"All the Agri-Tech Catalyst rounds have been over-subscribed. The industry clearly wants this and is willing to co-invest," he said.
But he urged growers considering making bids: "Think outside the box of 'horticultural science' and consider sensing technology or water use. There is also the huge issue of post-retail waste."
NFU president Meurig Raymond added: "Growers need the right tools and the ATS must deliver for all sectors. But through the Horticulture Industry Partnership we can have a direct influence on research and development priorities."