What is Ceres?

Ceres has been awarded £4.7 million by Research England to support the commercialisation of research relevant to the agri-tech sector. The project is a partnership between UEA, Cambridge, Lincoln, Hertfordshire and Reading universities, along with the John Innes Centre, NIAB and Rothamsted Research.

What funding is available?

Academics from UEA and the four partner universities are invited to apply for up to £250k in translational funding to turn research with commercial potential into viable solutions for the agricultural industry. Projects may involve collaborations between the partner universities. JIC, NIAB and Rothamsted are eligible collaborators but projects must be led by one of the partner universities.

What types of projects will Ceres fund?

The types of agri-tech projects that might be funded include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing licensable technologies
  • Technical feasibility studies
  • Prototype development
  • Additional work to strengthen a patent position
  • Establishing new spin-out companies

Investment Committee meetings and submission deadlines

Applicants will be invited to pitch their project to the Ceres Investment Committee which consists of a senior member of each partner university and six members from industry. To prepare for the pitch, applicants are expected to submit an initial presentation to the Ceres core team to check that projects are on track for submission; those that are successful will submit their final slidedeck two weeks before the IC meeting. The schedule of pre-submission, final submission and meeting dates is shown in the table below:

Meeting date​

Final slidedeck submission deadline

Pre-submission to Ceres core team by

Mon 9 Sept 2019​

Mon 26 Aug 2019​

Wed 31 Jul 2019

Mon 2 Dec 2019​

Mon 18 Nov 2019​

Wed 23 Oct 2019​

Tue 17 Mar 2020​

Tue 3 Mar 2020​

Wed 5 Feb 2020​

Mon 15 Jun 2020​

Mon 1 Jun 2020​

Wed 6 May 2020​


Application process

All applications from UEA researchers must be submitted via the UEA Ceres Coordinator, Dr Faye Outram in RIN.

If you are interested in applying, please email UEA@ceresagritech.org for more information