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ISCF TFP science and technology into practice: Feasibility studies


Apply for between £75,000 and £250,000 to test the feasibility of 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 (this competition): Innovate UK expect to spend £5million
  • Demonstration projects: Innovate UK expect to spend £10million

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

Your feasibility study must:

  • Evaluate the early stage feasibility of precision solutions to transform food production
  • Work with end users, such as farmers and producers
  • Evaluate, in practice, the potential of early stage ideas that address industry identified problems
  • Consider both the technical feasibility and the feasibility of the business model
  • Consider the route to adoption
  • Enable decisions to be made on the future development of the solution

Your solution must:

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

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Close Date:


Your project must accelerate the development of new, early stage solutions that address industry identified problems, by evaluating their potential in a commercial environment. The objective will be to enable decisions to be made quickly on whether the solution should be developed further and, if so, inform its future development.

Your project must:

  • Consider appropriate business models and routes to adoption alongside technical feasibility
  • Draw in relevant expertise to enable this (for example economic and social sciences)
  • Engage with end users to ensure the development of solutions is informed by their needs
  • Focus on the development of precision, data-driven solutions and systems that will make a significant step towards net zero emissions and improved resource use efficiency for food production
  • Improve the sector’s productivity
  • Meet the specific objectives of the Transforming Food Production challenge and particularly objectives 1 and 2

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 these co-ordination activities.

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 £75,000 and £250,000.

For exceptional feasibility study projects, Innovate UK may consider total eligible costs greater than £250,000.

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business of any size or a research organisation
  • 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

Feasibility studies led by a research organisation must collaborate with at least one business.

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

You must work with end-users to evaluate the potential of solutions.

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.

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

For feasibility studies, 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

The research organisations in your consortium can share up to 50% 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
  • Demonstration 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.