Sustainable food production: apply for grants and investment

Harvesting a wheat field, dust clouds

Businesses can apply for a share of £5 million and support from investors to fast-track projects that help food production achieve net zero emissions.

Feeding a growing population sustainably is one of the biggest global challenges. The world population is expected to grow from 7.8 billion today to more than 10 billion by the end of the century.

Agriculture and food production contribute more than 20 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Transforming Food Production Challenge has up to £90 million to help businesses invest in new data-driven precision-agriculture technologies that could transform food production and improve sustainability.

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, has up to £5 million from the fund to invest in experimental development projects that are close to market.

Applicants must also attract investment of at least twice the amount of grant from one of the investors on a panel associated with the programme.

Aim is to help achieve net zero emissions

Projects must work on data-driven precision agriculture systems that can make a significant contribution to achieving net zero emissions and improved use of resources.

They must show they have a late-stage innovation that could be scaled up and that they have potential to grow their business.

Projects must show how they meet the aims of the transforming food production challenge to:

  • help food production systems achieve net zero emissions by 2040
  • help produce food in ways that are more efficient, resilient, and sustainable
  • speed up the development and use of integrated precision approaches to improve productivity in agricultural systems.

Successful projects must attract investment from 1 member of a panel of investors chosen for their expertise in the field.

Applications that meet the quality threshold for the competition will be invited to meet the investors.

Competition information

  • the competition is open, and the deadline for applications is at 11am on 13 January 2021
  • the deadline for reaching heads of terms with a lead investor is 3 June 2021
  • micro, small or medium-sized enterprises can apply
  • we expect project costs to be between £1 million and £3 million
  • a briefing event takes place on 10 November 2020.

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