Applications now open - deadline 11 April 2018

The Johnson Matthey Agritech Partnership Programme (JMAPP) in association with Cranfield University is a pilot programme offering businesses the opportunity to receive a package of intensive support (technical and commercial) to accelerate the market translation of high impact innovations for the Agritech sector. There is just a short window for applications to the programme – closing on 11 April 2018 – so we invite you to apply without delay.

What’s on Offer?

Johnson Matthey is a global leader in science, committed to delivering world-leading solutions for clean air and improved health, while making the most efficient use of our planet's natural resources.

Among the many industry verticals in which it operates, the company has long worked within the agricultural sector; in particular, helping the manufacture of fertilisers and pesticides through its world-leading catalytic science. Now, the company is investing in ways to utilise its broader expertise – in everything from formulations and coatings to advanced manufacturing techniques – to help develop new opportunities and address critical market challenges in the sector. 

Cranfield has been selected as Johnson Matthey's partner of choice, building on our heritage and successful track record of working with industry in the market translation of new technologies, and our ability to integrate technical and business know-how via our internationally recognised School of Management. 

Johnson Matthey is looking to fund a small number of intensive innovation support projects that address key barriers facing individuals or companies in validating their product (technical and/or commercial). An initial support package (valued in the region of £50k) is available for each of the successful candidates over a period of three months, managed and delivered by Cranfield University. As a programme participant, you’ll benefit from:

  • Access to our world class technical facilities and expertise in Environment and Agrifood at Cranfield, including access to the new UK Government Agritech facilities based at the University, Agri-Epi and CHAP.
  • Business know-how and thought leadership from Cranfield School of Management including a programmed series of seminars, masterclasses and investor networking opportunities via the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship.
  • A Johnson Matthey mentor who will work alongside you, providing further technical and commercial expertise, and giving you an access point to the wider capabilities from across the company.
  • Rent-free office space, onsite parking and free WiFi.

In addition, reasonable out of pocket expenses will be paid to the successful applicants. 

Johnson Matthey see the pilot programme as the start of a journey, building a working relationship with this cohort of companies and with a view to taking a longer-term view on the potential for further investment. 

Who Should Apply?

Applications are invited from any entrepreneur, start-up or businesses with an innovation in the priority segments of: Chemical Pesticides; Seed treatments; and Soil Enhancements. Two lower priority segments will also be considered: Biological Pesticides and Crop Enhancements. 

Applicants are welcome from any geography (including outside of the UK). However it should be understood that the technical and management support services will be provided by Cranfield University. Applicants are not required to be present at Cranfield during delivery of the support. However, office space will be available to all successful applicants for the duration of the project. In addition, some elements of the programme may be delivered virtually via the Cranfield Media Centre. 

Your technology may be at any level of maturity BUT some evidence of technical feasibility must be provided, e.g. lab scale test results, computer modelling outputs, etc.

Applicants should be able to define a key technical or commercial barrier and outline a brief scope of work for a project to address this, using the facilities and services available at Cranfield University.

Applicants must be committed to the accelerated commercialisation of their technology, with anticipated time to market < 5 years. 

The Application Process (see right panel for overview)

Please complete the application form and return it by 11 April 2018

  • Support is available from Cranfield University in the development of your application and completion of the application form. Please contact us to discuss your needs.  
  • Applications may be submitted at any time and early applications are encouraged. 
  • Shortlisted applicants may be required to attend an interview in person or via webex on 27 April 2018 where they will be asked to present a couple of slides on each of the following:
    i) Describe your technology and explain why it is novel and potentially disruptive.
    ii) What market need is it addressing and how does it provide value to the customer?
    iii) What is the potential market value over the next 5 years and how will you realise this?
    iv) What is your Vision for your business - what will it look like in 5 years time?

Companies may also be asked to respond to a couple of additional questions by way of clarification. The interview will last between 30 and 40 minutes in total. We ask all applicants to 'save the date' as they will be will be notified on 24 April.

Submit application 

Please see the frequently asked questions below for more details.

Q&A Webinar

The JMAPP team will be hosting a webinar on 16 March to introduce the programme, and to respond to Q&As regarding the application process. Please register to attend

Frequently asked questions

Browse the questions and answers below or ask a question

Can I submit my application before the deadline?

Yes, please submit your application as soon as you are comfortable, via the link above. All applicants will be advised of the outcome on the 24 April. Shortlisted companies may be invited to attend a brief interview (no more than 45 mins) in person or by Webex on Friday 27 April so you are asked to save the date in advance. These companies will be advised on the 24 April and provided with a short list of questions to be addressed during the interview.

I am not sure if my company is eligible. How can I check?

Eligibility criteria are listed above but are relatively flexible. The key criteria is that you have an innovation in one of our target areas and are able to demonstrate that it meets a real market need. If you have any questions, please contact us.

How can I make sure that the project I propose is appropriate?

We are looking for projects that address a specific and significant challenge that your business is facing, and which can be delivered within a timetable of 8-10 weeks. We recognise that this is ‘short and sharp’, and not all projects may be realistically completed within this time frame. Therefore you are encouraged to consider what can be achieved, whilst still providing value to your business. This can relate to technical, market, team or commercial barriers. Please contact us if you would like more information or would like to discuss further.

Will I receive any funding directly?

No, we will agree a bespoke scope of work and milestones relating to your proposed project on the assumption that these services will be delivered on your behalf by Cranfield University and/or Johnson Matthey. Johnson Matthey will pay Cranfield University directly for delivery of these services. 

What costs have to be incurred by me or my company?

If your company is selected as an participant, your travel and subsistence will be funded by Johnson Matthey. Any costs over and above that will have to be incurred by the company. 

Will I have to be located at Cranfield University for the duration of the project?

No. Companies will be very welcome to base themselves at the University for the duration but this is not an obligation. Desk space will made available at our CUBIC business incubator on campus. Some elements of support and feedback may be provided remotely/virtually, as appropriate, to the need of individual projects. 

Will I be able to use the facilities myself?

No, technical activities will be undertaken on your behalf by our fully trained and insured academics and technical support staff. However, you will liaise closely with the team throughout the project. 

Will there be any contractual obligations on my part for participation in the programme?

Johnson Matthey is funding this programme with the objective of identifying exciting and disruptive technologies with good market potential. On acceptance onto the programme they will enter into discussions with each successful company once the scope of individual projects have been agreed, on a case by case basis. 

What happens at the end of the project?

You will be provided with a report summarising the outcomes of your project and support from Cranfield and Johnson Matthey in identifying appropriate next steps for commercialisation. This may include the opportunity for further joint development work, or signposting to relevant third parties, as appropriate. 

Will the information in my application be treated as confidential?

Please submit only non-confidential information in the application form, which will be reviewed by Johnson Matthey and Cranfield University staff alone. Once the top three companies have been selected, further information can be discussed on a case-by-case basis and that will be treated as confidential.

Can I submit multiple applications with different ideas?

Yes you can submit multiple applications and ideas. However, only one idea/application per team will be selected.