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Farming Innovation Programme – research starter pilot – EoI

Fund Name

Farming Innovation Programme

Project Length

Up to 12 months

Project Value

Up to £56K



The Farming Innovation Programme – research starter pilot aims to provide an entry point​ for farmers, growers or foresters that have bold, ambitious, early-stage ideas solving major problems that impact their business. This may help them exploit new significant opportunities for their business or industry sub-sector.​ The outputs of this competition will ideally provide applicants with the knowledge and information needed to aid them in applying for a larger funding grant.

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Fund Details

Projects must focus on developing on-farm or immediate post-farmgate​ solutions. This is an expression of interest (EoI) competition. If your application is successful, you will be invited to apply to a full stage competition. This two-stage competition is designed to make funding accessible to a wider range of applicants. The aim of this competition is to:

  • investigate early-stage solutions with the potential to substantially improve overall productivity, sustainability, resilience and move existing agricultural sectors to net-zero
  • prioritise solutions that have positive outputs for farmers, growers or foresters in commercially relevant situations
  • accelerate development of effective new agricultural solutions by working with end-users and collaborating with the 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 four industry subsectors:

  • livestock
  • plants
  • novel food production systems
  • bio-economy and agroforestry


Your full stage project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £28,000 and £56,000
  • start by 1 August 2022
  • end by 31 July 2023
  • last up to 12 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in England
  • have at least 50% of the farmers, growers or foresters involved based in England

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a farming, growing or forestry business of any size based in England
  • be able to evidence that you are an established business, including sole traders and partnerships
  • have a UK bank account
  • not have been awarded Innovate UK funding as a project lead within the last 5 years

Projects will not be funded that are:

  • equine specific​
  • wild-caught fisheries
  • aquaculture, including algae and seaweed production​
  • cellular or acellular production systems, fermentation systems for bacteria, yeast or fungi​
  • projects that do not benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England
  • dependent on export performance
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage

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

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