News article

Helping farmers to work more efficiently: apply for funding

15 January 2020


Funding for projects that can deliver efficient and environmentally friendly ways to produce food

The UK Government's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Transforming Food Production Challenge has up to £90 million to help businesses invest in new data-driven precision-agriculture technologies that could transform food production.

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, has up to £15 million from this fund to invest in feasibility studies and demonstration projects that help to turn these technologies into practical solutions and get them into the hands of those who could benefit.

Projects must all work on precision, data-driven solutions. Applicants can undertake research in one or more areas including:

  • arable, such as cereals, field-scale vegetables or potatoes
  • dairy
  • ruminants, such as beef, lamb, goat
  • monogastrics, such as pork, poultry and eggs
  • horticulture, including berries, apples, lettuce and tomatoes but not ornamentals
  • aquaculture

They should also have the potential to improve productivity and sustainability and contribute to the target of net zero emissions from agriculture by 2040.

Feasibility studies
Up to £5 million is available for feasibility projects. They must evaluate potential solutions that tackle challenges identified by industry to see if they could be commercialised.

They must:

  • look at business models alongside technical feasibility and draw in expertise to do this
  • work with end users to make sure solutions meet their needs

The competition for feasibility studies is open, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 26 February 2020. Businesses of any size may apply and projects could range in size between £75,000 and £250,000.

Find out more about the competition for feasibility studies and apply.

Demonstrator projects
Up to £10 million is available for a series of demonstrator projects. The projects will be used to develop best practice and shape future investment in science. Projects will be expected to take part in the work to share results and reach potential users of the technology.

Projects must:

  • demonstrate the viability of combinations of precision solutions to transform food production
  • demonstrate solutions across different production environments, to encourage their widespread use
  • work with end users
  • produce evidence of technical feasibility and economic viability at commercial scale

The competition for demonstrator projects is open, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 26 February 2020. Businesses of any size may apply and projects could range in size between £400,000 and £4 million.

Find out more about the competition for demonstrator projects and apply.