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Farming Futures – feasibility & industrial research strands

Fund Name

Farming Futures – feasibility & industrial research strands

Project Length

12-24 months

Project Value

£200k - £500k

Deadline

19.07.2023

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £12.5 million across the two strands of this competition. This will be to develop innovative solutions for sustainable and resilient farming.

  • Strand 1 – Farming Futures: Feasibility; evaluating emerging solutions with the UK’s world-leading research base, agri-tech businesses, SMEs and the UK agricultural sector to develop innovations in agriculture, forestry and horticulture.
  • Strand 2 – Farming Futures: Industrial Research; progressing emerging solutions to new products, processes and services with the UK’s world-leading research base, agri-tech businesses, SMEs and the UK agricultural sector to develop innovations in agriculture, forestry and horticulture (this strand).

Check Your Eligibility

Fund details

Your project must provide a solution to enable sustainable and resilient farming by addressing biotic and abiotic stresses in agriculture, horticulture and forestry to:

  • support specific recommendations from recent Defra reviews, the Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) act 2023 and the Government Food Strategy
  • resolve key issues affecting the sector, where sustainable and resilient farming solutions can mitigate climate challenges and increase productivity
  • develop innovations in agriculture, forestry and horticulture to meet challenges to plants, crops and farmed animals from both their biological (biotic) and physical environment (abiotic)

The innovative technologies in your proposal could include one or more of the following biological (biotic) and physical environmental (abiotic) challenges:

  • integrated pest management ​
  • detection, prevention and management of diseases​
  • agro-ecology ​
  • Gene editing and breeding​
  • regenerative cropping, livestock and mixed systems​
  • livestock housing, nutrition, health and management​
  • innovative fertiliser practices​
  • soil resilience​
  • water management and innovation​

This list is not exhaustive.

Your project must seek to significantly improve:

  • productivity
  • sustainability and environmental impact of farming
  • progression towards net zero emissions
  • longer-term resilience
  • food security

You must be able to demonstrate how your solution and output will benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England.

Your proposal must:

  • demonstrate environmental benefits and societal impact
  • 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

Specific themes

Your project must focus on one or more of the following agricultural and horticultural production sectors:

Farmed animals

  • monogastric
  • ruminant

Plant

  • broadacre: cereals, root crops, grassland
  • horticulture: field-based and specialist growers
  • fruit: top fruit, stone fruit and soft fruit
  • vineyard
  • protected cropping: glass and polytunnel systems
  • controlled environment and vertical farming systems

Forestry

  • agro-forestry

Cross-sector

  • bioeconomy

Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • are equine specific
  • are focused specifically on financial resilience​
  • are specific to non-food or ornamental plants
  • 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
  • involve post-farm gate processing and packaging

Eligibility

Your project must:

  • have total costs between £200,000 and £500,000
  • start by 1 January 2024
  • end by 31 December 2025
  • last between 12 to 24 months
  • be able to demonstrate how the project will benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has allocated up to £12.5 million, across the two strands of this competition, working in partnership with UKRI’s Transforming Food Production Challenge. This competition is delivered by Innovate UK.

If your project has farmers, growers and foresters requesting grant funding, a minimum of 50% of the total grant amount requested by those organisations, must come from farmers, growers or foresters geographically based in England.

For feasibility studies projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

Talk to us today if you would like to apply for this opportunity.

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