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UK-Canada: Enhancing agricultural productivity and sustainability

Overview:

UK businesses with Canadian business partners can apply for a share of up to £2million, from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, for innovative projects that enhance productivity and sustainability of crop, livestock and aquaculture systems.

The UK and Canada are running a joint funding competition to support collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects, to develop new products, processes and services. Projects must target improvement to the productivity and sustainability of crop, livestock and aquaculture systems.

Innovate UK want applicants to deliver integrated precision approaches and data driven solutions to support the transition to a net zero-emission industry by 2040.

Innovate UK welcome proposals:

  • Combining digital technologies, artificial intelligence, the application of big data and engineering solutions with biological, environmental and/or social science to drive productivity
  • Developing technologies and solutions that connect farms and supply chains
  • Transferring technology from another sector into agriculture, providing this requires innovation

The national funding bodies (NFBs) will fund their respective participants in the projects. Contact your agency for further guidance:

Open Date:

27/01/2020

Close Date:

20/05/2020

Innovate UK want to support a portfolio of projects across the breadth of the agriculture sector, including projects that focus on crop, livestock and aquaculture production systems that:

  • Combine digital technologies, artificial intelligence, the application of big data and engineering solutions with biological, environmental or social science to drive productivity
  • Develop technologies and solutions that connect farms and supply chains
  • Transfer technology from another sector into agriculture, providing this requires innovation

The role of UK and Canadian participants in supported projects must align with the UK Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s ‘transforming food production’ objectives to provide transformations in their respective countries:

  1. Create integrated data-driven solutions to drive primary agricultural productivity whilst transitioning towards net zero agriculture emissions by 2040.
  2. Embed adoption of precision approaches to bridge the productivity gap, strengthening connections between researchers, businesses and practitioners
  3. Stimulate the establishment of novel high value production systems to position UK technologies at the forefront of new industries.
  4. Drive growth UK precision technology companies, creating high value jobs and adding value in the global agricultural value chain.
  5. Develop export opportunities and increase investment into UK research and innovation.

Innovate UK encourage projects to:

  • Bring new businesses and technologies into the UK and Canadian precision agriculture sector
  • Include farmer or grower involvement or endorsement

UK businesses may participate in up to three applications but lead only one.

Canadian applicants must register with NRC IRAP before 6 March 2020 to receive an EoI form.

Before being invited to join a project in Innovation Funding Service, all Canadian SME participants must have submitted a Canadian Expression of Interest (EoI) and have been invited to proceed to the full proposal stage of the competition by NRC IRAP.

Canadian funding applicants who do not complete an EoI and have not been invited to proceed will not be eligible for funding through this competition.

Please see the NRC IRAP call page for more information in English and French on Canadian eligibility requirements and in order to register.

Multiple applications

Canadian SMEs may only participate in one application either as a lead or partner (note UK organisation must be listed as lead on Innovation Funding Service and Canadian lead identified within the application in the “Project Details” section).

Shared rules

Your project

The majority of work undertaken by each partner should occur in their home country.

No one country and/or organisation can represent more than 75% of the total project cost.

Applications must demonstrate a clear intention to exploit the results of the project commercially.

Projects must start by 1 November 2020 and end by 31 March 2023. They can last between 24 and 29 months.

Project team

Your organisation cannot work alone. The project consortium must contain at least:

  • One UK-registered business of any size and
  • One registered Canadian SME (500 or fewer employees)

Academic institutions or research and technology organisations (RTOs) may participate in the project but cannot be awarded funding through this competition. They may, however, act as a sub-contractor to a funded project partner.

The role of each project partner must be detailed in a collaboration/consortium agreement included as part of the project application.

At least one business from each country (UK and Canada) in a project must receive funding.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding. Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs and must be entered on the Innovation Funding Service application under question 11 if you are a Canadian organisation or as part of the finance section if you are a UK organisation.

Selected collaborative R&D projects will be eligible to receive funding from their respective national funding body. Funds will be provided in accordance with the national laws, rules, regulations, and procedures established by each national funding body, and/or each jurisdiction and/or country and/or program.

UK

There is up to £2million allocated to fund UK business involvement in innovation projects in this competition. The combined total funding sought (grant available) for all UK partners can be a maximum of £400,000 per application and must provide a full cost breakdown in the Innovation Funding Service.

If your total funding sought is over £400,000 your project will be deemed ineligible and not be sent for assessment.

By adjusting your funding percentage in the finance section on the Innovation Funding Service you can change your funding sought amount, this may need to be carried out by each UK organisation within the consortium.

Organisations that are primarily engaged in commercial or economic activity (known as selective advantage) as part of the project must ensure their request for funding does not exceed the limits defined below.

Industrial research projects, UK businesses could get funding for eligible project costs of:

  • Up to 70% if you are a micro or small business
  • Up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • Up to 50% if you are a large business

Experimental development projects which are nearer to market, UK businesses could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • Up to 45% if you are a micro or small business
  • Up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • Up to 25% if you are a large business

This competition provides state aid funding under article 25, ‘Aid for research and development projects’, of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). It is the responsibility of the applicants to make sure that their organisation(s) are eligible to receive state aid.

Canada

NRC IRAP will provide a maximum contribution of up to $700,000 CAD to be shared between the Canadian partners involved in the project. Canadian SMEs may receive up to 50% reimbursement of eligible project costs.

Canadian SME applicants must be registered as NRC IRAP clients to be considered for funding through this competition. Please see the NRC IRAP call page for more information in English and French.

Innovate UK will not fund projects that focus on:

  • Forestry
  • Non-food crops
  • Wild capture fisheries
  • Amenity or ornamental horticulture
  • Equine
  • Integrating cannabis products into the food chain

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.