Farming Innovation Programme (Feasibility/Small R&D Partnership Projects)

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will work with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to invest up to £5.5 million in ‘Feasibility Projects’ and £11million in ‘Small R&D Partnership Projects’. Interested? Get in touch!


  • Competition closes: 1 December 2021, 11am
  • ‘Feasibility’ Projects
    • Applicants notified: 21st February, 2022
    • Project start date & duration: April-May 2022 for up to 24 months
  • ‘Small R&D partnership’ projects
    • Interview Phase: 14th January – 14th February 2022
    • Applicants Notified 10th March 2022
    • Project start date & duration: May-June 2022 for up to 36 months


The aim of this competition is to fund industrial research studies developing new solutions that will address major on-farm or immediate post farmgate challenges or opportunities. UKRI will fund projects that:

  • Develop solutions with the potential to improve overall productivity, sustainability, resilience, and move existing agricultural sectors to Net Zero
  • Ensure solutions have positive outputs for farmers, growers or foresters in commercially relevant situations
  • Develop new agricultural solutions, by collaboration through engagement with end users and the UK research community in the innovation process
  • Accelerate adoption by ensuring knowledge exchange with the wider sector and other stakeholders

Specific Themes

Your project must address a significant industry challenge or opportunity in at least one of these industry subsectors:

  • Livestock
  • Plants
  • Novel food production systems
  • Bioeconomy and agroforestry

Projects that will not be funded

  • Equine Specific
  • Wild caught fisheries
  • Aquaculture, including algae and seaweed production​
  • Cellular or acellular production systems
  • Fermentation systems for bacteria, yeast or fungi​
  • Projects that do not benefit farmers, growers or foresters in England


  • Lead organisation must be a UK registered business. ‘R&D Partnership projects’ must include a UK based collaborator
  • State aid funding rules apply
  • Must intend to exploit the results from or in England
  • Must have at least 50% of the farmers, growers or foresters involved based in England

Funding Rates

  • Feasibility (TRL 2-3): Total eligible project costs between £200,000 and £500,000.
  • Small R&D partnerships (TRL 3-5): Total eligible projects costs between £1 million to £3 million
  • 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
  • Research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the UK total eligible project costs.


Contact us for further information

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