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SBRI: Plant Health Innovations for Biosecurity

General & Misc
Project Size:

Opening & Closing Dates:

  • Opens: Monday 6 November 2023
  • Closes: Wednesday 20 December 2023 at 11:00 am

Description: This Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition, managed by Innovate UK as part of UKRI and supported by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Biotechnology Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC), aims to foster the development of innovative solutions, technologies, or practices that enhance plant health and biosecurity, particularly focusing on regulated pests and diseases.

Funding Type: Procurement

Project Size: Total project costs must range between £20,000 and £150,000, inclusive of VAT.

Project Goals:

  • Accelerate the development of innovative solutions to enhance plant health and biosecurity.
  • Projects can include establishing the feasibility of ideas, demonstrating principles, or developing prototypes.
  • Solutions should qualitatively and quantitatively improve effectiveness or efficiency within plant health and biosecurity.

Focus Areas:

  • Projects should address biological questions or apply bioscience or biotechnology for practical use.
  • Demonstrate development and operational feasibility of innovative technologies or practices.
  • Consider the needs of intended users, including collaboration and co-design with real-world users such as UK horticultural, forestry, agricultural growers, and importers/exporters of plants.

Portfolio Approach:

  • A diverse range of projects across different technologies, costs, organisations, and challenge areas will be funded.

Challenge Areas: Projects must focus on one or more of these challenges related to regulated plant pests and diseases:

  1. Enhancing border inspections of traded plants and commodities.
  1. Improving in-land inspections in nurseries and the environment for pest and pathogen detection.
  1. Utilising passive and scanning surveillance approaches for timely, cost-effective pest and disease detection.
  1. Managing the supply of potentially infected or infested plants pre and post border.

Research Categories:

  • Open to technical feasibility studies and prototype development and evaluation.
  • Projects should engage stakeholders and can include prototyping, demonstrating, piloting, testing, and validation in real-life conditions.


  • Projects that are not original, in scope, or duplicate existing work.
  • Projects lacking significant support from potential users or a clear route to operational use and commercialisation.
  • Projects focused solely on training or those not addressing potential negative outcomes.
  • Proposals already covered by existing commercial agreements.

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