A NEW funding competition that poultry producers could access to improve their productivity and sustainability has been made available by Defra.

Two new research and feasibility competitions under the Farming Innovation Programme have been opened to farmers, growers, research organisations and businesses involved in agriculture to collaborate on novel ideas and solutions.

See also: 12 reasons to attend Poultry Network Live on 6 September

Previous rounds have led to investment in automation to improve soft fruit yield; a ‘herd’ of lightweight, battery-operated, asparagus-harvesting robots; and the use of ultraviolet as a disinfectant in the dairy and poultry sectors.

This is the third round of the Small R&D Partnerships competition, which seeks to help businesses develop a new farming product or service and take it to commercialisation on the open market. It is worth almost £10m.

It comes alongside new guidance for a £4.5 million Feasibility Studies competition which aims to support businesses and researchers through the difficult testing phase of an idea, checking whether it works in practice and helping them assess whether to invest in a project.


Applications for the Small R&D Partnerships competition open on 14 August and the Feasibility Studies competition window is open from 18 September.

Farming minister Mark Spencer said: “These competitions are all about encouraging collaborations between farmers and growers on the one hand, and research organisations and industry on the other, to help bring ideas from the planning stage into practice.”

Would-be applicants to the Small R&D Partnership Projects can view more information on Defra’s website.