Agriculture and horticulture innovation funding: Industry-led R&D Partnerships fund - PKF Francis Clark
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Agriculture and horticulture innovation funding: Industry-led R&D Partnerships fund

As I referred to in my blog on The Farming Investment Fund, also due to be launched by Defra in October is their Industry-led R&D Partnerships fund.

This is the first of three different funds to launch in Defra’s new Farming Innovation Programme.

Details, as we have them, are set out below but according to the source Defra “will be sharing lots more information in the early autumn. This will include briefing events, detailed guidance on eligibility requirements and how to apply, and support to form partnerships with other applicants”. So, if you think you may have an eligible project I would suggest you get signed up to Defra’s e-alerts and follow Defra, UKRI and Innovate UK on Twitter… and of course, watch this space.

The Industry-led R&D Partnerships fund

The Industry-led R&D Partnerships fund will be delivered in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and there will be four types of competition. These competitions are summarised in the table below, with launch dates of October 2021 for the first three listed and 2022 for last one. They will be open to applications for 6-7 weeks, with different closing dates for each competition:

Competition Name Project size Project length Aims
Research Starter Projects £28k – £56k Up to 12 months To help farmers and growers with bold, ambitious early-stage ideas develop them further and build a collaborative team – for those who haven’t previously received Innovate UK funding
Feasibility Projects £200k – £500k Up to 2 years To test the feasibility of early-stage solutions and to inform decisions on subsequent larger scale R&D projects
Small R&D Partnership Projects £1m – £3m Up to 3 years To carry out R&D for innovative solutions that have the potential to substantially improve overall productivity, sustainability and resilience of the sector
Large R&D Partnership Projects £3m – £5m Up to 4 years Larger-scale R&D and demonstration of solutions that have the potential to substantially improve overall productivity, sustainability and resilience of the sector

More details on who is eligible to apply and level of grant intervention/matching funding requirements etc are expected soon. For now, on the former we are told: “You could be a farmer or grower with an exciting idea that will benefit England’s farming sector, or for our larger projects, a group of agri-businesses wanting to collaborate with other businesses, researchers and end-users to develop and commercialise your innovative product. You might even be a business from outside the sector with a game-changing idea for English farming.”

The overall aim of this scheme appears to be “to encourage groups of farmers, growers, businesses and researchers to get involved in collaborative research and development… to solve challenges and exploit opportunities for increasing productivity and environmental sustainability in the agricultural and horticultural sectors in England”.

PKF Francis Clark

I will be interested to see further details on this scheme, and the other elements of the Farming Innovation Programme as I suspect they may be of interest to a number of our clients.  I will look to update this blog as more details are announced.

If you are based in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, you may also be interested in the support, and funding, potentially available from Agri-Tech Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.

And, if you run a company, do not forget R&D Tax Credits. We are seeing clients invest increasingly in R&D and have been able to assist a number of these in claiming the government’s tax relief.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact me or your usual PKF Francis Clark point of contact.

FEATURING: Brian Harvey
As head of PKF Francis Clark’s agricultural sector group, Brian manages a dedicated team of agricultural accountants and tax advisers. He hails from a Cornish… read more
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