The “Developing a Net Zero Farm” Project is a pilot SBRI-type competition being held by the North Wales Economic Ambition Board (NWEAB) in partnership with Coleg Cambria Llysfasi seeking projects developing innovative technology, systems and/or process solutions that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within a commercial agricultural setting in line with Wales’ Innovation in Agriculture agenda. The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) is a mechanism which enables public sector bodies to connect with innovative ideas from smart innovative businesses that have the potential to provide innovative solutions to specific Public Sector challenges and unmet needs. The competition will be funded by Welsh Government as part of the Smart Living Initiative to help bring innovation into activities in north Wales.

The overall programme will be delivered over two phases, with this call being phase one of a potential two-phase competition. Phase 1 is intended to show the technical feasibility of the proposed concept. The development contracts placed will be for a maximum of two months and £25,000 (inc. VAT) per project, with a maximum of four contracts to be awarded. Phase 2 contracts are intended to develop and evaluate prototypes or demonstrators from the more promising technologies in Phase 1, with a maximum of £250,000 distributed to a maximum of two projects. At this stage contracts will be let for Phase 1 only. A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1. Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply to take part in phase 2.

To lead a project, you can be an organisation of any size but must be able to work in Wales/with Welsh lead customers under prevailing COVID restrictions at the time of award. Work alone or with others from business, the research and academia base or the third sector as subcontractors. Academic institutions and registered charities can apply but must involve a SME in the mix and demonstrate a route to market, including a plan to commercialise the results.

Contracts will be awarded to individual organisations but you can sub-contract specific tasks that benefit the overall project. Ideally, subcontractors will have particular insight into the identified challenge area or clean growth agenda or be sector specialists or relevant academic institutions. Any subcontracted work is the responsibility of the main contractor.

Your organisation must work with identified potential future customers, throughout Phases 1 and 2. The potential customer can be a public sector organisation looking to tackle such a challenge but they must be based in Wales. Challenge applications should detail how you will work together to understand requirements and explore the feasibility of your proposal.

There will be an information webinar from 15:30 to 17:00 on Tuesday January 19th 2021. Please note this is a different time than listed in the published notice. To join the webinar, please click here.