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Myriad Associates Wins Over £200K for a Ground-Breaking Poultry Project

The Myriad Associates grant team have done it again. They’ve won over £200,000 worth of funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of their UK-Canada competition.

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


4 minute read

What did they do? Who’s the funding for? What’s the project? How did they win?

Read on to find out...

What is the UKRI UK-Canada competition & how does it work?

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) joined forces with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to fund seven agri-tech projects that were delivered by UK and Canadian consortiums.

The seven winning projects and UK-Canadian consortiums had to prove how they could deliver new agricultural techniques to help both the UK and Canada meet their net zero-emission targets and improve husbandry practices in animal welfare.

Although sustainability and animal welfare were the core focus, the competition was also designed to drive key collaborations between the UK and Canadian companies, boost SME growth in both countries and develop new, international market opportunities.

UKRI’s UK-Canada competition is an important initiative that helps UK businesses create strong international networks, access expertise and develop international market opportunities” – Katrina Hayter, director for the Transforming Food Production programme, UKRI

International collaboration is key to SME growth and these collaborative partnerships provide accelerated access to new markets and global value chains, positioning Canadian businesses to compete globally.” – Mitch Davies, President of NRC

Who & what did Myriad Associates win UKRI funding for?

Feed usage accounts for ~78% of poultry farming greenhouse-gas emissions. To address this, the Myriad Associates grant team worked with Lincoln-based Arden Biotech and Toronto-based TrustBIX Inc to land a winning spot in the UKRI competition. Together, they secured £247,846 to fund a groundbreaking agri-tech project designed to enhance sustainable poultry production in the UK and Canada.

What was the winning project?

The poultry sector suffers from a financially crippling and debilitating feed disease called clostridium perfringens (CP). CP is a bacterium that infects the chickens that are bred for human consumption. Currently, the only way to get rid of CP is to pump the chickens full of gut-rotting antibiotics.
And, guess what happens to the antibiotics consumed by the chickens that we then go onto eat?

Exactly, they get passed onto us.

Arden Biotech, with funding from Innovate UK, have already developed a natural probiotic feed supplement that vaccinates chickens against CP and doesn’t affect us. This new probiotic is tackling CP in the UK, but there is a Canadian strain of CP that Arden Biotech now needs to develop a probiotic supplement for.

This is where the funding from the UKRI comes in.

Together with TrustBIX, Arden Biotech will develop a new probiotic formula designed to protect the Canadian poultry market from CP. TrustBIX will supply Arden Biotech with the bacteria they need to cultivate this bacteriophage cocktail and, once it’s ready, will test it within a carefully controlled environment. While Arden Biotech is developing the CP formula, TrustBix will adapt existing livestock traceability platforms to the poultry sector and look for where efficiencies can be made in the poultry supply chain and the journey from farm to fork.

An interesting and innovative project, but the UKRI competition was inundated with applicants. As one out of only seven project winners, how did Myriad Associates manage to win the funding?

How did Myriad Associates help Arden Biotech and TrustBIX win this funding?

I sat down with Dr Rehman Rafiq, the lead grant writer on the UKRI competition application, to find out why he thinks we won over £200,000 of UKRI funding.

I believe there are three reasons we won the UKRI UK-Canada competition:

1. The positioning of the project. UKRI was looking for a specific type of project that improved sustainability and also animal welfare. We positioned this project, with its natural probiotic supplement and enhanced traceability platform, to fit the competition brief perfectly.

2. Our experience with UKRI. I’ve submitted grant applications to the UKRI for over 10 years now, so I know exactly what they’re looking for in an application. They want quantification and precise detail with no vague statements. They respect a bottom-up approach to the budget, and they also appreciate value for money. I know that UKRI wants to fund as many projects as possible, so a sensible approach to the amount of funding we requested was essential.

3. Our general approach to the application. Many grant writers like to gather information from the client and then hole themselves up to write the application in isolation, without discussing details or progress with clients.
That’s not how we do things at Myriad Associates. We believe in working closely with clients, the entire way through the grant application process because we like to make sure that we’ve captured every detail of the project.

With the UKRI proposal, we started with a project summary that described the problem, solution and roles of each person involved with the project. We then worked together to create a Gantt chart that mapped out specific activities, timings, and resource requirements. During every step of the process, both Arden Biotech and TrustBIX knew exactly what I was doing and what to expect. Working like this allowed us to form a natural but incredibly beneficial working relationship which enabled me to position the project perfectly and submit a winning proposal.

And, the CEO of Arden Biotech, Chris Stanford, agrees with Rehman: 

Myriad Associates has been instrumental in helping us secure grant funding for our groundbreaking bacteriophage technology. The Myriad team went to great lengths to develop an excellent understanding of the intricate details of our technology and business plans helping enormously to produce powerful and ultimately successful arguments in favour of grant funding for our innovative projects.

How Myriad Associates can help you secure innovative grant funding

Rehman is one of five technical R&D grant writers at Myriad Associates. The grant team is known for its success with writing and submitting winning grant proposals to fund innovative projects. Take a look at some of our most recent grant application wins over in Ireland as an example.

To find out how the Myriad Associates grant team could secure grant funding for your next innovative project, visit the website, give us a call on 0207 118 6045 or drop us a message here.

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