Farming Innovation Programme – feasibility projects

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of £5.5million for feasibility projects, from the industry-led R&D Partnerships Fund, a part of the Farming Innovation Programme.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £5.5 million

Opens: 20th Oct 2021

Closes: 1st Dec 2021

! This scheme is now closed

Overview

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will work with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to invest up to £5.5million in innovation projects.

This funding is part of Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme which is delivered in partnership with UKRI’s Transforming Food Production Challenge.

Scope

The aim of this competition is to fund feasibility studies investigating new solutions that will address major on-farm or immediate post farmgate challenges or opportunities.

Your solutions must significantly improve:

  • productivity
  • sustainability and environmental impact
  • progression towards net zero emissions​
  • resilience

Your project must be able to demonstrate how the project will benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England.

We aim to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets, industry sectors, technological maturities and business size.

Specific Themes

Your project must address a significant industry challenge or opportunity in at least one of the four industry subsectors below:

  • livestock
  • plants
  • novel food production systems
  • bioeconomy and agroforestry

Exclusions

Innovate UK are not funding projects that are:

  • equine-specific​
  • wild caught fisheries
  • aquaculture, including algae and seaweed production​
  • cellular or acellular production systems, fermentation systems for bacteria, yeast or fungi​
  • projects that do not benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England
  • dependent on export performance – for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage – for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:

  • failed to exploit a previously funded project
  • an overdue independent accountant’s report
  • failed to comply with grant terms and conditions

 

Eligibility

If your application is successful, any awards given to primary agricultural producers are subject to the green box exemption under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture.

Please see further guidance on green box subsidies WTO Guidance for support in Agriculture. Applicants receiving this type of support must ensure that there is minimal to no distortion of trade and comply with the requirements of Annex 2 of the Agriculture Agreement

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £200,000 and £500,000
  • start by 1 May 2022
  • end by 30 April 2024
  • last up to 24 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in England
  • have at least 50% of the farmers, growers or foresters involved based in England

To lead a project, your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size,
  • collaborate with other UK organisations

Academic institutions and research organisations cannot lead.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be a UK business of any size or a UK registered:

  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not-for-profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

You cannot use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Funding Costs

Defra and UKRI’s Transforming Food Production Challenge have allocated up to £5.5million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

If the majority of your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

For feasibility studies, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

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