Funding available for growing projects, conference told

Horticulture should make use of Technology Strategy Board (TSB) funding by aligning itself with its strategies, TSB lead technologist Dr Calum Murray told the innovation conference.

The Government advisory body has committed more than £90m to the Sustainable Agriculture & Food Innovation Platform over 2010-14.

"These competitions are open to all, despite what people say," said Murray. "With judicious wording, the horticulture sector can apply."

Last month, TSB opened a call for research drawing on a fund of nearly £9m to develop phenotyping and trait measurement for efficient agri-food systems. A £12m pot to develop engineering solutions for precision agriculture will become available in September.

Project costs are "typically in the £0.5m-£1.5m range", with at least 70 per cent of costs borne by business, said Murray. "We like to see solutions that can be exploited on the global stage. But small businesses can benefit from our innovation vouchers."

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