IUK Launches UK-China: Precision for Enhancing Agricultural Productivity Competition

This Innovate UK (IUK) competition has been established to fund UK businesses, collaborating with partners in China, to develop new integrated technologies that encourage the use of data-intensive commercial farming methods which can help achieve net-zero emissions. This approach, described as either ‘precision farming’ or ‘smart farming’, is defined as the complete incorporation of:


intelligent decision support;

action planning;

timely and effective intervention autonomous technologies (sensors, systems, vehicles and robotics); and

data-driven solutions to enhance productivity while reducing emissions.

IUK will fund experimental development projects that engage with commercial end users. This could include using demonstration sites, farms, labs or other R&D facilities in either the UK, China, or both. Solutions must have the potential to improve productivity and sustainability. It must lead to a significant reduction of emissions from agriculture, contributing to the target of net-zero emissions from agriculture by 2040.

UK registered businesses of any size must lead a project. The business must collaborate with other UK registered businesses, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities. The project must be carried out in the UK (and in China where reasonable). Consortiums must include at least a UK registered business, academic institution or research organisation, a Chinese business and academic institution or research organisation.

IUK and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MoST) are each investing around £5 million in innovation projects. IUK will fund the UK partners and MoST will fund the Chinese partners. The maximum grant available for UK partners is £500,000 per project. The total amount of grant available for Chinese partners is 50,000,000 RMB to fund 10 projects.

The deadline for registrations is midday on 15 January 2020.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.