Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Follow-on Funding

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.

The programme

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.

Please note, BBSRC does not provide funds to support patent filing costs.

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 peer reviewed 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

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


Status 2020 Call 2 2021 Call 1 2021 Call 2
Call opens 5 August 2020 27 January 2021 4 August 2021
Application deadline 7 October 2020 17 March 2021 6 October 2021
Panel meeting 24 February 2021 24 June 2021 17 February 2022

Committee membership

  • Dr Anna Hine (Chair) – Aston University
  • Dr Amanda Wooding (Deputy Chair) – Cambridge Enterprise
  • Dr Caroline Barelle – Elasmogen Ltd
  • Dr Erica Bickerton – The Pirbright Institute
  • Professor Giles Budge – Newcastle University
  • Dr Neil Dixon – The University of Manchester
  • Professor Anthony Hall – Earlham Institute
  • Mr Pablo Lubroth – Hummingbird VC
  • Professor Helen Maddock – Coventry University
  • Dr Ruth Mokgokong – Pfizer
  • Dr Edwin Moorhouse – Agri-Food Solutions Ltd
  • Dr Eric Ober – National Institute of Agricultural Botany
  • Dr Nina Sweet – Waste and Resources Action Programme
  • Mr Oliver Sexton – UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund
  • Professor Jessica Teeling – University of Southampton

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.

Chris Ridout with the Chevallier Barley.

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.


David Hendry


Telephone: 01793 411937

Supporting documents

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