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Farming Innovation Programme Small R&D Partnership Projects Rnd 3

Fund Name

Farming Innovation Programme Small R&D Partnership Projects Rnd 3

Project Length

Up to 36 months

Project Value

£1m - £3m



The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), will invest up to £9.8 million in innovation projects.

This funding is part of Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme which is a partnership with UKRI’s Transforming Food Production Challenge and delivered by Innovate UK.

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

Check Your Eligibility

Fund details

The aim of this competition is to:

  • develop solutions with the potential to improve overall productivity, sustainability, and 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 solutions must significantly improve:

  • productivity
  • sustainability and the environmental impact of farming
  • progression towards net zero emissions
  • resilience

Specific themes

Your project must address a significant industry challenge or opportunity in at least one of the industry subsectors below:

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

Innovate UK will not fund projects that:

  • do not benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England
  • are equine specific
  • involve wild-caught fisheries
  • involve aquaculture for fish production or human consumption
  • involve cellular or 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


Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £1 million and £3 million
  • start by 1 June 2024
  • end by 31 May 2027
  • 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

Projects must always start on the first of the month, which must be stated within your application. Your project start date will be reflected in your grant offer letter if you are successful.

Use of animals in research and innovation

Innovate UK expects and supports the provision and safeguarding of welfare standards for animals used in research and innovation, according to best practices and up-to-date guidance.

Applicants must ensure that all of the proposed work within projects, both in the UK and internationally, will comply with the UKRI guidance on the use of animals in research and innovation.

Any projects selected for funding which involve animals will be asked to provide additional information on welfare and ethical considerations and compliance with any relevant legislation as part of the project start-up process. This information will be reviewed before an award is made.


For mid-stage R&D industrial research 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
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