Small and medium-sized farming businesses can soon apply for a share of £5 million in grant funding aimed at scaling up agriculture innovation
The funding aims to increase sustainable food production, drive progress towards net-zero emissions, improve farm resilience, and support nature recovery.
The Farming Innovation Investor Partnership Competition, set to open later this month, will blend grant funding with private investment to accelerate agricultural research and development.
The competition specifically supports pioneering projects across the agricultural sector that have demonstrated revenue generation potential. Its goal is to facilitate the commercialisation of on-farm technologies that can be adopted industry-wide.
Examples of cutting-edge agricultural innovation
Innovation in agriculture: The competition builds on the success of the £270m Farming Innovation Programme, which has already allocated over £100m to earlier stage research and development projects.
Examples of these innovative agriculture projects include autonomous livestock monitoring systems, robotic fruit harvesting systems, AI-driven concentrated light weeding, intelligent robotic cow cubicles, and digital crop management for early pest and disease detection in greenhouses.
Encouraging development across multiple sectors
Projects are invited to apply from various sectors, including livestock, arable, horticulture, bioeconomy, and agroforestry.
The focus should be on solutions that enhance productivity, ensure environmental sustainability, facilitate progress towards net-zero emissions, and promote farming resilience.
Grant funding of up to 45% of project costs is available, requiring a minimum match of double the amount in private investment.
UK Government commitment to sustainable agriculture
Farming Minister Mark Spencer emphasised the government’s dedication to supporting a resilient, sustainable, for agriculture innovation that not only provides food but also safeguards the environment.
The collaboration between cutting-edge agri-innovation and public and private investment aims to unlock new technologies to maximise farm productivity. These efforts align with the Prime Minister’s economic growth agenda and commitments made during the “Nature Finance” event and UK Farm to Fork Summit.
The Farming Innovation Investor Partnership Competition, funded by Defra and run in partnership with UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and Innovate UK, will accept applications from Monday 24 July.
By focusing on later-stage innovation, the competition aims to drive commercialisation and adoption within the industry while elevating the profile of the agri-tech sector for UK investors.