The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will invest up to £12.5 million in innovation projects.
This funding is part of Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme, which is delivered in partnership with UKRI’s Transforming Food Production Challenge.
The aim of this competition is to fund collaborative development projects with ambitious solutions for robotics and automation in agriculture and horticulture to:
Your proposal must be able to demonstrate how the project will benefit farmers or growers in England.
This competition is split into 2 strands:
It is your responsibility to ensure you submit your application to the correct strand for your project. You will not be able to transfer your application and it will not be sent for assessment if it is out of scope.
In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.
If you are successful, any awards given to primary agricultural producers are subject to the green box exemption, under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Agriculture.
Please see further guidance on green box subsidies in the WTO Guidance for support in Agriculture. Applicants receiving this type of support must ensure that there is minimal to no distortion of trade and comply with the requirements of Annex 2 of the Agriculture Agreement.
Your project must:
You must only include eligible project costs in your application.
Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.
To lead a project your organisation must:
More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.
Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.
To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be a UK based farmer or grower, or a UK registered:
Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.
To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.
Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.
Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.
Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.
You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.
You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.
All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.
Number of applications
A business can only lead on one application in each strand of this competition. A business can also be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications in each of the 2 strands of the competition.
If an organisation is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications across both strands of the competition.
The aim of this competition is to fund collaborative projects with ambitious solutions for robotics and automation in agriculture and horticulture by:
In this strand 2 for experimental development, you must accelerate the deployment and uptake of innovation for robotics and automation in agriculture and horticulture that is almost at commercial stage.
The innovative technologies in your proposal must focus on one or more of the following:
Your project must seek to significantly improve:
You must be able to demonstrate how the solution and output will benefit farmers, or growers in England.
Your project must:
We want to fund a variety of projects across the two competition strands, different technologies, markets and research categories. We call this a portfolio approach.
Your project must focus on one or more of the following agricultural and horticultural production sectors: