Projects funded through the Farming Innovation Programme Research Starter competition

Posted on: 04/01/2023

The Research Starter competition funds farmers, growers and foresters with ambitious, early-stage ideas to increase productivity and environmental sustainability in agriculture or horticulture.

Defra and Innovate UK work together via the Farming Innovation Programme to deliver the Research Starter competition.

For this competition, the Innovate UK KTN AgriFood team provides one-to-one support to help applicants to refine their initial ideas into a project, identify the right partners to work with to take it forward, and complete the final stage of the application process.

Two Rounds of the competition have been held to date: you can find out more about some of the projects that have been funded below.

Round 1 Research Starter Projects

Viticulture 4.0 – The Digital Infrastructure
Partners: Chiltern Hills Farm Ltd. | Harrow & Hope Limited | Agri-Epi Centre Ltd | Antobot Ltd.
Find out more

Supporting collaboration through innovative water sharing tool for high-value irrigated agriculture
Partners: Lindsay Hargreaves Ltd. | Cranfield University
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Making every seed count – Creating multifunctional regional seed mixtures for permanent grassland – A strategy for maintaining genetic diversity in commercially produced seed
Partners: DLF Seeds Ltd. | UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Find out more

Produce a farmers guide on cover crops species selection, establishment, and termination
Partners: KM & CAW Gowthorpe | Frontier Agriculture Ltd. | Newcastle University | Yorkshire Agricultural Society
Find out more

Agroforestry Pollinator Plantations
Partners: Agroforestry Pollinator Plantations |  Bee Happy Plants & Seeds | Forest Research
Find out more

ULES – Ultra Low Emission Sheep
Partners: Kaiapoi Consulting Ltd. | Agri-Epi Centre Ltd
Find out more

Development of an automated insect feeding system into a commercial laying poultry farm
Partners: Mowbrey Partnership | Harper Adams University
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Breeding for tolerance to worms for the future of sheep farming in England
Partners: M & P Smith- Trefranck Farm | CEIL Ltd | Moredun Research Institute | Castle Veterinary Group Ltd

Establishing an organic field scale forest nursery under Soil Association organic standards
Partners: Woodhall Growers Limited | Harper Adams University | RSK ADAS

An Environmental Model for Developing Novel IPM Techniques for Control of Swede Midge in Brassicas
Partners: T Hammond Farms Limited | RSK ADAS Ltd | Barfoot Farms Ltd

Robotic Arable Polyculture Farming
Partners: NP Holloway & Son | Arrevolution Ltd | Harper Adams University

Grown Graphene
Partners: A.T.G. Turnbull Limited | The Biorenewables Development Centre Ltd

Soil Benchmark
Partners: Soil Benchmark | NIAB | ADAS | British Geological Society

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