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UK-Canada: Enhancing Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability

UK-Canada: Enhancing Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability



The UK and Canada are running a joint funding competition to support collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects, to develop new products, processes and services. Projects must target improvement to the productivity and sustainability of crop, livestock and aquaculture systems.

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UK businesses with Canadian business partners can apply for a share of up to £2 million, from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, for innovative projects that enhance productivity and sustainability of crop, livestock and aquaculture systems.


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UK and Canada want to support a portfolio of projects across the breadth of the agriculture sector, including projects that focus on crop, livestock and aquaculture production systems that:

Combine digital technologies, artificial intelligence, the application of big data and engineering solutions with biological, environmental or social science to drive productivity;
Develop technologies and solutions that connect farms and supply chains;
Transfer technology from another sector into agriculture, providing this requires innovation;

The role of UK and Canadian participants in supported projects must align with the UK Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s ‘transforming food production’ objectives to provide transformations in their respective countries:

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Create integrated data-driven solutions to drive primary agricultural productivity whilst transitioning towards net zero agriculture emissions by 2040;
Embed adoption of precision approaches to bridge the productivity gap, strengthening connections between researchers, businesses and practitioners;
Stimulate the establishment of novel high value production systems to position UK technologies at the forefront of new industries;
Drive growth UK precision technology companies, creating high value jobs and adding value in the global agricultural value chain;
Develop export opportunities and increase investment into UK research and innovation;

UK and Canada encourage projects to:

Bring new businesses and technologies into the UK and Canadian precision agriculture sector;
Include farmer or grower involvement or endorsement.

Funding Information

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There is up to £2 million allocated to fund UK business involvement in innovation projects in this competition. The combined total funding sought (grant available) for all UK partners can be a maximum of £400,000 per application and must provide a full cost breakdown in the Innovation Funding Service;
If your total funding sought is over £400,000 your project will be deemed ineligible and not be sent for assessment.


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NRC IRAP will provide a maximum contribution of up to $700,000 CAD to be shared between the Canadian partners involved in the project;
Canadian SMEs may receive up to 50% reimbursement of eligible project costs.

Projects UK and Canada will not fund

UK and Canada Will not fund projects that focus on:

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Non-food crops;
Wild capture fisheries;
Amenity or ornamental horticulture;
Integrating cannabis products into the food chain.

Eligibility Criteria

Any UK business claiming funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time UK and Canada confirm you will be awarded funding. If you are unsure please take legal advice;
Multiple applications:
UK businesses may participate in up to three applications but lead only one;
Canadian applicants must register with NRC IRAP before 6 March 2020 to receive an EoI form;
Before being invited to join a project in Innovation Funding Service, all Canadian SME participants must have submitted a Canadian Expression of Interest (EoI) and have been invited to proceed to the full proposal stage of the competition by NRC IRAP;
Canadian funding applicants who do not complete an EoI and have not been invited to proceed will not be eligible for funding through this competition.
Multiple applications:
Canadian SMEs may only participate in one application either as a lead or partner (Note: UK organisation must be listed as lead on Innovation Funding Service and Canadian lead identified within the application in the “Project Details” section).
Your project
The majority of work undertaken by each partner should occur in their home country;
No one country and/or organisation can represent more than 75% of the total project cost;
Applications must demonstrate a clear intention to exploit the results of the project commercially;
Projects must start by 1 November 2020 and end by 31 March 2023. They can last between 24 and 29 months.
Project team
Your organisation cannot work alone. The project consortium must contain at least:
One UK registered business of any size and;
One registered Canadian SME (500 or fewer employees).
Academic institutions or research and technology organisations (RTOs) may participate in the project but cannot be awarded funding through this competition. They may, however, act as a sub-contractor to a funded project partner;
The role of each project partner must be detailed in a collaboration/consortium agreement included as part of the project application;
At least one business from each country (UK and Canada) in a project must receive funding;
Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding. Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs and must be entered on the Innovation Funding Service application under question 11 if you are a Canadian organisation or as part of the finance section if you are a UK organisation.

How to Apply

Your application must include all of the following:

Completed application via IFS;
Draft consortium/collaboration agreement;
2-page project plan, including Gantt chart;
2-page risk register;
2-page key personnel summary;
Project cost breakdown summary.

For more information, visit https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/539/overview#summary

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