Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Your chance to join the UK Seafood Fund: Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships scheme

Around £10m of the funding will be allocated to a new Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships scheme

The government has unveiled the first instalment of its £100m UK Seafood Fund, which forms part of its ‘levelling up’ agenda.

Destined for fishing businesses across the UK, £24m would be used to develop technology, trial new gear and support “world-class” research to improve the productivity and long-term sustainability of the fishing industry, Defra said.

Around £10m of the funding would be allocated to a new Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships scheme, which aims to bring together seafood producers and universities or research institutes.

After initial engagement between industry and academia, the scheme will invite bids from 18 October for project funding of up to £300k to gather new data to bolster fisheries science and catching practices, as well as increase knowledge of the benefits and impacts of fish farming.

It is not yet clear how the remaining £14m will be distributed.

The other pillars of the government’s £100m UK Seafood Fund include infrastructure – with specifics to be announced this autumn – and skills and training.

Find out the funding available through the Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships (FISP) scheme and how to give feedback before applications open.

This guide is for people interested in applying for the Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships (FISP) scheme. Eligible applicants are:

  • sole traders engaged in commercial sea fishing 
  • organisations engaged in commercial or recreational sea fishing, aquaculture or processing 
  • universities or research institutes

You can find more information about which people and organisations are included in these categories on the FISP scheme page on BRAVO, Defra’s e-tendering system.

The FISP scheme is part of the UK Seafood Fund.

About the UK Seafood Fund 

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will manage the £100 million UK Seafood Fund to invest in the long term sustainability of the UK fisheries and seafood sector. The funding ends on 5 April 2024.

The fund’s objectives are to:

  • rejuvenate the fisheries and seafood sector 
  • take advantage of the UK’s additional fishing quota 
  • bring economic growth to coastal communities

The UK Seafood Fund is divided between:

  • science and innovation 
  • infrastructure 
  • skills and training

Defra will publish details of funding for infrastructure and skills and training when they are available.

About the FISP scheme

The FISP scheme and the existing Seafood Innovation Fund share the funding allocated to the science and innovation part of the UK Seafood Fund.

Apply for funding

To get funding, you must either bid competitively for a contract or apply for a grant.

Approximately £10 million will be available in contracts of up to £300,000. Grants of up to £20,000 to develop research proposals will also be available.

FISP will collect data to improve and share knowledge of fisheries and aquaculture to support sustainable fisheries management. This will be done through collaboration between the fishing and seafood industry and research institutes.

Applications for the FISP scheme must include a partnership between the UK seafood sector and a research institute.

The FISP scheme will open on 18 October 2021.

Defra will publish more guidance once the fund is open. Before that, you can attend an early engagement event, read the draft scheme documentation, and give feedback about the scheme.

Attend an early engagement event 

Defra is hosting an event on MS Teams at 2:30pm on 22 September 2021 to explain:

  • the scheme objectives 
  • how the funding works 
  • suitable project examples 
  • the application process 
  • funding timelines

You’ll get the opportunity to ask questions before the event using the BRAVO messaging system. Defra will share more information after the event on BRAVO. You’ll need to register on BRAVO to attend.

Register on BRAVO

Go to the BRAVO website.

Select ‘Register now’.

Accept the terms and conditions and select ‘Continue’. Enter your organisation and user details.

Make a note of the username you chose and select ‘Save’.

You’ll receive an email with your unique password, which you should keep secure.

If you need help, email help@bravosolution.co.uk or telephone 0800 368 4850.