Farming Innovation Programme: research starter pilot, EoI Round 2

Farming, growing or forestry businesses based in England can apply for a share of up to £1 million for feasibility projects.

Funding Details
When

Registration Opens

23/05/2022

Registration Closes

06/07/2022

Award

Project cost details are not required at the EoI stage. At the full application stage your total project costs must be between £28,000 and £56,000; up to 70% of these costs can be covered by the grant.

Organisation

Innovate UK

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The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will work with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to invest up to £1million in innovation projects.

The funding for this competition is part of Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme which is delivered in partnership with UKRI’s Transforming Food Production Challenge.

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. Applicants that are successful in the EoI stage will be able to access independent support to help them complete the full application stage. The full stage will open in August 2022.

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.

Project cost details are not required at the EoI stage. If your application is successful in this EoI stage, you will be invited to apply for a full stage competition. In the full stage you must collaborate with other eligible partners.

Your full stage project must:

  • have total project costs between £28,000 and £56,000
  • start by 1 April 2023
  • end by 31 March 2024
  • 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 a minimum of 50% of any grant requested by farmers, growers or foresters, allocated to farmers, growers or foresters based in England

To lead a project, your organisation must:

  • be an active farming, growing or forestry business of any size based in England (each business can only lead on one EoI application)
  • 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 before 6 July 2022

To collaborate with the lead at the full stage, your organisation must be a UK registered organisation or a farmer, grower or forester based in the UK.

Scope

The competition 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 and 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.

The scope of the competition is feasibility studies investigating new solutions to industry identified challenges, or opportunities for farmers, growers or foresters that have the potential to significantly improve:

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

Projects must focus on developing on-farm or immediate post farmgate​ solutions.

Your project must be able to demonstrate how the project will benefit farmers, growers or forestry 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
  • bioeconomy and agroforestry

We are not funding projects that:

  • are equine specific​
  • involve wild caught fisheries
  • are cellular or acellular production systems, fermentation systems for bacteria, yeast or fungi​
  • are for the production of cannabis for medicinal or pharmaceutical use
  • are aquaculture, including algae and seaweed, for human consumption

An online briefing event will be held at 1pm on Tuesday 17th May: click here to register. The recording will be available on the Innovate UK KTN website a few days later.

If you would like help to find a project partner, contact Innovate UK KTN’s agri-food team.