Blog: Your chance to test your farm innovation ideas

Farmer with laptop_600_400

Sam Durham_170_255

He writes:

It’s amazing to see the variety and breadth of solutions we come up with when we’re trying to run efficient and productive businesses.

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Some of the ideas will be imaginative and some may seem to be unpractical. But some may be the solution to long standing agricultural problems. 

The history of farming shows an industry that is constantly innovating and trying out ideas. Some ideas don’t help, but some could make farming more efficient and sustainable, helping us to produce more and impact less. Until an idea is tested, no one will know how beneficial it could be - no idea is a bad idea!

But the problem with ideas is it takes time and money to try them out. So wouldn’t it be great if farmers could team up with researchers and scientists to practically test these ideas on farm, where it matters?

Well, it may be surprising to hear that a positive development has come out of the new Common Agricultural Policy – but, of course, if it has come from Europe it won’t have a simple name. It is known as the European Innovation Partnerships (or EIPs if you like your acronyms).
EIPs are about solving real problems that farmers come across, and involving farmers in coming up with the solutions. Farmers and researchers and others will form small groups to look at the ideas and small amounts of funding are available to help to run the groups. 

EIPs are being run by Defra, and currently they are asking for ideas with the grant programme set to be launched in September.
If you’ve been hit by inspiration, register your innovation on the Gov.UK website. 

The NFU can help as well. We have a long list of research contacts and may be able to link your idea up with the best person to test it. Get in touch with your regional office who will put you through to the right person.