The Agri-Tech Catalyst supports innovative ideas from any sector or discipline, which can help make the UK a world leader in agricultural technology, innovation and sustainability.
Three categories of grant are available:
These categories are designed to form a pipeline, supporting the development of an idea from concept to commercialisation, from the early-stage exploration of commercial and technical potential through to proving utility in the field and development prior to commercialisation.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for assessment by independent experts. Applicants may apply for the award category most appropriate for their work without having received a prior award.
The Agri-Tech Catalyst will fund proposals relating to:
- primary crop and livestock production, including aquaculture
- non-food uses of arable crops (for example, for biomass)
- food security and nutrition challenges in international development
- challenges in downstream food processing, provided the solution lies in primary production.
The Agri-Tech Catalyst will not fund equine-related proposals, or proposals relating to forestry or wild-capture fisheries.
Agricultural science and technology is one of the world’s fastest-growing and exciting markets. It is driven by global changes: a rising population, climate change, rapid development of emerging economies with western lifestyle aspirations, and growing geopolitical instability around shortages of land, water and energy. A technology revolution is also taking place. Breakthroughs in nutrition, genetics, informatics, satellite imaging, remote sensing, meteorology, precision farming and low-impact agriculture are driving major global investment in agri-tech.
In order to meet these challenges, businesses and researchers need to work together to develop innovative technologies and processes which provide solutions that are economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. That is the vision of the Government’s UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies, which aims to put the UK at the forefront of the sustainable intensification of agricultural production.
And to help achieve this, the Government is investing £70m in a new Agri-Tech Catalyst. The Agri-Tech Catalyst offers funding for collaborative projects, taking innovative ideas from any sector or discipline with the potential to provide an economic boost to the UK Agri-Tech industry, by tackling challenges in agriculture. These may be domestic or international challenges: funding for the Agri-Tech Catalyst includes an element specifically targeted at contributing to international development.
Funding through the Agri-Tech Catalyst is available to UK businesses of any size, as well as researchers. Funding is also available to partners in developing countries for applications targeting international development challenges.
Support is available for projects arising from any sector or discipline that are aimed at addressing relevant challenges, and multi-disciplinary collaborations are encouraged.
The deadline for applications for the first round is 4 June 2014. In the case of industrial research awards, the deadline for second-stage applications is 11 June 2014.