Agronomist Using a Tablet in an Agricultural Field

Grant Competition: Farming Innovation Programme – Large R&D Partnerships

Are you working on R&D that supports English farming? You could qualify for up to £3.5 million in funding through Defra’s Large R&D Partnerships grant. Here’s what you need to know.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has launched an £8 million grant competition for projects that significantly improve the productivity, sustainability, and resilience of English agriculture and horticulture.

The competition offers successful applicants up to £3.5 million in funding and closes on 29 June.

To qualify for the Large R&D Partnerships grant – part of Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme – your project must start by 1 February 2023, end by 2027, and have total costs of between £3 million and £5 million.

Here are the key things you need to know about Defra’s Large R&D Partnerships grant before you begin your application. 

If you want a quick-and-easy eligibility assessment, or to talk to a specialist about your application, GrantTree’s Innovation Grants team is standing by to help you.

Am I eligible for this grant?

Here are the key eligibility criteria for Defra’s Large R&D Partnerships grant. You can find a complete breakdown of the eligibility criteria on the competition page.

Leading a project

To lead a project your company must: 

  • Be a UK-registered business
  • Collaborate with other UK-registered organisations
  • Be or collaborate with at least one grant-claiming SME
  • Collaborate with at least one grant-claiming academic institution, research and technology organisation (RTO), charity, not-for-profit or public sector organisation

Partnering with a lead

To partner with a lead organisation, your organisation must be a UK-registered:
  • Business
  • Academic institution
  • Charity
  • Not-for-profit
  • Public sector organisation
  • Research and technology organisation

Your project

Your project must:

  • Have total costs between £3 million and £5 million
  • Start by 1 February 2023
  • End by 31 January 2027
  • Last no more than 48 months
  • Be carried out entirely in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in England
  • Have a minimum of 50% of any grant requested by farmers, growers or foresters, allocated to farmers, growers or foresters based in England

Proposal scope

Your project must look to address major on-farm or post-farmgate challenges and opportunities. It must look to significantly improve:

  • Productivity
  • Sustainability
  • Progress towards net zero
  • Resilience

Your application must explain how your project will:

  • Benefit farmers, growers, or foresters in England
  • Include end users across the supply chain to identify major challenges and opportunities 
  • Yield scalable solutions with a widespread impact
  • Build an understanding of how your approach will achieve widespread use, working with economists, social scientists, and other experts
  • Support transformative change in the agriculture sector
  • Deliver and deliver a knowledge exchange plan
  • Exploit its outputs and its expected outcomes regarding adoption

How much can I apply for?

How much funding you can apply for depends on your size, the nature of your project, and whether your organization’s work is economic or non-economic in nature. 

As with other Innovate UK competitions, the Large R&D Partnerships grant lets you claim up to 70% of your eligible project costs. You will need to fund the other 30%.

The smallest grant you can apply for as a business is one that covers 50% of your total eligible project costs. 

You can find more information about how much funding you can access on the competition page

Maximise your funding chances with GrantTree

Every year only a small percentage of proposals go on to win grant funding. However, you can significantly improve your application’s chances of success by working with GrantTree.

Our innovation grant experts have decades of experience in securing funding for innovative UK businesses in a wide range of sectors. Offering a variety of services to suit your company’s individual needs, our grants team can help to propel your business to the next stage of growth. 

If you have any questions about your application, or would like to discuss accessing expert support, your team is standing by to help you – just get in touch.