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UK Seafood Innovation Fund Update – How to apply for research and development funding from the UK Seafood Innovation Fund (SIF) scheme.

The UK government’s Seafood Innovation Fund (SIF) is a £10 million research and development (R&D) fund that launched in July 2019 and has been updated on 1st June 2020.

About the Seafood Innovation Fund

The 3-year programme focuses on:

  • delivering longer term, cutting-edge innovation across the seafood sector
  • helping to take innovative ideas from early stage research to commercial viability

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) is administering the SIF programme on behalf of the UK government.

The programme includes:

  • primary producers
  • onshore supply chains
  • marine and diadromous fisheries
  • marine and land-based aquaculture

The programme excludes:

  • freshwater fishing
  • recreational fishing

Who can apply

This is an open competition. Cefas welcomes applications from all sectors. Your products or services must benefit the sustainability and productivity of the UK seafood industry. Applications for collaborative projects that include both seafood sector organisations and technology businesses are encouraged.


The programme supports the research and development of new innovative ideas. It does not provide backing for existing commercial technology.

To be considered for funding you must:

  • provide an innovative idea or solution relevant to the seafood sector
  • demonstrate long-term sustainability and environmental benefits
  • be from an organisation of any size or type within the EU or UK
  • follow the full submission process correctly

Funding opportunities

The second call for applications is currently open and will close on Friday 26 June 2020 at 12 noon.

The first call for applications for feasibility studies and larger R&D projects opened in July 2019 and closed in early September 2019.

Expression of Interest

You can complete an Expression of Interest form and send it to the Seafood Innovation Fund if you want us to check if your initial project idea is eligible.

The Seafood Innovation Fund will assess your project and aim to provide feedback within 10 working days. A positive response to your Expression of Interest does not guarantee that you will be awarded funding. This will only be determined after your full project application has been through the full assessment process.

You don’t have to do this, if you prefer you can make a full application for funding without initial advice.

How to apply

All applications must be submitted via the Delta procurement portal.

You will need to register as either yourself or your organisation. After registering you can download all relevant documents and guidance to support your application.

Please make sure you read all the documents carefully as they provide essential guidance for your application. Your application will not proceed to the next stage if it is:

  • not completed correctly
  • missing required documentation as stated in the guidance

If your application is declined

If your application to a Seafood Innovation Fund call is unsuccessful, you will receive notification via the Delta procurement portal. You have 28 days after the date of the outcome letter to request a review of the decision stating why you think an appeal is justified. An appeal should only be requested if you think that the decision was based on a factual, legal or processing error. Your request for a review should be sent to Cefas at procure@cefas.co.uk. An independent appeal officer will review the decision, and will notify you of the outcome of your appeal within 6 weeks of receiving it.

If successful, you will be sent notification of the award.

If your appeal is unsuccessful, the appeal decision is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.

Depending on the reason for refusal, you may re-apply with a new application.