UQ offers up-to-$30,000 kickstart for new food creations

4 Mar 2022

Food ideaResearch collaboration opportunities and grants of up to $30,000 are on offer to Australian agri-food entrepreneurs, thanks to a new grant program from The University of Queensland.

The Industry Kickstarter Grant program, led by UQ’s newly formed Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, aims to connect researchers with industry to commercialise new food products, reach new markets and secure further investment.

Alliance Director Professor Melissa Fitzgerald said the program will transform simple ideas into sustainable production methods, helping create delicious new commercially viable foods.

“Our Industry Kickstarter Grant program enables businesses to put together their launchpad for food innovation success,” Professor Fitzgerald said.

“If you’re a food entrepreneur who’s been wanting to get a new idea to market – now’s the time – we want to collaborate.

“UQ has the funding and expertise ready to go, we’re really a food producer’s best friend.

“And UQ has a strong history of fostering food inventions – from probiotic-rich juices, to 3D-printed chocolate, to native Australian sweets.”

The funding and support provides agri-food businesses a runway to develop a proof-of-concept, solve key industrial or agricultural problems, pull preliminary data on a product idea, or gain greater data to pursue a larger grant.

“And we’ll be linking grant recipients to other grant opportunities, so these businesses can truly leverage the strides they’ll be making,” Professor Fitzgerald said.

Grants are available for businesses to collaborate with UQ in one of three areas: primary production, advanced food and beverage manufacturing and supply chains.

Funding will be awarded in the range of $10,000 - $30,000 for a 12-month grant, and a contribution from industry is required – either a minimum 25 per cent cash contribution or agreement to host a student over the 12-month period of the grant.

Professor Fitzgerald said the Alliance will be looking favourably on applications where a student is involved.

“Having young, enthusiastic researchers and undergrad students involved is not only good for the students’ professional development, but great for industry,” she said.

“Our students bring fresh ideas and approaches, helping explore untapped markets with real research insights.

“We’re thrilled to be investing in the development of a whole host of new collaborative creations along with job-ready graduates.

“Let’s bring your next food idea to market – connect with UQ’s Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, and find out how we can help you grow your business.”

Applications for the Industry Kickstarter Grant program are now open via the Agri-Food Innovation Alliance website or contact surfadmin@uq.edu.au for more information.

Applications for the grant program close on 4 April 2022. Expressions of interests for further collaboration with UQ can be made until 9 March 2022. Announcements for successful collaborations and funding will be made on 7 May 2022.

Media: Professor Melissa Fitzgerald, m.fitzgerald2@uq.edu.au, +61 (0)417 279 760; Dominic Jarvis, dominic.jarvis@uq.edu.au, +61 (0)413 334 924.