Farming Futures R&D Fund: Sustainable farm-based protein
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £12.5 million across the two strands of this competition to develop innovative solutions for sustainable farm-based protein production (covering livestock, plants, novel animal feed production systems such as algae/seaweed/insects, bioeconomy and agroforestry).
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will invest up to £12.5 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. The focus of this competition is sustainable farm-based protein production.
The aim of this funding is to:
- accelerate the development of novel and disruptive technologies, that will transform traditional farm protein production systems into more sustainable models
- support innovation with the potential to grow the sustainable protein industry and create new sources of resource efficient, low emission proteins
- support significant improvements to farming productivity, environmental sustainability and resilience in the sector and move existing agricultural sectors to net zero
- accelerate R&D of game changing opportunities by building diverse consortia including the UK agricultural sector and relevant research expertise
- support projects that demonstrate environmental and societal impact, and include clear project deliverables for measuring the sustainability of the solutions and how they are preventing negative impact upon the sector
- encourage dissemination and knowledge exchange to drive impact and wide uptake in the farming sector
Your proposal must be able to demonstrate how the project will benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England.
This competition is split into 2 strands:
- Strand 1: Farming Futures R&D Fund: Sustainable farm-based protein, Feasibility studies (project costs £200k-£500k)
- Strand 2: Farming Futures R&D Fund: Sustainable farm-based protein, Industrial research (project costs £500k-£1m)
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure they are applying to the correct strand for their project. If you apply to the wrong competition you will be made ineligible and will not be sent for assessment; you cannot transfer your application.
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 costs between £200,000 and £500,000 for feasibility studies, or between £500,000 and £1million for industrial research
- start by 1 April 2023
- last up to 24 months (except for breeding projects, which can last up to 60 months – these can only be in the industrial research strand)
- be collaborative
- 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 that is requested by farmers, growers or foresters, allocated to farmers, growers or foresters based in England
To lead a project in either strand, your organisation must:
- be a UK registered business of any size
- be a UK registered academic institution
- be a UK registered research and technology organisation (RTO)
- collaborate with other UK registered organisations
If the lead organisation is an academic institution or an RTO it must collaborate with at least 2 businesses of any size.
A business can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications across both strands of the competition. If an organisation is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications across both strands of the competition. Academic institutions and research and technology organisations (RTO), can lead or collaborate on any number of applications across both stands of the competition.
The aim of this competition is to fund the development of ambitious new solutions for sustainable farm-based protein production in the UK. These must address identified major on-farm or immediate post-farmgate challenges or opportunities in agricultural and horticultural practices.
Your project must seek to significantly improve:
- sustainability and environmental impact of farming
- progression towards net zero emissions
- longer term resilience
Your proposal must:
- demonstrate environmental benefits and societal impact
- include clear project deliverables for measuring the sustainability of the solutions, and how they are preventing negative impact upon the sector
- be able to demonstrate how the solution and output will benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England
- ensure your solutions are closely aligned with industry priorities to deliver business-orientated and transformative opportunities
- consider how it will encourage dissemination and knowledge exchange to the wider sector
Your project must be in one or more of the four industry subsectors:
- novel animal feed production systems (such as algae, seaweed, insects, etc)
- bioeconomy and agroforestry
Your solutions can also support emerging production systems that create new sources of resource efficient, low emission proteins that address longer-term food security for mainstream consumers or animal feed users.
If you would like help to find a collaboration partner, or further advice, contact a member of KTN”s Agrifood team.