Farming Innovation Programme – small R&D partnership projects

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of £11million for Small 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 £11 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 £11million 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 industrial research studies developing 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 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 project must be able to demonstrate how the project will benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England.

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

Eligibility

If you are 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 here 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 £1million and £3million
  • start by 1 June 2022
  • end by 31 May 2025
  • last up to 36 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
  • work with at least one SME

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 and can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

 

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

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

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

Funding Costs

Defra and UKRI’s Transforming Food Production Challenge have allocated up to £11million 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

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