£750k gluten-free research fund available to food firms

Businesses and researchers only have until 3 September to apply for the fund from Coeliac UK, the UK charity for people who need to live gluten-free, and Innovate UK, the Government’s innovation agency.

Applications for a share of the funding are to be made through three priority themes – digital self-care tools, healthcare diagnostics and better gluten-free food production. Grants will range up to £250,000.

Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK said a number of interested parties had already been in contact, and more applications were encouraged.

‘A fantastic opportunity’

She said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses and researchers to develop competitive advantages, which will be of benefit to a badly underserved patient group. We are delighted to be working with Innovate UK to promote more innovation in these areas.”

Kathryn Miller, Innovation Lead for Food and Nutrition at Innovate UK, said: “This is a new partnership for Innovate UK, working with high profile third-sector organisations such as Coeliac UK, so it’s great to see good levels of interest in this competition.

“I would encourage others who may be thinking of applying not to miss out on such an exciting opportunity.”

Earlier this year, Coeliac UK launched a research fund and accompanying fundraising appeal, aiming to raise £5m to change the future for people with coeliac disease and gluten-related autoimmune conditions.

£500k from Innovate UK

The Fund has already received an injection of £500k from Innovate UK, which in addition to £250k from the charity, will support the new research competition.

Together with match funding from industry, total spend on new research for a growing global market will be nearer £1m.

Visit the Coeliac UK website​​ for more information and details of each of the three themes.

One in 100 people in the UK have coeliac disease, according to Coeliac UK.

Meanwhile, in May, ingredients firm Newly Weds Foods opened a 2,700m2​ factory​​ in Banbury, Oxfordshire, dedicated to gluten-free production.