Develop a new farming product or service 

If you have a new farming product or service you want to develop, you can apply to be funded as a ‘Research and Development (R&D) Partnership’ project. 

It’s your chance to pitch something that could improve farming methods and help the environment. 

You need to be a business registered in the UK to lead a project. Research organisations and other businesses, including farmers, growers and foresters, can collaborate as part of the project team.


Which competition to apply for

There are 2 different competitions you can apply for. You should consider total project costs and length when deciding which one is right for you. 

Competition nameAmountLength (up to) 
Small R&D Partnerships£1-3 million3 years
Large R&D Partnerships£3-5 million4 years

What’s coming up

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

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

CompetitionOpensClosesStatus
Large R&D partnership (round 1)30 March 202229 June 2022Details available 
Small R&D partnership (round 2)Autumn 22TBCUpcoming 

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 product or service needs to benefit farmers 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 an R&D Partnership project. You’ll need to collaborate with at least one other business or research organisation.

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. 


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 product you are developing works for them

Businesses: what you can claim

The amount of funding you can apply for depends on the:

  • size of your business
  • type of work you’ll be doing (industrial research or experimental development) 

The rules are the same for both leads and collaborators. 

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

Industrial research projects

You can check which category your project is on the UKRI website.

Size of business% of your project costs
Small or micro70%
Medium60%
Large 50%
Percentages relate to these competitions only and could vary in future competitions.

Experimental development projects

You can check which category your project is on the UKRI website.

Size of business% of your project costs
Small or micro45%
Medium35%
Large 25%
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 30% of the total project costs. 

For example, if you’re working on a project that has a total cost of £5 million, combined costs for the research organisations involved would be capped at £1.5 million (30%). 

Research organisations can apply for funding to cover these costs, up to the full amount. In this example, that would be up to £1.5 million.