+44 (0)1509 261182

ISCF TFP science and technology into practice: Demonstration


Apply for between £400,000 and £4million to demonstrate solutions that can transform food production and help the industry move towards net zero emissions by 2040. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Up to £15million of grant funding is available through the Transforming Food Production Science and Technology into Practice programme. Innovate UK are running two strands through this competition:

  • Feasibility study projects (publishing soon): Innovate UK expect to spend £5million
  • Demonstration projects (this competition): Innovate UK expect to spend £10million

It is your responsibility to make sure you are applying for the correct strand.

Your demonstration project must:

  • Demonstrate the viability of combinations of precision solutions to transform food production
  • Demonstrate solutions across different production environments, to encourage their widespread use
  • Work with end users
  • Produce evidence of technical feasibility and economic viability at commercial scale

Your solution must:

  • Have the potential to improve productivity and sustainability
  • Contribute to the target of net zero emissions from agriculture by 2040

Open Date:


Close Date:


Your project must focus on the development of precision, data-driven solutions and systems. These must make a significant step towards net zero emissions and improved resource use efficiency for food production, while also improving productivity of the sector.

Your project must accelerate the adoption of new, integrated solutions and projects. It must also focus on combinations of technologies to improve production systems rather than the demonstration of individual technologies.

Your project must:

  • Deliver effective knowledge exchange (KE) and embed the approaches by working with and communicating results to end-users during and at the end of the project
  • Develop and deliver a KE plan that identifies the target markets for the technology, expected engagement quality and quantity with the target markets and expected outcomes in terms of technology adoption (such as number of farmers, area of land, percentage of production using the new technology)
  • Give responsibility to a specific project partner with suitable infrastructure and proven experience to deliver the KE activities
  • Include objectives around building understanding of how your approach can best achieve widespread use, working with economists, social scientists and other relevant experts
  • Meet the specific objectives of the Transforming Food Production challenge (set out in the supporting information section of this brief) and particularly objectives 1 and 2

Innovate UK anticipate developing a set of economic and environmental impact indicators across all demonstrator projects, as far as possible. These will be identified once the portfolio of demonstrator projects have been selected. Innovate UK will use this data to inform development of best practice and shape future science investment.

Your project must:

  • Outline a set of economic and environmental indicators that will be used to evidence the effectiveness of the systems being demonstrated
  • Include resources to provide accurate and independent measurement of the effectiveness of the solutions demonstrated

To enable projects to have the maximum impact possible, Innovate UK will work across projects to co-ordinate:

  • Dissemination of outcomes
  • Outreach to end users
  • Sharing of best practice

You must take part in in these co-ordination activities.

You are strongly encouraged to work with one or more existing demonstration platforms, networks or supplier groups, rather than developing new entities in this area.

To achieve the challenge’s objectives, Innovate UK will fund a balanced portfolio of high-scoring projects across a variety of technologies, markets, industry sectors and technological maturities. Innovate UK may also adjust the levels of overall funding available for feasibility and demonstration strands within Science and Technology into Practice to fund the best portfolio of projects to achieve the challenge’s aims.

Your project can focus one or more agricultural sectors, including, but not limited to:

  • Arable, such as cereals, field-scale vegetables or potatoes
  • Dairy
  • Ruminants, such as beef, lamb, goat
  • Monogastrics, such as pork, poultry and eggs
  • Horticulture, including berries, apples, lettuce and tomatoes but not ornamentals
  • Aquaculture

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £400,000 and £4million.

For exceptional demonstration projects, Innovate UK may consider total eligible costs greater than £4million.

Projects must start by 26 August 2020 and end by 31 March 2023. They can last up to 30 months.

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business of any size
  • Involve at least one micro, small or medium sized enterprise (SME)
  • Collaborate with other businesses, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To collaborate with the lead organisation your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business, academic institution, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • Be invited to take part by the lead applicant
  • Enter its costs in the Innovation Funding Service

Your project team must include at least one organisation with proven knowledge exchange and demonstration capability and experience.

The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs.

Any one business can lead on one demonstration application. A business leading an application can collaborate in a further two applications.

If a business is not leading an application, it can collaborate in up to three applications.

A research organisation can collaborate on any number of applications.

Innovate UK have allocated up to £15million to fund innovation projects across the two strands of this competition.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs if you are a research organisation
  • 70% if you are a micro or small business
  • 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • 50% if you are a large business

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs if you are a research organisation
  • 45% if you are a micro or small business
  • 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • 25% if you are a large business

For demonstration projects, the research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum is shared between them.

This competition provides state aid funding under article 25, ‘Collaborative R&D’, of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). It is your responsibility to make sure that your organisation is eligible to receive state aid.

Innovate UK are not funding:

  • Projects relating to non-food products, equine and amenity horticulture
  • Projects that only include one solution

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.

Call to find out more

If you’d like to know more about this competition, please give us a call on 01509 261182 and one of our team will be delighted to help you access this funding opportunity for your business.