Farming Futures: Automation and Robotics

Event Details


10.00 - 15.30



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These events are for innovators who want to apply for funding to work on collaborative R&D projects around automation and robotics. Projects should benefit farmers or growers in England.

Project ideas should aim to transform farming productivity, environmental sustainability and resilience, whilst moving the sector towards net zero.

About the funding

The competition will fund projects with ambitious solutions for robotics and automation in agriculture and horticulture to:

  • Support specific recommendations for automation innovation funding from the recent Government Food Strategy.
  • Address key issues affecting the sector, where automation and robotics can mitigate labour challenges and increase productivity.

The funding is for:

  • Businesses of any size
  • Academic institutions & research and technology organisations (RTOs)
  • Farmers and growers
  • Charities and not for profits
  • Public sector organisations

You will need to collaborate with at least one other organisation to apply for this funding. All partner organisations need to be UK registered and a business must be leading the application for funding.

There is a total of £12.5M funding available across two stands:

Strand 1: Industrial Research Projects

  • Accelerating collaborative R&D with the UK’s world-leading research base, AgriTech businesses, SMEs and the UK agricultural sector to develop innovations in agriculture and horticulture
  • Total costs of £500k – £1m
  • Duration: 36 to 48 months

Strand 2: Experimental Development

  • Accelerating the deployment and uptake of innovation for robotics and automation in agriculture and horticulture that is almost at commercial stage
  • Total costs of £750k – £1.5m
  • Duration: 24 to 36 months

Funding scope

Projects must focus on one or more of the following agriculture production sectors:

  • Livestock:
    • Monogastric
    • Ruminant
  • Plant
    • Broadacre: cereals, root crops, grassland
    • Horticulture: field based and specialist growers
    • Fruit: top fruit, stone fruit and soft fruit
    • Vineyard
    • Protected cropping: glass and polytunnel systems
    • Controlled Environment and Vertical Farming Systems

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

Find out more about the Farming Futures: Automation and Robotics competition:

Industrial research

Experimental development

About the webinars

Our Briefing and Finding Partners webinars are all about setting you up for success with your funding application.

Briefing Webinar

  • Find out about the new funding competition for collaborative R&D projects: Farming Futures Automation and Robotics.
  • Hear directly from the funders, who will share details about the opportunity.
  • Ask questions about the competition.

Finding Partners

You’ll need a collaborative project to apply for this funding. During the Finding Partners event, you will meet other individuals interested in the competition. It’s a great opportunity to meet others you could collaborate with. We’re here to help you make connections with the right people and increase your chances of success.

Make connections with others interested in the funding by joining our LinkedIn group.

Related Opportunities

Farming Futures: automation and robotics

Opens: 09/01/2023   Closes: 15/03/2023

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £12.5m across 2 strands, to develop innovative solutions for automation and robotics in agriculture/horticulture.

More Information

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