Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council 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.

Duration:
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.

BBSRC currently supports two types of award through the FoF programme.

Standard BBSRC eligibility rules apply. See the BBSRC research grants guide for details.

Standard FoF awards

These are to enable researchers to execute a defined programme of work up to two years in length that has clearly defined objectives. Researchers must have a sound understanding of the market opportunity of their intellectual assets.

Applications for standard FoFs are assessed by an independent panel.

Funding for up to two years:

  • minimum £76,000
  • maximum £250,000 (full economic cost).

Super FoF awards

These are similar to standard awards but differ in that they are seeking a higher level of requested funding investment from BBSRC.

Prior to the panel stage, super FoFs are also reviewed by experts with relevant experience, some of whom may be peers, to provide further assurance.

Sufficient and appropriate reviewers will be sourced to fairly assess each application. Applicants for super FoFs will not be asked to nominate reviewers.

Funding for up to two years:

  • minimum £251,000
  • maximum £800,000 (full economic cost).

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 clearly defined and complementary technical and business plan development milestones.

Aims

BBSRC FoFs (whether standard or super FoFs) specifically aim 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.

Opportunities, support and resources available

Funding opportunities

BBSRC follow-on funding
BBSRC follow-on fund and super follow-on fund

2022 to 2023 funding opportunity dates

2022 round one

Opening date: 26 January 2022
Closing date: 16 March 2022
Panel meeting: 20 July 2022

2022 round two

Opening date: 10 August 2022
Closing date: 5 October 2022
Panel meeting: 1 March 2023

News

BBSRC announces funding awards for four new biology projects

Past projects, outcomes and impact

Who to contact

Governance, management and panels

Committee membership

Professor Anna Hine (Chair), Aston University

Dr Amanda Wooding (Deputy Chair), Cambridge Enterprise

Dr Richard Auburn, Oxford University Innovation

Dr Caroline Barelle, Elasmogen Ltd

Dr Erica Bickerton, The Pirbright Institute

Professor Giles Budge, Newcastle University

Dr Hugo Campos, International Potato Center

Dr Neil Dixon, The University of Manchester

Professor Olena Doran, University of the West of England

Professor Helen Maddock, Coventry University

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

Dr Jen Vanderhoven, University of the Highlands and Islands

Last updated: 17 October 2022

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