UK Food Production Grant Funding- ISCF

ISCF: Transforming Food Production

“The world will need 60 per cent more food by 2050 to allow us to feed 9 billion people, and demand for water is expected to rise by 20 per cent in the agriculture sector alone. For this to be possible, the way we produce our food needs to be significantly more efficient and sustainable. Using precision technologies we can make that a reality: transform food production while reducing emissions, pollution, waste and soil erosion. Putting the UK at the forefront of this global revolution in farming will also deliver benefits to farmers, the environment and consumers, as well as creating growth, jobs and exports.” (Innovate UK)

ISCF Overview

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund aims to bring together the UK’s world-leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time. The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund provides funding and support to UK businesses and researchers. The fund is part of the UK government’s £4.7 billion increase in research and development over 4 years to 2021. It is designed to ensure that research and innovation takes centre stage in the government’s Industrial Strategy.

Granted Insights

ICSF Transforming Food Production

As part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Government will invest up to £90m in the new funding opportunity “Transforming Food Production”. This program is expected to support at least three cycles of funding until 2022. The program aims to develop data driven solutions that will support primary agricultural productivity while reducing environmental impact.

The vision is for UK to become agricultural productivity leader, reduce environmental impact by 40% and minimise waste on the food supply chain by 2030. The UK agricultural sector productivity lags behind that of international competitors and varies significantly across the UK, therefore investment in innovation is critical to ensure a competitive and prosperous sector.

Productive and Sustainable Crop and Ruminant Agricultural Systems

The first Transforming Food Production competition is titled “Productive and sustainable crop and ruminant agricultural systems”, with £20m funding available and close application date on 24/10/2018.

This call aims to drive productivity and sustainability in crops and ruminant production systems:

  •  In farmed animal systems the competition supports innovative approaches to disease detection/treatment, nutrition, reproduction and the use of data to increase productivity and animal welfare.
  • In crops systems the focus will be on projects that optimise energy use, build on advanced breeding technologies, improve saleable yield and enhance soil quality. The solutions must consider supply chain integration of high value crops and new food production systems to build resilience, minimise waste and achieve sustainability goals.

*Monogastric livestock, aquaculture, forestry, equine, fisheries, ornamental horticulture or non-food crops will be considered out of scope.


  • Projects can focus on responding to a single challenge (e.g. irrigation, pest control, fertiliser use, carcass classification) or plan to work on multiple interventions throughout the supply chain.
  • The projects must have a clear route to market with endorsement of farmers and growers.
  • This application is for accelerated development of products near to market that can demonstrate practical field application and impact on the sector.
  • All collaborations must include an SME. International collaboration is encouraged but not eligible to be receive funding.
  • Projects must be led by a UK-based business:
    o Total Project Cost < £100,000 – must be led by an SME (single or collaborative)
    o Total Project Cost > £100,000 – must be collaborative and involve an SME
Grant Funding Success: Knowledge & Network

There is no substitute for talking to the funders, understanding their drivers and getting a definition of the kind of projects & companies they are looking to award grant funding to. The grant funding landscape is ever-shifting with subtle changes in focus and preferences influenced by macro and micro factors. We will continue to bring insights in an attempt to maximise the chance of securing grant funding for our clients.

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