SBRI: Innovative farming practices to reduce carbon emissions and increase yield

Cardiff and Monmouthshire Councils are looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions and increase yield on farms in South Wales.

Opportunity Details

When

Registration Opens

28/08/2023

Registration Closes

09/10/2023

Award

Contracts will be awarded to successful proposals of up to £0.8m to deliver the demonstrator and up to £1m for scale up of the demonstration model. 

Organisation

Welsh Government

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This competition is a ‘first of a kind’ demonstrator initiative, on behalf of Cardiff Capital Region (CCR), Cardiff Council and Monmouthshire Council, to accelerate innovation in the CCR region and enable projects to develop innovative solutions which can significantly improve the sustainable production and supply of food. There are four simultaneous challenges: click here to see details of all four.

An online briefing event (covering all four challenges) will be held on Thursday 21st September, 10am-11.30am: click here to register for a place.

The challenge: Innovative farming practices to reduce carbon emissions and increase yield

This challenge is an opportunity to demonstrate a developed solution and add value by addressing:

a) Viable retrofit solutions within the food production sector targeting farm (and growing operation) machinery and produce transport operations. We are looking to select and fund viable interventions that could be applied to farming machinery and vehicles that could significantly lower the costs of operation and/or have reduced impact on the carbon footprint of operating them. The competition invites new thinking that drives efficiency where high costs for energy and fuel are concerned. Mechanical interventions/engine retrofitting and fuel innovation are invited;

b) Viable solutions that address farm (and growing operation) waste and deliver energy systems for use on the farms. It sets out to maximise the value of the waste and bi-products from farming processes that channel into onsite energy generation, storage, and utilisation; therefore, reducing the energy costs and operational expenditure. This challenge aims to bring forward established approaches in waste utilisation as well as forge paths from the more developmental approaches at the fringes of the innovation ecosystem. Key to this is reducing the cost of energy lending to a viable circular economy framework within the farm (and growing operation) or the surrounding local community, reducing operational cost and/or increasing the revenue opportunities for farmers within the region; and/or

c) The innovation arenas that look at farm (growers), community waste, and agri-tech thinking and channel them into increasing farming production and capacity. We are seeking novel and innovative approaches to maximise the growing capacity of the regional farms (and other growing operations like urban systems) through the adoption of new solutions and processes. Of interest will be the utilisation of waste (including gasses), reducing fertiliser usage, reducing water dependencies, and driving efficiencies that open up the envelope of farm (and grower) production. This will provide the opportunity for new thinking to drive efficiencies into crop production methods, increasing yields and lowering the impact on the environment. A keen interest will focus on the circular economy of waste to production.

Who can apply?

Any organisation can submit an application, although it is expected that opportunities presented by SBRI will be particularly attractive for SMEs. Pre-startup companies may apply, but contracts must be awarded to legal entities. Universities may apply; however they must demonstrate a route to market, i.e.the application must include a plan to commercialise the results.

Funding Allocation and Project Details

The competition will run in two phases (demonstrator and scale up). Applications will be assessed using the evaluation criteria provided in the tender documents.

Contracts will be awarded to successful proposals of up to £0.8m to deliver the demonstrator and up to £1m for scale up of the demonstration model.

All sums indicated are exc. of VAT (net).

  • Demonstrator contracts are intended to develop and evaluate prototypes of demonstration proposals. It is anticipated that projects will run for 10 months. Up to £0.8m of funding per project has been assigned to this phase.  The final allocation of budget to projects will be difficult to predict at this stage so applicants are encouraged to consider a range of delivery options and budgets in their proposals to maximise the funding available.
  • Scale Up contracts are intended to provide organisations, successful in demonstrator phase, with an opportunity to scale up their innovative solutions, and it is anticipated that projects will run for a maximum of 12 months. Up to £1m of funding per project has been assigned to this phase. Again, final allocation of budget to projects will be difficult to predict at this stage so applicants are encouraged to consider a range of delivery options and budgets in their proposals to maximise the funding available.
  • The total funding for the Challenge can change and the funders have the right to:
    • Adjust the provisional funding allocation between the Phases; and
    • Apply a portfolio approach.

For full details of funding, technical and functional requirements, and timescales, visit the SBRI Centre of Excellence at the link below.

For any enquiries about this competition e-mail: foodchallenge@cardiff.gov.uk

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