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Research and Development Grant

The aim of the Forestry Innovation Fund (FIF), as part of government’s objective to protect, improve and expand England’s woodlands, is to encourage and broaden innovation in forestry, from woodland planning to manufacture of wood products and use of wood. The Research and Development Grant is funded through FIF and is intended to support forestry-related research and development projects in England.

Research and development projects should target opportunities for significant changes in productivity and in cutting-edge innovations with substantial potential for encouraging growth in any part of the forestry sector. The innovation can be at the global level, i.e. completely novel, or it can innovative to UK forestry by seeking to apply developments elsewhere in the world or from a different sector, such as agriculture. It also may include an element of original research or seek to determine how the results of research already undertaken may be applied in practice.

What funding is available?

Up to six research and development projects will be supported to a maximum grant value of up to £50,000 each. Eligible costs that may be claimed will include:

  • Personnel cost related to researchers, and other supporting staff to the extent employed on the project
  • Costs of equipment for the period of the project. Where such equipment is not used for their full life only the depreciation costs corresponding to the life of the project shall be eligible
  • Costs of contractual research, knowledge and patents bought or licensed from outside sources at arm’s-length conditions, as well as costs of consultancy and equivalent services used exclusively for the project
  • Additional overheads and other operating expenses, including costs of materials, supplies and similar products, incurred directly as a result of the project.

Is my project eligible?

To be eligible for funding the:

  • work must be of direct relevance to forestry in England
  • lead partner must be an England based business or research organisation but may involve partners or collaborators from elsewhere in the UK
  • majority of any project work must be undertaken in England, unless suitable facilities are not available
  • intention shall be to exploit the results in England.

What is the process?

A two stage application process will be followed; expressions of interest followed by full applications from those invited to proceed. The first stage will ensure proposals are eligible and within the scope of the Fund.

You will need to submit an expression of interest form to the scheme administrator at  by 2 March 2018. In this you will provide details of your proposed project, including a summary and some information on what is innovative about the project, and how it fits with the objectives of the scheme.

We will make invitations to submit a full application by 16 March 2018, with a deadline for submission of full applications of 1 June 2018. A full application will contain details about:

  • The need, challenge or opportunity behind your innovation
  • The approach you will take and where the focus of the innovation will be
  • Who is in the project team and what their roles are
  • What the target market looks like
  • The impact that the project might have outside of the project team
  • How the project will be managed effectively
  • The main risks for the project
  • The impact that an injection of public funding would have on the project
  • The cost of the project and how it represents value for money for the project team and for the taxpayer

Full applications must provide project costs, organisational details and funding details for each organisation involved in the project.

Applicants will be notified of their RDG funding decision by 6 July 2018. Projects must be completed by 31 March 2019.

Payments will be made by BACS transfer in two instalments of 50%, following receipt of claim forms. The first claim shall be made on 31 October 2018 (or at the half way point of projects that will not take the full 9 months available), and the second on completion of the project (no later than 31 March 2019). Evidence of eligible expenditure must be provided with claims.

Further Information

Intellectual property shall remain with the grant recipients but the scope of the project and a summary of the outcomes and outputs shall be made publicly available on the Forestry Commission website.

Last updated: 31st January 2018