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18 September 2023

Sustainable Food Challenge Opens for Applications

A sustainable food challenge, searching for innovative solutions that could increase the sustainable production of locally grown food in the Cardiff Capital Region has opened for applications.

The Challenge, which is a partnership between the Cardiff Capital Region Challenge Fund, Cardiff Council, Monmouthshire County Council, Welsh Government, and the SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) Centre of Excellence aims to find businesses and other organisations with ideas focussed on one of the following areas:

  • Challenge 1 – Approaches to encourage and enhance knowledge within schools of the health benefits of sourcing from local food supply chains.
  • Challenge 2 – Dynamic integrated trading tools that optimise the supply and distribution of local food supplies.
  • Challenge 3 – Maximising renewable energy generation and local utilisation from farm (and growing) assets whilst maintaining agricultural yields.
  • Challenge 4 – Innovative farming practices to reduce carbon emissions and increase yield.

The challenge will be run in two phases. Phase one will be a ‘demonstrator’ phase where up to £800,000 per project will be available for successful organisations to enable them to show that their idea works and is feasible. Applicants are encouraged to consider projects at a range of delivery options and budgets up to this maximum figure.

Phase two will be a ‘scale-up’ phase, where the strongest ideas can access up to £1 million per project. This additional funding will be used to show that their solutions can successfully be operated at a significant scale.

Interested organisations can now sign up for an online briefing event, HERE

And learn more about how the challenge works, and what is required, HERE

Gareth Browning, Head of Challenges for the Cardiff Capital Region commented,

“I’m delighted to be working with our Local Authority partners, Welsh Government and the SBRI Centre of Excellence on this exciting mission towards a thriving sustainable food industry in Wales.  The Challenge offers a superb opportunity for local businesses to win lucrative innovation scaling contracts“

Cardiff Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Equality, Cllr Julie Sangani, said:

“Access to locally grown, healthy and affordable food is vital for tackling diet-related illness, the cost-of-living crisis, climate change and biodiversity loss.

“This new challenge is a great opportunity for local organisations, with the ideas and the ability to do things differently, to help the region tackle some of the key challenges facing our communities today.”

Monmouthshire County Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for a Sustainable Economy, Cllr Paul Griffiths, said:

“This project presents a really exciting opportunity for innovative farmers and other organisations in the food sector to come forward with projects that will ensure a supply of locally grown, sustainable food for generations to come.

“As the cost-of-living crisis continues to impact families, food security is becoming more and more important. We therefore need to grasp every opportunity to facilitate a transition to a food system that can provide affordable and healthy food at the same time as reducing negative environmental impacts”.

Applications to the challenge close at 10am on October 9th 2023.

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