Research fund opens to advance gluten-free food production

Research fund opens to advance gluten-free food production
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A new £750,000 fund has been launched with applications now open to businesses and researchers working within gluten-free food production as well as coeliac disease diagnostics and self-care.

The fund had been launched by the charity Coeliac UK along with the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

Researchers and businesses can apply for a share of the funding through three priority themes – healthcare diagnostics, digital self-care tools and better gluten free food production – with the grants ranging from £50k to £250k.

Earlier in the year, Coeliac UK launched a research fund and accompanying fundraising appeal with the aim of raising £5 million to change the future for people with coeliac disease and gluten related autoimmune conditions.

The Fund has already received an injection of £500,000 from Innovate UK which, in addition to £250,000 from the charity, will support this new research competition. Together with match funding from industry total spend on new research for a growing global market will be nearer £1 million.

Calum Murray, head of agriculture and food at Innovate UK, said: “By funding great new ideas which will help diagnose and care for people with coeliac disease and by encouraging tasty new developments in gluten-free food, this competition promises to make a real difference.

“Not just for those living with coeliac disease but it will help fuel innovation in our food and health sectors – crucial components of the government’s industrial strategy.

“This competition  is a first for Innovate UK in how we have teamed up with the leading charity Coeliac UK to boost the funding available for fantastic new proposals from industry and academia.”

One of the three key themes for applications is enhanced quality of gluten-free foods. This can included, for example, novel ingredients; new methods of preservation and improved shelf life, among others.