Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: BBSRC Follow-on Fund

The BBSRC Follow-on Fund (FoF) is designed to support the translation of fundamental research into practical application, including commercialisation. We want to ensure that innovation arising from BBSRC-funded research has the best opportunity to create positive impacts for society.

The FoF has two funding rounds per year.
Partners involved:
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

The scope and what we're doing

Our FoF is designed to support the translation of fundamental research funded by BBSRC into practical application, including 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 opportunity of creating a positive economic and social impact now and in the future.

The FoF is a single award. You can request between £100,000 to £800,000 full economic cost (FEC). BBSRC provides 80% of the FEC.

Funding is for up to two years (24 months).

Projects considered through this programme must have a direct link to current or previous BBSRC-supported funding.

Applications are assessed by an independent committee or panel. Details of committee members can be found in the ‘Governance, management and panels’ section.

Standard BBSRC eligibility rules apply. See the BBSRC guidance for applicants.

Why we're doing it

FoF aims to fill that gap and support proof-of-concept work to a point where the route to application, including commercialisation, is clear.

FoF supports activity that will enable translation of previous BBSRC-funded research. For example, it might be used to scale up a process to demonstrate viability at industrial scale or to develop a prototype. At the end of the project, a route to application should be clear. This could include development of a spin-out company, social enterprise or a licensing agreement.

A FoF grant enables researchers who have a sound understanding of the market opportunity for their intellectual assets to execute a defined programme, which has clear complementary technical and business plan development milestones.


BBSRC FoF specifically aims to:

  • increase and accelerate the uptake and practical application of past bioscience research outputs to deliver benefit and impact
  • enable researchers to further develop their understanding of potential routes to impact, including identifying opportunities and markets, and engaging directly with key stakeholders, customers, enablers and users
  • support translation activities, including collaborative projects with industry, the third sector and other users
  • enable researchers to develop their enterprise and entrepreneurial skills and capabilities

Past projects, outcomes and impact

Who to contact

Ask a question about this area of investment

BBSRC FoF team


Governance, management and panels

Committee membership

  • Dr Amanda Wooding (Chair), Cambridge Enterprise
  • Dr Erica Bickerton, The Pirbright Institute
  • Dr Neil Dixon, The University of Manchester
  • Dr Eric Ober, National Institute of Agricultural Botany
  • Professor Olena Doran, University of The West of England, Bristol
  • Dr Richard Auburn, Oxford University Innovation
  • Dr Jen Vanderhoven, FREY Consulting
  • Dr Hugo Campos, International Potato Center
  • Professor Christopher Baker, Rothamsted Research
  • Dr Catherine Breslin, University of Strathclyde
  • Dr Jonathan Clarke, John Innes Centre
  • Professor Julian Gough, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
  • Dr John Heap, University of Nottingham
  • Dr Steve Kendrew, GSK
  • Dr Geraint Lewis, Newcastle University
  • Miss Siân Ringrose, AquaBioTech
  • Dr Liliya Serazetdinova, Earlham Institute
  • Professor Jo Slater-Jefferies, University of Southampton, National Biofilms Innovation Centre
  • Mr Hassan Mahmudal, UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund, Future Planet Capital
  • Dr Amin Asfor, University of Surrey
  • Dr Siti Hajar Masri, Exscientia
  • Professor Derek Stewart, The James Hutton Institute

Last updated: 26 March 2024

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