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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Further innovation grants coming soon 

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Payments for research and innovation
Bunches of carrots piled on top of each other
Jeremy Keith

This month, we will open another round of the Small R&D Partnership Projects competition and, in September, another round of the Feasibility Studies competition will follow.   

Both competitions, representing a total of over £14 million funding, are designed to encourage collaboration between farmers, growers and foresters with agri-businesses and researchers.  

The funding will help to unlock innovation, boost productivity, sustainability and meet our net zero aims.  

In this post, I’ll give you a brief overview of the competitions.

I'll also include links to guidance, share details of upcoming webinars and include dates to note. 

Small R&D Partnerships Projects 

A share of £9.8 million will be available through this competition.  

This competition is designed to support projects that are further along in their research and development journey than the Feasibility Studies below.  

Grants offered through this competition are designed to help businesses develop a new farming product or service and take it towards commercialisation. It can be used to develop a solution once it works in practice.     

The total cost of the project must be between £1 million and £3 million and last up to 36 months.  

Successful projects in the previous 2 rounds include:  

  • a project monitoring the welfare of dairy cows remotely and without the need for neck collars. Through a standard mounted security camera and AI technology, health and behaviour insights can be fed back to the herd manager.  
  • a project using digital crop management approaches for the early detection of glasshouse pests and diseases, using the latest diagnostic technology and agronomic knowledge.  

Read the Small R&D Partnerships Projects competition guidance. 

Dates to note

14 August: Competition opens 

14 August: Webinar - Q&A and consortium building event  

25 October: Competition closes 

Feasibility Studies 

A share of £4.5 million will be available through this competition.  

For this competition, projects should be at the early stage of their research and development (R&D) journey.  

The grant supports projects through the difficult testing phase to see whether a research idea works in practice and if it is worth further investment.   

The total cost of the project must be between £200,000 and £500,000 and last up to 24 months.  

Successful projects from the previous 2 rounds include:  

  • a project using the waste products from the cherry juicing process to create new foods rich in healthy compounds as well as reducing agricultural waste.    
  • a project investing the integration of on-farm renewable energy and waste management technologies into a novel, circular SMART system that maximises the valorisation of livestock waste and reduces the carbon footprint of production.  

Read the Feasibility Studies competition guidance.  

Dates to note  

18 September: Competition opens  

20 September: Webinar - Q&A and consortium building event  

15 November: Competition closes   

Learn more 

Together with our partner (UK Research and Innovation) UKRI, it will be the third time we’ve run the competitions which are part of the £270 million Farming Innovation Programme.   

In total, £123 million has been announced so far for industry-led research and development through the Farming Innovation Programme.  As highlighted at the UK Farm to Fork Summit, our future food security and farming sector will be more productive and resilient thanks to British science and innovation.

If you have any questions about the Programme, leave a comment below. If you have questions about the competitions, please join one of the webinars linked above.

We'll blog again when the competitions open, so subscribe to the Farming blog. Whenever a post is published, you'll get an email.

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  1. Comment by Kasia posted on

    Is the competition open to startups outside of the UK?


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