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Growing Kent & Medway

Growing Kent and Medway

at University of Kent

The University of Kent is proud to be part of the Growing Kent & Medway consortium! Come to us for more information about the latest GKM grants to businesses in the food and drink industry; and for help trialling and enhancing your products in our BioTech Hub.

A range of different grants, offering £10k to 0.5m, are available for businesses and research organisations to apply for.  Get in touch with us to find out more about how to develop an application for funding (see the latest grant application details in the GKM Grant Page link to the RHS of this page).

A number of new specialist product research facilities are being developed for GKM. At Kent, we have The BioTech Hub, which provides businesses with opportunities to trial new research to enhance their products and services. If you are a business in the Food and Drink industry, whether you specialise in growing fruits, making wine, adding value to raw goods, packaging, machinery or something else…we would love to hear from you!

The first round of grant funding ended on 20th October 2021, and the next grant round is anticipated in Spring 2022.

GKM on YouTube

Watch our video summary to find out more about Growing Kent & Medway

The first Growing Kent and Medway symposium was held on the 20th October to showcase current research and facilities at the GKM BioTech Hub at the University of Kent.  (Event details below) Come back soon to see the highlights from the event!


The newly appointed industry research fellows will showcase their current research. Dr. Andrew Simkin will discuss his lab group’s work; manipulating photosynthetic pathways to boost crop yields and detail his expertise in improving the flavour and metabolite content of fruits and vegetables. Dr. Helen Cockerton will give a seminar about her lab group’s work investigating fungal diseases of horticultural crops, and present her work identifying important genetic alleles in octoploid strawberry. Furthermore, Dr Lorraine Fisher will give an overview of the relationship between postharvest crop responses and sustainable packaging. 


A series of talks will help you to gain an understanding of how your research can benefit from the advanced facilities present within the division. Ian Brown will detail the capabilities of the microscope suite, including examples of how confocal microscopy can be used to generate 3D images of living specimens. He will then detail the potential of electron microscopy in order to investigate the detailed structure of samples, ranging in size from living tissues through to macromolecular compounds. Kevin Howland will discuss the biomolecular facility, he will detail how he is able to separate out the molecules present in a sample through chromatography and then confirm the identity of individual components of a sample through mass spectrometry. Finally, Gary Thompson will detail how his nuclear magnetic resonance facility is able to determine the molecular structure of a material or compound. 

Growing Kent and Medway has grants available ranging from £10 – £500K for research, innovation and development projects seeking to improve productivity and sustainability in the food and drink sector. This and future symposia will assist the generation of ideas and help to forge collaborations between academics, partner research institutes and the industry. This event is key to accessing this new funding stream and will help you to determine how your work translates into the horticultural, food and drinks industry.