Farmers, growers and foresters in England will soon be able to apply for a share of £850,000 for ideas that improve productivity, sustainability, resilience and move the agricultural sector to net zero.
Opening on 18 December, the Research Starter competition offers an entry point to the innovation process for those with bold, ambitious, early-stage ideas.
We published guidance for the competition today to help you prepare. It provides information on how to apply, the scope of the competition and eligibility.
As with previous competitions, Innovate UK KTN will host a webinar briefing and consortia building event.
In this post, I’ll share a summary of the competition and include links for you to learn more.
The Research Starter competition
The aims of this competition are to:
- investigate early-stage solutions with the potential to substantially improve overall productivity, sustainability, resilience and move existing agricultural sectors to net zero
- prioritise solutions that have positive outputs for farmers, growers or foresters in commercially relevant situations
- accelerate development of effective new agricultural solutions by working with end-users and collaborating with the wider UK research community in the innovation process
Innovation in this space would benefit both you and the wider farming and growing community and these small projects might lead to big impacts.
We welcome applications from English farming, growing and forestry businesses for projects to investigate their original “on farm” ideas.
The funding will enable academic, research organisation or tech businesses to join the project team and support research and development of the idea. Projects must be led by, and show, benefit for English farmers growers and foresters.
Successful projects from previous rounds of this competition include:
- plans for a digital infrastructure to support analysis and decision making in vineyards
- an ‘Ultra Low Emission Sheep’ project looking at DNA markers and genetics for rearing sheep breeds with lower methane emissions
- slug resistant wheat applying potato scanning technology to apples to inform yield intelligence.
- an automated cubicle cleaner
We look forward to adding more projects to this innovative group.
Dates to note
- 4 December – competition text available
- 12 December – webinar briefing event for potential applicants. Register to attend
- 18 December – competition opens
- 14 February 2024 – competition closes