Niall Bradshaw of DEFRA says "Earlier this summer, we said that we would launch the first competitions of the new Industry-led Research and Development Partnerships Fund in October. I'm pleased to say that we’re on track.

The Industry-led Research and Development Partnerships Fund is the first of 3 funds to launch in the new Farming Innovation Programme.

Applications for a share of £17.5 million funding will open Wednesday 20 October 2021.

Project opportunities and dates

The Industry-led Research and Development Partnerships Fund is made up of 4 different projects:

Research Starter Projects - These are designed to help farmers, growers, and foresters based in England develop bold, ambitious, early-stage ideas and build a collaborative team. Applications for Research Starter Projects will open 20 October and close 24 November 2021.

Feasibility Projects - These are designed to test the feasibility of early-stage solutions and to inform decisions on subsequent, larger scale research and development projects. Applications for Feasibility Projects will open 20 October and close 1 December 2021.

Small Research and Development Partnership Projects - These are 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 for Small Research and Development Partnership Projects will open 20 October and close 1 December 2021.

Large Research and Development Partnership Projects - These are solutions that have the potential to substantially improve overall productivity, sustainability, and resilience of the sector. Applications for Large Research and Development Partnership Projects will launch in 2022. The Industry-led Research and Development Partnerships Fund will be delivered in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Visit then new Farming Innovation site for more information and to apply.

Eligibility

Whether you are a farmer, grower, or forester in England with an exciting idea that you’re looking to develop into a project; an established partnership of UK businesses looking to take the next step towards commercialising your innovative product; or a business from outside the sector with an idea that could prove to be a game-changer for farming in England, we encourage you to apply.

Projects in this fund must be led by businesses, and will cover the traditional arable, livestock and horticulture sectors, as well as funding innovation in novel food production systems. For example, automation, controlled environment agriculture, bioeconomy and agroforestry. 

Funding must directly benefit farmers, growers, and foresters in England by helping to solve issues holding them and the sector back.

However, we recognise that the UK has world-leading science and research expertise which operates across our shared borders. Applications will therefore be welcome from UK-wide businesses, universities, and research organisations to collaborate on ambitious research and development projects that will improve productivity and sustainability of agriculture and horticulture in England. Where farmers, growers or foresters are directly involved in a project, we ask that at least 50% of them in the team are based in England".

More information can be found here: https://farminginnovation.ukri.org/explore/

Please do get in touch if you have any queries or are interested in making an application.


Author: Becky Sanders