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Follow-on Funding call

Copyright: Thinkstock
Follow-on funding

Call status: Closed
Next call opens: 10 July 2019
Previous call: 23 January 2019 - 13 March 2019


Our Follow-on Funding (FoF) supports the translation of research into practical application, including commercialisation. The aim of the programme is to help researchers maximise the societal and economic benefits of their research. The FoF is a proof-of-concept programme to support bioscience innovation and provide funding where further work on an idea will take it through to a stage at which the route to application is clear, which may include a spin-out, licensing opportunity or the creation of a social enterprise. The programme enables researchers to conduct activities essential to preparing a robust business plan and to secure, where appropriate, further funding and support to progress the project.

The FoF aims to bridge the funding gap between BBSRC-funded research and the point at which other non-BBSRC funding becomes available. By supporting early-stage projects, it also seeks to reduce the risk for future investors. The FoF should not duplicate other sources of public and private funding.

This programme includes:

Pathfinder grants help researchers undertake the preliminary work required to put them in a position to apply for a FoF grant. This work typically focuses on evaluating the market potential for their research and the comparative strength of their intellectual assets and, if the technical feasibility of the project depends on it, the achievement of technical milestone one. For more information please visit our Follow-on Funding Pathfinder call page.

A FoF grant enables researchers who have a sound understanding of the market opportunity for their intellectual assets to execute a defined programme of work of up to two years in length that has clearly defined and complementary technical and business plan development milestones.

BBSRC funding is at 80% of FEC.

Funds can be requested for IP searches - in particular freedom to operate (but not to support patent filing costs).

Pathfinder Follow-on Fund (apply at any time)

  • Projects up to six months in duration
  • Valued at under £25,000 (FEC) (note: average award £12,000 100% FEC).

Standard Follow-on Fund (FOF)

  • Projects 12-24 months in duration
  • Valued at under £250,000 (FEC).

Super Follow-on Fund (SuperFOF)

  • Projects 12-24 months in duration
  • Valued at between £250,000 and £800,000 (FEC).


Standard eligibility criteria apply, as described in section three of our grants guide.

In addition to fulfilling the standard eligibility criteria, the Principal Investigator (PI) must currently or previously have held BBSRC funding with demonstrable relevance to the application.

Follow-On Fund projects must draw substantially on previous research funding by us and fall within our portfolio. Proposed applications are not anticipated to extend research grant funding or to be applied research for commercial partners.

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

Please make your applications to 'BBSRC Follow-on Fund' through the Je-S system.


Status Call 1 Call 2
Call opens 23 January 2019 10 July 2019
Application deadline 13 March 2019 9 October 2019
Panel meeting 11 July 2019 27 February 2020

Committee membership

Professor David Dent (Chair) - Azotic Technologies Ltd
Caroline Woodside BSc (Hons) MSc (Deputy Chair) - University of Glasgow
Dr Andrew Almond - The University of Manchester
Dimitris Charalampopoulos - University of Reading
Professor Anthony Hall - Earlham Institute
Dr Anna Hine - Aston University
Dr Ruth Mokgokong - Pfizer
Dr Edwin Moorhouse - Agri-Food Solutions Ltd
Professor Satya Parida - The Pirbright Institute
Mr Oliver Sexton - Rainbow Seed Fund
Dr Rose Sheridan - Freeline Therapeutics/UCL
Professor Ian Singleton - Edinburgh Napier University
Professor Jessica Teeling - University of Southampton
Dr Amanda Wooding - Cambridge Enterprise
Dr Rattan Yadav - IBERS, Aberystwyth University

Case study: New Heritage Barley Ltd - reviving Victorian barley for modern brewing

Dr Sarah de Vos and Dr Chris Ridout at the John Innes Centre established start-up company New Heritage Barley Ltd to commercialise a heritage variety of barley called Chevallier, last grown in the UK in the 1930s, for beer production.

Copyright: John Innes Centre
Dr Chris Ridout with the Chevallier Barley. Copyright: John Innes Centre.

BBSRC follow-on funding enabled the researchers to scale-up production of Chevallier, which the researches originally grew for a public engagement event from seeds held by the JIC Germplasm Resources Unit, to produce enough for global malt distributors Crisp Malting Group to conduct a trial malting. de Vos then established New Heritage Barley Ltd to commercialise and supply the heritage barley.

In 2015, UK Brewery The Cheshire Brewhouse produced the first commercial beer using Chevallier malt; a pale ale called Govinda ‘Chevallier Edition’.

Chevallier is also resistant to Fusarium, a costly fungal disease of barley. The JIC researchers are working with colleagues in the USA and Canada to develop Fusarium-resistant barley varieties that can be grown on the humid East Coast of America, where Fusarium is a major problem.

Read more: The craft of beer - reviving old barley for modern brewers.

Related calls: commercialisation innovation skills and training