Devon Net Zero Innovation Fund

Applications are now closed

The Devon Net Zero Innovation fund is in place to enable collaborations between Devon enterprises and University of Plymouth academic researchers. The aim is to help Devon enterprises to develop new products or services for the low carbon sector, with funding of up to £7,500 per enterprise.

Key information

  • Deadline – 31 March 2022 (12.00 midday)
  • Timescale – the collaborative project must be completed by 30 November 2022
  • Budget – up to £7,500 will be allocated per collaboration. The majority of which will be used to employ a research fellow/associate lecturer.
  • Applications – please email all inquiries and applications to, clearly entitled “DNZIF” and company name/academic name.

Key dates:

The call will open on Monday 31 January 2022, with a closing date of 31 March 2022. Scoring of applications will take place in April 2022 and upon approval, partnerships will have 6 months to deliver their project.

Who can apply?

  • Applications will need to be led by an eligible Devon enterprise – in partnership with a University of Plymouth academic(s). We can help you to find the relevant expertise – please get in touch with plenty of time ahead of an application so we can make introductions to relevant researchers.
  • Existing or new collaborations are welcomed.

Objectives of the Devon Net Zero Innovation Fund

This fund is designed to encourage new industries to emerge and to boost investment in the development of low carbon products and services:

  • to enable Devon enterprises to address key low carbon challenges and opportunities through new product/service development
  • to enable at least 10 eligible Devon enterprises to develop new, commercially viable products/services for the low carbon economy
  • to enable Devon enterprises to collaborate with University of Plymouth academic researcher expertise that falls outside of the Low Carbon Devon Industrial Research Fellow (IRF) expertise (i.e. Green Walls, Power Electronics, Energy Efficiency in Buildings (Occupant Behaviour) and Creative Industries)
  • to support diversification of technology from one industrial sector to another to support low carbon ambitions.

Call to action

  • Now – register your interest in this funding opportunity and raise any queries directly with the project team at
  • Read the attached guidance notes for further information.

More information

The Devon Net Zero Innovation Fund is a research and innovation opportunity funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), delivered through the Low Carbon Devon project at the University of Plymouth. The aim is to bring Devon enterprises together with University of Plymouth academics to collaborate to accelerate the development of new products or services in the low carbon sector, or other sectors, leading to a reduction in carbon emissions.

The opportunity aligns with the UK Government’s Build Back Better strategy as the UK shifts towards a net-zero carbon future; recognising that working towards net-zero is a major opportunity for economic growth and job creation across the UK and particularly in Devon with its rich natural capital and innovative technologies.

Case studies

Making use of waste

The Low Carbon Devon project is proud to be helping Devon business Bell & Loxton Innovations Ltd to develop new uses for agricultural and food processing by-products. By connecting them with expertise within the University of Plymouth we are supporting them in the development of nutritional and therapeutic products from these abundant waste products, thereby reducing carbon emissions and revolutionising the agri-food circular economy.
Bell & Loxton is a family business run from a working farm and food-oil manufacturer in South Devon. Through their circular-economy spin-out company they applied for the Devon Net Zero Innovation Fund and are now benefitting from the expertise of Dr Vikram Sharma and the University’s Proteomics Core Laboratory to analyse compositions for different end uses. The original ingredients come from waste products from farmers’ normal crop rotations and aim to be developed into high value bio-renewables that have widespread applications across the nutrition, personal care and pharma sectors. 


Vikram Sharma


Dr Vikram Sharma


Innovative packaging solutions

The Low Carbon Devon project has started an exciting project with Devon business Prestige Packaging to understand how they can become a carbon-neutral supplier of environmentally sensitive packaging products. 
Following their application to the Devon Net Zero Innovation Fund, we have linked the company with expertise within the University to assist with identifying new market opportunities and designing innovative and disruptive packaging solutions.
Prestige Packaging has been supplying print and packaging for over 25 years from their factory in Plympton, Devon. They are already finding ways to minimise their environmental impact by sourcing boxboard from FSC® certified wood products and polyester films that are 100% recyclable. 
In 2020, they were awarded the President's Special Award for Pandemic Service from the Royal Academy of Engineering for their development of a recyclable face shield, in collaboration with the University of Plymouth’s Dr Anthony Robotham.

Mike Corran, Managing Director of Prestige
Packaging, with&nbsp;Dr Antony Robotham (Credit:&nbsp;Jude Palmer/Royal Academy of Engineering)<br></p>

This new collaboration will combine the expertise of Dr Anthony Robotham, Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering, with Research Assistants working in the fields of the Circular Economy and Marketing. Masters Design students will also help with the later design stages of the project.