Farming Innovation Programme – large R&D partnership projects

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of £8 million for large R&D partnership projects, from the industry-led R&D Partnerships Fund, a part of the Farming Innovation Programme.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £8 million

Opens: 30th Mar 2022

Closes: 29th Jun 2022

! This scheme is closing soon

Overview

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will work with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to invest up to £8 million 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 scope of this competition is to fund industrial research and experimental development projects that will address major on-farm or immediate post farmgate challenges or opportunities.

Your solutions or project outputs must significantly improve:

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

Businesses within a supply chain, are encouraged to come together as a partnership to solve major challenges or opportunities.

Your proposal must be able to demonstrate how the project will:

  • work with end users across the supply chain to identify the major on-farm or immediate post farmgate challenges or opportunities
  • benefit farmers, growers, or foresters in England
  • build understanding of how your approach can best achieve widespread use, developing a theory of change, working with economists, social scientists, and other relevant experts
  • have scalable solutions that can be taken up widely and have widespread impact
  • demonstrate how the project will support a transformative change in the agriculture sector
  • develop and deliver a knowledge exchange (KE) plan that identifies the targets for the solution with a clear dissemination plan
  • exploit the outputs of the project, and expected outcomes in terms of solution adoption, for example, number of end users, area of land, and percentage of production using the new solution

Specific Themes

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

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

Exclusions

Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • are equine specific​
  • involve wild caught fisheries
  • involve aquaculture, including algae and seaweed, for fish production
  • are cellular or acellular production systems, fermentation systems for bacteria, yeast or fungi​
  • are for the production of cannabis for medicinal or pharmaceutical use
  • do not benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England
  • are dependent on export performance
  • are dependent on domestic inputs usage

Eligibility

Your project must:

  • have total costs between £3 million and £5 million
  • start by 1 November 2022
  • end by 31 October 2026
  • last up to 48 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in England
  • have a minimum of 50% of any grant requested by farmers, growers or foresters, allocated to farmers, growers or foresters based in England

To lead a project, your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size,
  • collaborate with other UK registered organisations
  • be or involve at least one grant claiming micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • involve at least one grant claiming academic institution, research and technology organisation (RTO), charity, not-for-profit or public sector organisation

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)

The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding by entering their costs during the application.

Funding Costs

Defra and UKRI’s Transforming Food Production Challenge have allocated up to £8 million 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 industrial research projects, 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

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.