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.  

Winners announced - the first cohort of the programme has been announced. 

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. 

The Application Process - Applications are now closed

Applications were sought from entrepreneurs, start-ups 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. 

Applications were 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 were required 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 show commitment to the accelerated commercialisation of their technology, with anticipated time to market < 5 years. 

Applications closed on 11 April 2018 at 12.00 midnight GMT. 

Webinar recording


Webinar screenshot
JMAPP Webinar recording, 16 March 2018

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?

On selection, 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. You will be reimbursed for all additional costs (see below).

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

None. Johnson Matthey recognises that time away from the day job is hugely precious, and is therefore willing to fund participants transport (including flights) and time for the duration of the programme.

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

Companies will be very welcome to base themselves at the University for the duration of their support, but this is not an obligation. Desk space will made available at our CUBIC business incubator on campus. However 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?

All 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, and with whom they wish to develop a collaborative relationship. 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. 

All IP brought into the JMAPP will remain the property of the individual or company bringing it. The ownership of any IP generated during the programme will be discussed on a case by case basis between the individual/company, Cranfield University and Johnson Matthey depending on the involvement/input from each of the parties.

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. If you feel that it is necessary to share confidential information at this stage, then please contact us to discuss requirements for an NDA.

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.