Check if a research idea works in practice

If you’ve been researching an idea that could improve farming, you can apply for funding to check if it will work in practice. 

The ‘Feasibility Studies’ competition is for projects that cost between £200,000 and £500,000.

Projects can last for up to 2 years and should help you decide if it’s worth investing more in the development of a product or service.  

You need to be a business registered in the UK to lead on a ‘Feasibility Studies’ project. Research organisations, farmers and growers, and other businesses can be part of the project team as collaborators.

What’s coming up

Full details of eligibility and how to apply will be published on the Innovation Funding Service when each round opens.

You can find early information here to help you plan ahead. 

What we’re looking for 

This is a competitive process. Applications will be reviewed and funding awarded to the projects that best meet the overall aims of the programme

In particular, your project needs to benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England.

Your application needs to show how you’ll:

  • solve a real-world problem for farmers, growers or foresters
  • increase productivity
  • reduce emissions and the environmental impact of farming
  • improve the resilience of farming businesses in England

Work as part of a team

We want to encourage collaboration between farmers, researchers and businesses. We believe that by working together you can develop the solutions and improvements needed to meet environmental and industry challenges.

You have to be a UK registered business to lead on a ‘Feasibility Studies’ project. You’ll need to collaborate with at least one other business or research organisation. 

Once the competition is open, Innovate UK Business Connect can help you find the right people to work with (opens in new window) on your project. 

Work with farmers

Farmers, growers or foresters must be involved throughout the project. This is so that any new product or service works for them in practice. 

There are different ways you could collaborate:

  • work with them directly to develop a product (for example on their land)
  • put them on your advisory or project boards
  • regularly check that the ideas you are developing work for them

Amount of funding you could get  

Total project costs need to be between £200,000 and £500,000.

Businesses: what you can claim

The amount of funding you can claim depends on the size of your business. It’s the same rules if you’re a lead or collaborator.  

There is guidance to help you check what size your company is if you’re not sure. 

Size of business% of your project costs
Small or micro70%
Large 50%
Percentages relate to these competitions only and could vary in future competitions.

Research organisations: what you can claim

You can collaborate as part of the project team. Your costs are capped at 50% of the total project costs. 

For example, if you’re working on a project that has a total cost of £500,000, combined costs for the research organisations involved would be capped at £250,000 (50%). 

Research organisations can apply for funding to cover these costs, up to the full amount. In this example, that would be up to £250,000.