Farming Innovation Programme: Large R&D partnerships Round 3

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £7.8m for large R&D partnership projects from this industry-led fund.

Opportunity Details

When

Registration Opens

15/01/2024

Registration Closes

13/03/2024

Award

Your project’s total costs must be between £3 million and £5 million. Up to 70% of costs can be covered, depending on business size.

Organisation

Innovate UK

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Find out more and apply

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will invest up to £7.8 million in innovation projects.

This funding is part of Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme, which is a partnership with UKRI’s Transforming Food Production Challenge and delivered by Innovate UK.

The aim of this competition is to:

  • fund industrial research and experimental development projects that will address major on-farm or immediate post farmgate challenges or opportunities
  • drive the development and demonstration of commercially relevant solutions with the potential to substantially improve overall productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability
  • support the development of scalable solutions that can be taken up widely, be integrated into existing production systems, and have widespread impact
  • accelerate research development of new solutions by actively engaging collaboration between the agri-food sector and wider UK research community in the innovation process

Your proposal must be able to demonstrate how the project will benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England.

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
  • To lead a project your organisation must:

    To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

    • business of any size
    • academic institution
    • charity
    • not for profit
    • public sector organisation
    • research and technology organisation (RTO)

    A business can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in two further applications.

    If an organisation is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

  • Your project must:

    • have total costs between £3 million and £5 million
    • start by 1 October 2024
    • end by 30 September 2028
    • last up to 48 months
    • carry out all of its project work in the UK
    • intend to exploit the results from or in England
  • The aim of this competition is to fund industrial research and experimental development projects that will address major on-farm or immediate post farmgate challenges or opportunities.

    Your solutions or project outputs 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 proposal must be able to demonstrate how the project will:

    • benefit farmers, growers, or foresters in England through commercially relevant solutions
    • actively work with end users across the whole supply chain to identify the major on-farm or immediate post farmgate challenges or opportunities
    • accelerate the development and demonstration of new agricultural solutions through collaboration with the wider UK research community
    • build understanding of how your approach can best achieve widespread use, developing a theory of change, working with economists, social scientists, and other relevant experts
    • have scalable solutions that can be taken up widely, be integrated into existing production systems, and have widespread impact
    • demonstrate how the project will support a transformative change in the agricultural sector
    • develop and deliver a knowledge exchange (KE) plan that identifies the targets for the solution with a clear dissemination plan to relevant stakeholders and the wider sector
    • exploit the outputs of the project, and expected outcomes in terms of solution adoption, for example, number of end users, area of land, and percentage of production using the new solution
  • 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

    We are not funding projects that are:

    • are equine specific
    • involve wild caught fisheries
    • involve aquaculture for fish production or human consumption
    • involve cellular expression of proteins or cultivated meat
    • involve acellular production systems, fermentation systems for bacteria, yeast or fungi for human consumption
    • are for the production of crops or plants for medicinal or pharmaceutical use
    • do not benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England

    Innovate UK expects and supports the provision and safeguarding of welfare standards for animals used in research and innovation, according to best practice and up to date guidance.

    Applicants must ensure that all of the proposed work within projects, both that in the UK and internationally, will comply with the UKRI guidance on the use of animals in research and innovation.

    Any projects selected for funding which involve animals will be asked to provide additional information on welfare and ethical considerations, as well as compliance with any relevant legislation as part of the project start-up process. This information will be reviewed before an award is made.

  • Innovate UK have made a pre-recorded briefing available (click here to access the video), and Innovate UK KTN held Q&A session and consortia-building event on Tuesday 23 January: click here to watch the recording.

    If you would like help to find a collaboration partner, contact Innovate UK KTN’s Agrifood team.

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