Farming Innovation Programme small R&D partnership projects round 2

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £11million for Small R&D Partnership Projects from the Industry-led R&D Partnerships Fund, a part of the Farming Innovation Programme.

Opportunity Details


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Your project’s total costs must be between £1 million and £3 million. Up to 70% of costs can be funded depending on business size.



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The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), will invest up to £11million 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 aim of these funding competitions is to:

  • develop solutions with the potential to improve overall productivity, sustainability, resilience, and move existing agricultural sectors to net zero
  • ensure solutions have positive outputs for farmers, growers or foresters in commercially relevant situations
  • develop new agricultural solutions, by collaboration through engagement with end users and the UK research community in the innovation process
  • accelerate adoption by ensuring knowledge exchange with the wider sector and other stakeholders

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

This is one of two competitions:

  • Farming Innovation Programme – feasibility round 2 (project costs £200k-£500k, feasibility studies, closes 31st Oct)
  • Farming Innovation Programme – small R&D partnership projects round 2 (this competition – project costs £1m-£3m, for industrial research, closes 2nd Nov)

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure they are applying to the correct competition for their project.


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

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £1million and £3million
  • start by 1 June 2023
  • end by 31 May 2026
  • last up to 36 months
  • 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 requested by farmers, growers or foresters, allocated to farmers, growers or foresters based in England

To lead a project your organisation must:

Academic institutions and research organisations cannot lead.

business can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications. If a business is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.


The aim of this competition is to fund industrial research studies developing new solutions that will address major on-farm or immediate post farmgate challenges or opportunities.

Your solutions 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 project 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 four industry subsectors below:

  • livestock
  • plants
  • novel food production systems
  • bioeconomy and agroforestry

Supporting events

Innovate UK held an online briefing webinar on 22nd August 2022: click here to watch the briefing recording.

An online Q&A session will be held on 1st September at 11am.

KTN will hold an online consortium building event on 6th September, 10am-noon: click here to attend the consortium building event.

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


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