open NOW Opened: 30 March 2022 | Closes: 29 June 2022
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of £8 million for large research and development (R&D) partnership projects, from the industry-led R&D Partnerships Fund, a part of the Farming Innovation Programme.
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will work with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to invest up to £8 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:
- drive the development and demonstration of solutions that have the potential to substantially improve overall productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability
- help the sector mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change
- ensure solutions deliver positive benefits for England’s farmers, growers, or foresters in commercially relevant situations
- accelerate research development and demonstration of new agricultural solutions by driving collaboration through active engagement of end users and the wider UK research community in the innovation process
- enable adoption by demonstrating knowledge exchange to the wider sector and other stakeholders
Your proposal must be able to demonstrate how the project will:
- work with end users across the supply chain to identify the major on-farm or immediate post farmgate challenges or opportunities
- benefit farmers, growers, or foresters in England
- build understanding of how your approach can best achieve widespread use, developing a theory of change, working with economists, social scientists, and other relevant experts
- have scalable solutions that can be taken up widely and have widespread impact
- demonstrate how the project will support a transformative change in the agriculture or horticultural sectors
- develop and deliver a knowledge exchange (KE) plan that identifies the targets for the solution with a clear dissemination plan
- how you will exploit the outputs of the project, and expected outcomes in terms of solution adoption
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure they are applying to the correct competition for their project.
In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.
Your project’s total costs must be between £3 million and £5 million.
Who can apply
If you are successful, any awards given to primary agricultural producers are subject to the green box exemption under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. Please see further guidance on green box subsidies here 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:
- have total costs between £3 million and £5 million
- start by 1 February 2023
- end by 31 January 2027
- last up to 48 months
- carry out all of its project work in the UK
- intend to exploit the results from or in England
- have a minimum of 50% of any grant requested by farmers, growers or foresters, allocated to farmers, growers or foresters based in England
To lead a project, your organisation must:
- be a UK registered business of any size,
- collaborate with other UK registered organisations
- be or involve at least one grant claiming micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
- involve at least one grant claiming academic institution, research and technology organisation (RTO), charity, not-for-profit or public sector organisation
To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be a UK business of any size or a UK registered:
- academic institution
- public sector organisation
- research and technology organisation (RTO)
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.
The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding by entering their costs during 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 eligible 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 also provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you.
Innovate UK expects all subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs. Innovate UK will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.
Number of applications
A business can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications.
If a business is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.
An academic institution, research and technology organisation (RTO), charity, not-for-profit or public sector organisation can collaborate on any number of applications.
You cannot use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.
Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:
- failed to exploit a previously funded project
- an overdue independent accountant’s report
- failed to comply with grant terms and conditions
Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)
This competition provides funding in line with the UK's obligations and commitments to Subsidy Control. Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent guidance from the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. Innovate UK will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.
EU State aid rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.
If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. Innovate UK is unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.
You must make sure at all times that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.
This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.
If there are any changes to the above requirements that means Innovate UK needs to change the terms of this competition, they will tell you as soon as possible.
Defra and UKRI’s Transforming Food Production Challenge have allocated up to £8 million to fund innovation projects in this competition.
If the majority of your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.
For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:
- up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
- up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
- up to 50% if you are a large organisation
For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:
- up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
- up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
- up to 25% if you are a large organisation
If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.
The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.Of that 30% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:
- 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-s registered institution such as an academic
- 100% of your eligible project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not-for-profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation