Farming Innovation: find out about funding
The Farming Innovation Programme is part of Defra’s investment in innovation, research and development.
Defra is partnering with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to fund projects that benefit farmers, growers and foresters in England.
All funding will be awarded through competitions. This means applications for each competition will be judged, and only the successful ones will be funded.
The programme’s aims are to:
- help farmers, growers and foresters increase productivity, sustainability and resilience
- reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and horticulture
- apply agricultural research to provide real benefits for farmers, growers and foresters
- use science to develop solutions for the practical challenges in agriculture and horticulture
To get funding, you must work in collaboration with a team.
Once the competition is open, Innovate UK KTN can help you find the right people to work with (opens in new window) on your project.
Which competition to apply for
You should consider the type of work you want to do and the amount of funding available.
|You want to||Competition name||Project size||Length (up to)||Who can lead|
|Explore an idea and develop a team||Research Starter||£28-56K||1 year||UK Businesses|
|Check if an idea works in practice||Feasibility Studies||£200-500K||2 years||UK Businesses|
|Develop a new product or service||Small R&D partnerships|
Large R&D partnerships
|Work on longer-term innovations||Farming Futures R&D||£200K – 6 million||2 to 5 years||Research |
or UK businesses
Plan ahead – competition schedule
Competitions will be published on the Innovation Funding Service (opens in new window) as they open, with full eligibility and application information for each one.
You can find early information here to help you plan ahead.
|Large R&D partnerships (round 2)||20 Feb 2023||19 Apr 2023||Details available|
|Farming Futures (theme 4)||May 2023||July 2023||Upcoming|
|Small R&D partnerships (round 3)||Aug 2023||Oct 2023||Upcoming|
|Feasibility (round 3)||Sep 2023||Nov 2023||Upcoming|
More about the Farming Innovation Programme
Funding will be awarded through a range of competitions from 2021 for a number of years.
This is part of Defra’s Future Farming and Countryside Programme (opens in new window).
All the competitions in the programme have been developed so that insights from science and business can be applied to challenges in agriculture and horticulture.
We want to encourage this collaboration to develop solutions and improvements that can meet real environmental and industry challenges.
You can check dates for previous competition rounds.
|Farming Futures (theme 3: Automation and robotics, Industrial Research)||09 Jan 23||17 Mar 23||Closed|
|Farming Futures (theme 3: Automation and robotics, Experimental Development)||09 Jan 23||17 Mar 23||Closed|
|Research Starter (round 3)||30 Jan 23||08 Mar 23||Closed|
|Small R&D partnerships (round 2)||31 Aug 22||02 Nov 22||Closed|
|Feasibility Studies (round 2)||31 Aug 22||12 Oct 22||Closed|
|Farming Futures (theme 2: sustainable farm-based proteins)||25 Jul 22||21 Sep 22||Closed|
|Research Starter (round 2)||23 May 22||06 Jul 22||Closed|
|Large R&D partnerships (round 1)||30 Mar 22||29 Jun 22||Closed|
|Farming Futures (theme 1: climate smart farming)||30 Mar 22||18 May 22||Closed|
|Research Starter (round 1)||20 Oct 21||24 Nov 21||Closed|
|Feasibility (round 1)||20 Oct 21||01 Dec 21||Closed|
|Small R&D partnerships (round 1)||20 Oct 21||01 Dec 21||Closed|
The Farming Innovation Programme will help the UK achieve its net zero ambitions and drive a green recovery.
Find out more about the changes to agricultural policy in England in Defra’s ‘Agricultural Transition Plan’ (opens in new window).
A summary of the transition plan, for farmers and land managers, is given in ‘Farming is Changing’ (opens in new window).