Farming Innovation Programme – competitions for funding

First published: 10 November 2022

A milking parlour

Defra has partnered with UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) to launch a series of competitions for funding towards projects that help improve productivity through innovation. Read on to find out about the latest competitions to apply for, and how past applicants and winners can share their experiences with us. 

About the Farming Innovation Programme

Back in October 2021 Defra launched the first of a series of funding competitions to invest in R&D for the farming industry under the Farming Innovation Programme banner. Further competitions have become available throughout this year.

The aim of the programme is to help farmers, growers and foresters increase their sustainability and resilience through harnessing science to develop practical solutions for the industry.

The NFU have argued for increased funding in this area for many years and it is vital that investment leads to all farmers and growers being supported to get involved at some level with R&D.

It is essential robust evidence is accessible to everyone to improve decision-making and provide feedback on what works on farm.

We want to hear from you

We would like to know from any of our members who looked at these opportunities what their experiences were, good or bad. Whether you applied, or even just considered applying, this feedback will help with future NFU discussions with Defra and UKRI. We hope this can lead to improvements in the programme and application process. 

If you have feedback please email us on [email protected].

Funding opportunites:

There are funding opportunities available through the second round of the following competition:

Small R&D partnership projects

The second round of the Farming Futures R&D competition has now closed.

The third round will be announced in January and will be themed around automation and robotics. Keep checking this page for more updates on competitions.

The projects should aim to help the sector meet the challenge of transitioning to the more sustainable production of farm-based priorities.

Learn more about the funding

Watch: UKRI | Applicant briefing

Past competitions

In October 2021, the first three competitions under industry-led R&D Partnerships Fund were launched with total funding of £17.5m.

A further funding opportunity for large R&D partnership projects opened in March 2022, with £8m of funding on offer for large collaborative business-led projects.

These funding opportunities have now closed.

You can read about the successful applications from the first round of the Small R&D partnership projects funding at: UKRI | £11m funding announced to further support food sector innovation

Further information

If you are interested in the Farming Innovation Programme please visit: UKRI | Farming Innovation: find out about funding .

You can also read Defra’s blogs at: GOV.UK | Future Farming

Ask us a question about this page

Once you have submitted your query our NFU CallFirst will contact you and, if appropriate, your question will be passed on to one of our policy teams.

By completing the form with your details on this page, you are agreeing to have this information sent to the NFU for the purposes of contacting you regarding your enquiry. Please take time to read the NFU’s Privacy Policy if you require further information.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.