project be embedded and exploited within the business partner?

Demonstrate how the knowledge and expertise will stay in the business beyond the lifetime of the project, and how it will continue to boost the business's success.

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long.

Question 24.Reason for partnership

Why is an academic and business partnership the most appropriate approach for this activity?

Explain why the KTP structure and funding is necessary to achieve the desired outcomes. Explain why this could not be delivered 'off the shelf' or through consultancy.

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long.

Question 25.Business partner’s challenges

What challenges does the business partner have that will be addressed through the partnership?

Explain why the solution moves the business partner, or one of the business partner’s products, forward in such a way that it challenges current or accepted practice in the business partner or sector.

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long.

Question 26.Associate’s challenge

What makes this a challenging project for the associate?

Explain what the associate will focus on, for example:

  • stakeholder management
  • converting academic theory into commercial practice
  • data acquisition
  • setting up test environments or labs

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long.

Question 27. UK knowledge base partner’s challenges

What challenges does the UK knowledge base partner have that will be addressed through the partnership? What additional benefits and outcomes will the partnership bring to the UK knowledge base partner?

Outline what challenge this offers the academic team, and why they want to undertake this project.

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long.

Question 28. African knowledge base partner’s challenges

What challenges does the African knowledge base partner have that will be addressed through the partnership? What additional benefits and outcomes will the partnership bring to the African knowledge base partner?

Outline what challenge this offers the academic team, and why they want to undertake this project.

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long.

Question 29. Market opportunity

What market opportunity will this project open up?

Specify the target markets, their relative size or value and the market share you are expecting to achieve. State the business partner's current position in these markets and the main competitors, and if possible, the impact COVID-19 has had on businesses or sectors that are a focus of your project.

Your answer can be up to 1,500 words long.

Question 30. Route to market

What is your route to market, particularly if COVID-19 is likely to change market dynamics?

What is your strategy to achieve the market share indicated above?

Your answer can be up to 1,500 words long.

Question 31. Commercial impacts

Quantify the likely commercial impacts of the project using our template.

Download the commercial impacts template, complete it and upload it.

Select ‘Yes’ to confirm you have uploaded the completed template.

Question 32. Rationale behind likely impacts

What rationale did you use to generate the likely impacts of the project?

Explain how you calculated the net profit before tax figures in your commercial impacts template in question 31, including any assumptions you based the numbers on.

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long.

Question 33. Additional business actions and investments

What additional business actions and investments will be needed for you to achieve the business case, beyond those needed to deliver the work plan?

This partnership will be part of the journey to full exploitation. What does the business partner have to do, over and above what is required to deliver the KTP, to realise the business case? Where an investment is required, please quantify it

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long.

Question 34. Additional benefits

What additional benefits will be delivered from the project, such as the number of new and safeguarded jobs, or any wider societal and environmental benefits?

Indicate and justify any other benefits that this project will deliver that may help your case for support.

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long.

Question 35. How will the business be able to afford the project

If the business accounts show any of the following, provide details below as to how the business will be able to afford the project. If necessary, you can upload separate attachments as supporting documents in questions 41 and 42.

  • declining turnover
  • low net profit pre-tax
  • negative liquidity
  • high debt or equity
  • growth in long term loans

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long

Question 36. Work plan

How will you manage the project effectively?

Use our work plan template to detail the project phases and milestones, including benefits realisation phase and the exploitation phase.

You must complete and upload a workplan for this project

Download the work plan template, complete it and upload your work plan. Select ‘Yes’ to confirm you have uploaded the completed template.

Question 37. Associate

In order to deliver your project successfully, what are you looking for from your associates?

Briefly describe the:

  • qualifications
  • skills
  • attributes
  • experience

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long.

Question 38. LMC members

Who will be on the local management committee (LMC)?

List the members, giving each one’s name and job title.

The LMC is the formal project meeting. It should be chaired by the senior business employee. As a minimum it should also include the:

  • knowledge base supervisor
  • business supervisor
  • knowledge base lead
  • knowledge transfer adviser

Once recruited the associate must also attend the meeting.

Secretariat must be provided by the knowledge base partner.

Make sure each member you nominate understands their individual role and its responsibilities, and is aware of the commitment required to take part in a KTP.

Your answer can be up 500 words long.

Question 39. Joint commitment statement

The knowledge base partners and business partner must declare a commitment to work together on the project by completing our joint commitment statement template.

You must complete and upload a joint commitment statement for this project

Download the joint commitment statement (JCS) template, complete it and upload it as a PDF. Select ‘Yes’ to confirm you have uploaded the completed template.

Question 40. Full economic costing certificate

Does your knowledge base use the full economic costing (fEC) approach? Select ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

If you are using full economic costing, you must upload your fEC certificate as an appendix to this question. It must be a PDF with a file size of up to 10MB. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Your certificate must be valid on the date of the competition funder’s panel, listed in the competition guidance. A certificate is valid for 12 months from the date it was audited and approved.

Your certificate must:

  • confirm that your proposed KTP finances only include costs that are authorised to be recovered and that have been audited
  • list those costs in the certificate, with clear subheadings
  • have the certificate signed by your finance manager or an appropriately authorised member of the finance staff
  • confirm you will charge your business partner in full for its contribution to any project expenditure, and that the sums charged match your application

Will your certificate be valid on the date of the funders panel? Yes or No

Question 41. Supporting documents 1

You can use this question to upload up to 3 other supporting documents, such as in support of the business partner’s finance position. They must be in PDF format with a file size up to 10MB. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Select ‘Yes’ if you have uploaded the document and ‘No’ if you have not.

Question 42. Supporting documents 2

You can use this question to upload up to 3 other supporting documents, such as in support of the business partner’s finance position. They must be in PDF format with a file size up to 10MB. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Select ‘Yes’ if you have uploaded the document and ‘No’ if you have not.

Question 43. Declaration of accuracy

You must agree to the following declaration. Select ‘Yes’ if you agree. If you select ‘No’ your application will be rejected.

The partnership confirms that the proposal meets the overarching criteria for KTP and, to the best of their knowledge, the information provided in this grant application form is accurate and complete.

Question 44. Declaration of knowledge transfer adviser approval

You must agree to the following declaration. Select ‘Yes’ if you agree. If you select ‘No’ your application will be rejected.

The partnership confirms that the knowledge transfer adviser has reviewed and approved this proposal for submission into this competition.

3. Finances

The UK knowledge base partner must give the funding requested, broken down into all the individual costs for the project and the associate.

The African business partner must give:

  • details of its finances over the past 3 financial years
  • details of any funding applied for elsewhere

For full details on what costs you can claim, see the KTP project costs guidance.

Background and further information

If you are successful

The partnership will have 9 months to jointly recruit an associate and start the project from the date the grant offer letter (GOL) is issued.

Knowledge transfer advisers

A knowledge transfer adviser must support your application. The knowledge base partner must invite a knowledger transfer adviser to join the project. Find and contact your local knowledger transfer adviser.

Your knowledge transfer adviser will:

  • help you plan the project
  • identify benefits
  • review proposals before submission
  • support and monitor the project
  • mentor and coach the associate
  • help you connect with the Knowledge Transfer Network

Help with applying

If you need more information about how to apply email Innovate UK at support@innovateuk.ukri.org or call 0300 321 4357.

Our phone lines are open from 9am to 11:30am and 2pm to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

About the Knowledge Transfer Partnership

To find out more about KTP, read the KTP guidance.

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