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Revolutionise Agriculture with Innovate UK and Defra's £5 Million Funding Opportunity

General & Misc
Project Size:
between £750,000 and £3 m

Unveiling the Opportunity

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is collaborating with The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to invest up to £5 million in ground-breaking projects. This funding is associated with Defra's Farming Innovation Programme, an alliance with UKRI's Transforming Food Production Challenge, facilitated by Innovate UK.

Aim of the Competition

This competition targets:

  • Development of bold, late-stage innovative solutions, technologies, systems or strategies that significantly enhance productivity, boost sustainability and resilience, and assist the agriculture sector in achieving net-zero emissions by 2050
  • Support for late-stage experimental development projects that are on the brink of entering the market and being adopted by farmers

Proposal Guidelines

Your proposal should be able to illustrate how the project will benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England. To qualify for grant funding, your project must:

  • Meet the grant funding eligibility criteria
  • Secure aligned investment from a lead investor in the pool

You are encouraged to initiate conversations with potential investors, but you can also apply for the competition prior to this.

Investor Benefits

Apart from investment, the lead investors can equip you with commercial acumen in areas such as leadership, market access, skills, and resources.

What Successful SMEs Receive

Successful UK registered SMEs will obtain:

  • Grant funding from Innovate UK
  • Aligned investment funding from one of the programme's pool of investors acting as the lead investor

Competition Entry

By applying for this competition, you are participating in a competitive process. Remember, the competition closes at 11am UK time on the stated deadline.

Project Aspects

Your project must address a significant industry challenge or opportunity in at least one of the industry subsectors below:

  • Livestock
  • Plants
  • Novel food production systems
  • Bioeconomy and agroforestry

Your solutions should significantly enhance farm-focused aspects such as productivity, sustainability and environmental impact, progression towards net-zero emissions, and resilience.

Portfolio Approach and Themes

The funders aim to support a variety of projects across markets, balancing the portfolio based on additionality and risk. They show preference to applications and investments that demonstrate greater additionality and reduced risk, alongside those with a higher ratio of investment to grant.


Please note, this competition will not fund projects that:

  • Are not carried out by single SMEs
  • Are collaborative R&D projects
  • Are not part of a company’s growth plan
  • Are unable to demonstrate potential for return on investment and growth
  • Do not benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England
  • Are equine specific
  • Involve wild caught fisheries, aquaculture for fish production or human consumption, cellular or acellular production systems, fermentation systems for bacteria, yeast or fungi for human consumption, or production of crops or plants for medicinal or pharmaceutical use

Ready to Drive Change in Agriculture?

If you're poised to transform your cutting-edge, sustainable solutions into a reality, contact us at Inventya on 01925 506 100 or at We're thrilled to support you on your journey towards reshaping the agricultural industry and our planet.

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