Bids open on £70m fund to "plug the gap" between lab and field

David Willetts - image:IET
David Willetts - image:IET

The government has opened the first stage of its £70m Agri-Tech Catalyst Fund to award bids.

The fund, which aims to help make the UK a world leader in agricultural technology, innovation and sustainability, forms part of the government's £160m Agri-Tech Strategy, launched in the summer.

Science minister David Willetts made the announcement at the Mountbatten Memorial Lecture, hosted by the Institution of Engineering & Technology last Wednesday (9 October).

Explaining the context of the funding, he said: "British farming used to be thought of as world-class, but in the last few years the rate of improvement in productivity has fallen to close to zero.

"Though we still have world-class centres for upstream research, we have lost the intermediate institutions where farming practices were changed in light of this research."

The new funding, he added, "will enable us to plug that gap".

The closing date for applications for this first phase is 11 December, while a "briefing webinar" for potential applicants will be held on 22 October.

For more information, visit the Technology Strategy Board website.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

What should growers make of the Government's migration report?

What should growers make of the Government's migration report?

By holding out the "possibility" of a seasonal agricultural workers scheme (SAWS), the Migration Advisory Committee's (MAC) long-awaited final report, published this week, makes an exception for fresh produce amid its wider call for a shift away from low-skill immigration.

Tractors: market roundup

Tractors: market roundup

Manufacturers are working to provide solutions to many challenges. Sally Drury looks at their newest models.

What does the Agriculture Bill mean for growers?

What does the Agriculture Bill mean for growers?

The publication of the Agriculture Bill this week formally kick-starts the Government's plans to implement a "green Brexit" for farming, the area of the economy most impacted by the UK's withdrawal from the EU from next March.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

Horticulture Week Top UK FRUIT PRODUCERS

See our exclusive RANKING of UK Fruit Producers by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon