Interested in funding? Go to the Follow-on Funding call page (in Funding section).
Our Follow-on Fund scheme is designed to support the translation of fundamental research funded by the Council into practical application, including commercialisation.
From idea to commercialisation
We invest in excellent fundamental bioscience research, making the UK a world leader in this field. We want to ensure that innovation arising from BBSRC-funded research has the best possible opportunity of creating a positive economic and social impact now and in the future.
It is hard work taking your idea to a position where it can gain support from funders like Innovate UK or even private investors. Follow-on Funding aims to fill that gap and support proof-of-concept work to a point where the route to application, including commercialisation, is clear.
Follow-on Funding supports activity that will enable commercialisation or other application from a BBSRC-funded project. For example, it might be used to develop research output from a BBSRC-funded project into a prototype; to obtain business advice; or to secure intellectual property rights. At the end of the project, a route to application should be clear – this could include development of a spin-out company or a licensing agreement.
A Follow-On Grant enables researchers who have a sound understanding of the market opportunity for their intellectual assets to execute a defined programme that has clearly defined and complementary technical and business plan development milestones.
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.
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.