The aim of the Farming Innovation Pathways (FIP) competition is to develop and support a productive, resilient, and sustainable agricultural sector. Novel solutions are needed to produce healthy food for consumption, where farms can be profitable and economically sustainable without subsidy.
Funding for this competition is from Defra’s Future Farming and Countryside programme. Projects can be based anywhere in the UK but must be able to clearly demonstrate potential benefits to the English farming sector.
Your project must engage with farmers, growers or producers to explore the potential of early-stage farm-focused solutions. These solutions must solve the short to long-term challenges of productivity, sustainability, and net zero emissions.
To meet these challenges, your project must focus on innovative solutions that can be integrated into the sector with the potential to be taken up and widely adopted.
Your project must address at least one of the four industry subsectors:
- Novel food production systems.
- Bioeconomy and agroforestry.
Your project must focus on one or more of the high-priority areas listed below.
Livestock (for example: beef, dairy, sheep, pigs, poultry)
- Improving resource use efficiency, particularly feed efficiency
- Advances in breeding and genetic improvement
- Improving animal health and welfare
- Improved data capture, management and decision support
- Intelligent housing solutions
- Manure and slurry management
Plant (for example: arable, horticulture, vegetable production):
- Reducing reliance on fossil fuels and agrochemical inputs
- Improving resource use efficiency, particularly fertiliser
- Improving soil health
- Improving sustainability of growth substrates (horticulture)
- Diversification of rotations with novel crops
- Advances in breeding and genetic improvement
- Improving the quality, nutritional characteristics and life of arable and horticultural produce
- Increasing automation for crop husbandry and harvesting
Novel food production systems:
- Insect production for feed
- Controlled environment agriculture
Bioeconomy and agroforestry:
- Developing opportunities for UK farmers, growers and foresters in the Bioeconomy (primary focus must be on food or feed production)
- Integrating biomass and agroforestry into traditional farmed systems and land-use practice, improving sustainability, productivity and income diversification
Innovate UK are also encouraging applicants with proposals which are developing or improving integrated plant and livestock systems.
The high-priority areas listed are not intended to be exhaustive.
To achieve the challenge’s objectives, Innovate UK will fund a balanced portfolio of projects across a variety of technologies, markets, industry sectors, technological maturities and business size.
Innovate UK have allocated up to £5million to fund innovation projects in this feasibility studies competition.
If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.
For feasibility studies 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
The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.
Innovate UK may adjust the levels of overall funding available in both the feasibility and industrial research strands in this competition. This will be to fund the portfolio of projects that are most likely to achieve the challenge aims.
Each organisation in your project must complete their own project costs, organisation details and funding details in the application.
For full details on what costs you can claim see our project costs guidance.
Innovate UK will not give subsidies to projects:
- That are equine-specific
- For amenity and ornamental horticulture
- For wild caught fisheries
- That do not primarily benefit farming in England
- That are dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that they export a certain quantity of bread to another country
- That are dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example if we insisted that a baker use 50% UK flour in their product
Cresco Innovation works with companies to develop and implement innovation strategies. We help client companies identify opportunities to develop new products and services, and then create a package of support to ensure that the idea is turned into a commercial reality.
Our services include securing grants (as a team we have raised around £40million over three years), business planning, IP advice, access to finance and funders, project management and IP commercialisation support.
We regularly act as the interface with the funding bodies and help clients ensure that their projects are properly managed to ensure the best outcome for all.