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farming Innovation Programme UK

The Farming Innovation programme is part of Defra’s investment in innovation, research and development within their Future Farming and Countryside Programme, with £17.5 million funding available.

The ‘Industry-led Research and Development Partnerships Fund’ is the first of 3 funds to launch in the new Farming Innovation Programme, Defra is partnering with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) on this fund.

The other funds will be launched in 2022 and are ‘The Farming Futures Research and Development Fund’ this aims to bring together agri-food businesses and researchers to focus on transformative solutions and address challenges that impact productivity in the long term eg. Net Zero. The final fund is ‘The Projects to Accelerate Adoption Fund’ this will focus in immediate, on farm productivity challenges.

The Industry-led Research and Development Partnerships Fund is made up of 4 types of projects;

  • Research Starter Projects

Designed to help farmers, growers, and foresters based in England develop bold, ambitious, early-stage ideas and build a collaborative team.

Applications open 20 October and close 24 November 2021. 

  • Feasibility Projects

Designed to test the feasibility of early-stage solutions and to inform decisions on subsequent, larger scale research and development projects.

Applications open 20 October and close 1 December 2021. 

  • Small Research and Development Partnership Projects

Designed to carry out research for innovative solutions that have the potential to substantially improve the overall productivity, sustainability, and resilience of the sectors.

Applications open 20 October and close 1 December 2021. 

  • Large Research and Development Partnership Projects

Solutions that have the potential to substantially improve overall productivity, sustainability, and resilience of the sector.

Applications will launch in 2022.   

The overall aim of this programme is to; help farmers, growers and foresters increase productivity, sustainability and resilience and to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and horticulture. The fund also aims to use agricultural research and science to develop solutions for the practical challenges in agriculture and horticulture.

If you are a farmer, grower or forester in England with an idea that you would like to develop further, this could be suitable for you. Projects must be led by businesses and will cover arable, livestock and horticultural sectors as well as funding innovation in novel food production systems eg. Automation and controlled environment agriculture. The funding must benefit farmers, growers and foresters by helping to solve issues that currently hold them back.

All funding will be awarded through competitions, further details will be available when the competitions open.

For further information you can visit the Government’s dedicated Farming Innovation Programme website here Farming Innovation Programme – Farming Innovation Programme (ukri.org.)