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Farming Innovation Programme: Research Starter Round 4 - EoI

General & Misc
Project Size:

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), in partnership with UKRI's Transforming Food Production Challenge and delivered by Innovate UK, is offering up to £850,000 in grants. This funding competition is open to farming, growing, or forestry businesses based in England. The primary aim is to fund feasibility projects that enhance productivity, sustainability, resilience, and assist in moving the agricultural sector towards net zero emissions.

Key Dates:

  • Competition Opens: Monday, 18 December 2023
  • Competition Closes: Wednesday, 14 February 2024, at 12:00 PM UK time

Funding Details:

  • Type: Grant
  • Total Funds Available: Up to £850,000
  • Project Size: At the full application stage, project costs must be between £28,000 and £56,000

Eligibility and Scope:

  • Applicants must be from farming, growing, or forestry businesses in England.
  • The competition aims to investigate early-stage solutions that can substantially improve productivity, sustainability, resilience, and aid in transitioning to net zero emissions.
  • Proposals should focus on solutions beneficial in commercially relevant situations for farmers, growers, or foresters.
  • The feasibility study should explore new solutions to industry challenges or opportunities, focusing on improving productivity, sustainability, environmental impact, progression towards net zero emissions, and resilience.

Specific Themes and Exclusions:

  • Projects should address challenges or opportunities in at least one of the four industry sub-sectors: livestock, plants, novel food production systems, or bioeconomy and agroforestry.
  • Projects that are equine specific, involve wild caught fisheries, cellular/acellular production systems, or medicinal plant production are not eligible.

Application Process:

  • This is a two-stage competition. The current EoI stage does not award funding but selects candidates for the full stage.
  • Successful EoI applicants will be invited to the full stage competition in March 2024 and can access support to complete their applications.

Accessibility and Inclusion:

  • The competition encourages applications from diverse backgrounds.
  • Innovate UK offers support and reasonable adjustments for applicants with disabilities or long-term conditions.

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