Share this page:
Other services (opens in new window)
Sets a cookie

£15M research and development competition to focus on sustainable protein production

3 February 2011

The Technology Strategy Board – in partnership with Defra, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Scottish Government – is launching a collaborative research and development competition with up to £15M available to invest in projects focusing on the challenge of Sustainable Protein Production. 

The initiative is open to all UK-based companies and research organisations, either through business-to-business or science-to-business collaborations.  Project proposals, which must be business-led, should focus on either or both of the following areas:

  • Increasing  the domestic supply of sustainably produced vegetable protein for feeding farmed animals (including land and marine based aquaculture), and
  • Increasing the efficiency of production and sustainability of domestically supplied animal and fish protein for food and reducing waste in the food chain to the point of retail sale.

Project proposals could include, but are not limited to, innovative solutions addressing one or more of the areas listed below.  The Technology Strategy Board will be seeking a balanced portfolio of proposals.

  • Plant breeding & genetic improvement of existing and novel feed protein sources
  • Novel  sources of protein for farmed animals and fish
  • Crop production, storage & processing to improve usable protein yield, including co-product utilisation  and reduced wastage
  • Increasing the efficiency of protein production (meat & milk) from grassland and forage based systems, with particular reference to reducing net environmental impac
  • Animal genetics, digestion and gut function, reproduction and fertility
  • Animal nutrition, feeds, feed additives, feed processing and improved feeding management
  • Rumen microbiology and function
  • Animal health and welfare & disease management
  • Novel and innovative animal production systems, including feeding, housing and waste management
  • Animal performance monitoring & data capture
  • Supply chain integration & enabling technologies & strategies to optimise commercial yield of animal protein and reduce waste
  • Environmental management technologies that support efficient livestock production and processing of livestock products

As part of the competition process a series of one day consortium building workshops will take place, on 11, 15 and 17 February.  These will provide a networking forum for potential participants to facilitate the development of project ideas. 

The partners in this competition for collaborative research and development programme – the Technology Strategy Board, Defra, BBSRC and the Scottish Government – are also partners in the Global Food Security programme.


About the Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its role is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

For more information please visit

Companies and other organisations seeking further information about their research and development funding opportunities should visit the competitions page,  email  or phone the Competitions Helpline on 0300 321 4357.

Media  enquiries only should be addressed to the Technology Strategy Board’s media relations office (see external contacts below).


BBSRC is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £470M in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life in the UK and beyond and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders, including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

BBSRC provides institute strategic research grants to the following:

  • The Babraham Institute
  • Institute for Animal Health
  • Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Studies (Aberystwyth University)
  • Institute of Food Research
  • John Innes Centre
  • The Genome Analysis Centre
  • The Roslin Institute (University of Edinburgh)
  • Rothamsted Research

The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research.For more information visit:

About Global Food Security

Global Food Security is a multi-agency programme bringing together the research interests of the Research Councils, Executive Agencies and Government Departments.

Partner and sponsor organisations are:

  • Research Councils UK – comprising:
    • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
    • Economic and Social Research Council
    • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
    • Medical Research Council
    • Natural Environment Research Council
  • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Department for International Development
  • Food Standards Agency
  • Government Office for Science
  • Scottish Government
  • Technology Strategy Board

For more information about the food security challenge and Global Food Security visit:


External contact:

  • Nick Sheppard, Media Relations Consultant, Technology Strategy Board office
    mob: 07824 599644
  • Claire Cunningham, Media Relations Manager, Technology Strategy Board office
    tel: 01793 442901
    mob: 07554 115745