Delivered by Innovate UK (IUK), the Farming Innovation Programme has been set up to fund ambitious research and development projects to overcome barriers and create a more productive and sustainable farming sector. Projects will benefit England's farmers, growers, foresters and other businesses to conduct R&D to help boost productivity, enhance sustainable practices, improve environmental outcomes and reduce carbon.

IUK is awarding funds through two competitions running in parallel:

  • Strand 1: Farming Futures R&D Fund: Environmental Resilience, Feasibility Studies
  • Strand 2: Farming Futures R&D Fund: Environmental Resilience, Industrial Research

The focus is the collaborative development of solutions to enable sustainable and resilient farming by addressing biotic and abiotic stresses in agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Projects must seek to significantly improve:

  • Productivity.
  • Sustainability and environmental impact of farming.
  • Progression towards net zero emissions.
  • Longer term resilience.
  • Food security.

A total of £12.5 million has been allocated to this competition for both strands. For the Feasibility Studies competition, each project's total costs must be between £200,000 and £500,000. For the Industrial Research Competition, each project's total costs must be between £500,000 and £1 million.

This competition is open to collaborations only. To lead a project, an organisation must be a UK registered business of any size, an academic institution or a research and technology organisation (RTO). If the lead organisation is an academic institution or an RTO it must collaborate with at least two businesses of any size. To collaborate with the lead, the organisation must be a UK business of any size or a UK registered academic institution, charity, not-for-profit, public sector organisation or RTO.

Project work must be carried out in the UK. Applicants must intend to exploit the results from or in England.

Both competitions open on 22 May 2023. The deadline to submit an application is 19 July 2023.

More details about both of these Competitions can be accessed on the Innovate UK website.