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Priming Food Partnerships

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Priming Food Partnerships Event

BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, ESRC would like to offer you the opportunity to join us for the Priming Food Partnerships Event on the 15th March 2018 in Birmingham (a one day event).

This event will include; updates from the three funded projects (please see Press Release), an opportunity to discuss the logistics of pre-competitive research collaborations between industry and academics, keynote talks including innovative food, nutrition and health research and networking sessions to stimulate new collaborations and new research project development in the food, health and nutrition area through strong multidisciplinary partnerships.

To register your interest to attend the event, please visit: (read our Terms of use: Key Survey)(Please be aware that we have a limited number of spaces at the event.)

Call status: Closed
Previous call: 8 June 2016 – 20 October 2016


In recognition of the fact that the challenges posed will be best addressed by strong multidisciplinary partnerships, this call is supported by BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, ESRC and STFC.


Addressing the serious public health and environmental consequences of modern diets on a global population will require changes to our food system. These changes must be both sustainable and health-promoting: a challenge that requires a deeper understanding of the complex relationships between food nutrition and health alongside recognition for sustainable use of raw materials and energy.

It is unlikely that any single organisation can solve this multifaceted challenge alone. This call has been driven by industry to help meet research challenges faced by the sector and aims to facilitate industry connections with the research base. However, in recognition of the wider societal impacts of the research, we expect a multidisciplinary research community and stakeholders from across the sector to come together to address pre-competitive research challenges and underpin healthy nutrition for us all. This pre-competitive research partnering call will prime collaborations providing a foundation from which our knowledge will be transformed.

The call is an opportunity to foster new partnerships in pre-competitive research between the food industry, the academia community and the wider research base in the public and third sectors to work together on pre-competitive research, with the ultimate aim of stimulating innovative research and technological advances of relevance to the food industry. Players from both large and small organisations within the food sector are invited to work together with academics to design collaborative, pre-competitive research projects. Research will underpin the ultimate aim of improving healthy nutrition for all.

Approximately £1M is available through the call to cover costs to organisations eligible for Research Council funding. Companies will need to cover their own costs and should provide in-kind or cash support to the research as project partners.


  • To foster partnerships in pre-competitive research, across the food chain and between disciplines
  • To stimulate innovative research of relevance to the food industry
  • To provide preliminary research findings to give support to further research investment
  • To increase academic awareness of food industry research challenges
  • To build on (and increase industry awareness of) underpinning scientific capability including new technologies, tools and approaches to aid understanding of food sector challenges

Scientific objectives

Through stimulating collaborative research, the call seeks to link the following research areas:

  • Increasing knowledge of food structures and our understanding of how they can be modified for sustainability and nutritional benefit
  • How modifications might affect humans through social, psychological and biological signals and processes
  • The impact of these two points (above) on parameters such as food choice and preferences, appetite, satiety, reward, and palatability

Collaborative research proposals will be developed during the sandpit between academics from a range of disciplines and industry participants from a range of organisations across the food supply chain. Resulting projects are expected to be:

  • Interfacing – addresses issues that connect research themes
  • Multidisciplinary – incorporates expertise from different disciplines
  • Collaborative – relevant to the entire food and drink sector and across the supply chain
  • Resilient – gives consideration to supply chain sustainability


Both stakeholders and academics are invited to submit an Expression of Interest to participate in the Sandpit and to help develop the resulting research programme. Other interested organisations from across the sector should contact us to discuss before applying.

Standard RCUK eligibility rules will apply to applicants invited to submit a full proposal.

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

All interested applicants should complete the relevant Expression of Interest application form.

Online application forms

In order to participate in this call, academic applicants must be available to attend for the duration of the Sandpit on 19 September 2016, 10am – 21 September 2016, 4pm.

Related calls: collaboration food industry innovation multidisciplinary nutrition partnerships