On first glance, I was unsure how relevant these funding competitions would be to our client base – but having read further details, I have at least one in mind for one the competitions, and I suspect there may be more.
The competitions themselves do demonstrate that the production of food is a key strand to the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy.
The funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) who are “investing £90m to create integrated data driven solutions to boost UK primary agricultural productivity. Three funding opportunities will open this autumn for ambitious projects in this sector. The programme will:
- accelerate the development and adoption of advanced precision agricultural technologies and solutions
- reimagine the food systems, produce food in new and novel production systems
- fuel growth and create high-skilled jobs in the UK.”
An overarching aim of the above appears to be to “move agricultural systems to net zero emissions by 2040, by producing food in ways that are more efficient, resilient and sustainable.”
The ISCF Future food production systems opened for applications on 17 September 2019 with up to £20m of grant funding to be awarded. Projects sought and potential applicants are summarised below:
|Projects sought||“Projects must create integrated, data-driven solutions to drive agricultural productivity as well as target net zero emissions. We will consider a broad range of technologies and systems.|
Your project must aim to determine the transformation of future food production systems. It must be ambitious, multidisciplinary and systems-focused rather than dedicated to developing a single technology.
We are particularly looking to support large-scale, ambitious projects.”
“All projects must be collaborative and involve a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).”
|Project size||Total eligible costs must be greater than £1 million, but less than £10 million.|
|Project start and duration||Projects must start by 1 July 2020 and end by 31 March 2023. They can last between 24 and 33 months.|
|Funding||The grant intervention rate varies dependent on a number of factors primarily: type of project (industrial research or experimental development) and size and type of organisation.|
|More information||More information can be found here and here. Including information on:|
|Competition closes||22 January 2020 12:00pm|
There is also a webinar that myself or a colleague will try to log onto on 3 October – full details can be found here.
In the news piece that announced the above competition, two further competitions were also trailed:
|UK-China: precision for enhancing agricultural productivity||To focus on autonomous technologies (sensors, systems, vehicles and robotics) and data-driven solutions to enhance productivity. Projects should include demonstration sites in China, in the UK, or both.|
|Science & technology into practice|
|Up to £15 million will support projects that either evaluate early stage feasibility or demonstrate the viability of precision solutions that will transform food production.|
PKF Francis Clark breakfast briefing (a tenuous link?)
The news piece about the grants included the sentence “food producers need to supply what we eat in a more sustainable and efficient way, reducing pollution, minimising waste and improving soil conditions.” The third annual PKF Francis Clark food and drink sector focused breakfast briefing is on one of those areas – waste. For more details and to book your place, please click here.
PKF Francis Clark
Our Corporate Finance team have significant experience in assisting clients with grant applications and would be more than happy to help if you are considering making an application.
By Andrew James