£5 million of funding released for innovation in agriculture

agriculture innovation funding

Businesses and universities across the UK will now bdemoe able to benefit from a share of £5 million of funding from government and industry to develop innovations to solve some of the world’s greatest agricultural challenges such as sustainability, food security, weed control and livestock disease.

This £5 million investment is part of the second round of funding to be distributed through the £70 million Agri-Tech Catalyst, announced as part of the UK Industrial Strategy for Agricultural Technologies in July 2013.

Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark said: “Investing in agricultural technology today will bring commercial rewards tomorrow, taking the critical steps from lab to market place. It’s all part of the government’s long term economic plan to create more jobs and promote growth through industrial strategy.”

How this investment can help your business

The Agri-Tech Catalyst is designed to support collaborative research between scientists and businesses to springboard projects from the lab to the market place.

There are 13 projects, which fall into 2 key areas of the agriculture sector – crops and livestock and will receive £4 million funding from government and £1.3 million co-investment from industry. This follows the round 1 investment of £4 million in March 2014 and £18 million in July 2014.

Some of these projects include:

  • exploring pearl millet variation to produce improved bread products for diabetics
  • developing rice resistance to 2 major diseases to support food security in Asia
  • autonomous systems for remotely monitoring an invasive fruit pest
  • developing a robotic weed sprayer for difficult terrain farm land
  • decreasing food waste through the control of fruit flies in Asia and Africa
  • exploring the use of genome-screening and other technology to reduce the mastitis disease in sheep

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