The Government has made £14 million available to ‘unlock innovation and develop solutions’ in the farming sector in two new research and feasibility competitions under the Farming Innovation Programme
Defra has said this is part of a government commitment to invest £600m in innovation and productivity in the sector over three years, and adds further support to the development and take-up of innovative practices on farms to boost productivity and sustainability while meeting net-zero targets.
The competitions are open to farmers, growers, foresters, research organisations and businesses involved in agriculture to collaborate on novel ideas and solutions.
Farming minister Mark Spencer said ”These competitions are all about encouraging collaborations between farmers and growers on the one hand, and research organisations and industry on the other, to help bring ideas from the planning stage into practice”.
”The success of the previous competition rounds and the broad scope of ideas coming forward showcase the range of possibilities available for driving up productivity and solving some of the industry’s biggest challenges. I encourage everyone to take a look at what’s on offer in the latest competitions and apply.”
Meanwhile, Defra has published guidance for the third round of the Small Research & Development Partnerships competition, which seeks to help businesses develop a new farming product or service and take it to commercialisation on the open market.
Defra has also announced new guidance for a £4.5m Feasibility Studies competition which aims to support businesses and researchers through the difficult testing phase of an idea, checking whether it works in practice and helping them assess whether to invest in a project.