News story

Agricultural challenges in China: apply for innovation funding

Businesses and researchers can apply for a share of £8 million to work with Chinese partners on agritech solutions in the People's Republic.

Farmers cut and thresh rice during harvest time in Xizhou Yunnan

There is up to £8 million available for UK projects that partner with and aim to solve the challenges facing agriculture in China.

The competition is jointly funded by Innovate UK and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in the UK, and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) in China. It is part of the Newton Fund, which uses science and innovation to the promote economic development and social welfare of official development assistance (ODA) partner countries.

What we’re looking for

We are seeking UK-China collaborations in 3 key areas:

  • precision agriculture, agriculture digitisation and decision management tools. This includes use of data and the internet of things, remote sensing and monitoring of crops and animals, digital management and innovative livestock housing
  • improving the efficiency of sustainable agricultural production, such as new approaches to tackling pests and disease, breeding, nutrition and new farming practices
  • agricultural products processing, including improved understanding of protein composition, evaluating nutritional quality of farm products, improved waste reduction and food safety, preventing food fraud and proving authenticity

Projects must be carried out either entirely in China, or in both China and the UK. They cannot be conducted solely in the UK.

Competition information

  • the competition is open, and the deadline for registration is 26 July 2017
  • projects must involve at least one UK business of any size, one UK higher education or research council institute, one Chinese business and one Chinese academic institution
  • a UK-based business or research organisation can lead the project
  • Innovate UK and BBSRC will fund the UK partners and MoST will fund Chinese partners
  • we expect projects to range in size up to £2 million and to last up to 3 years. The total project grant must not exceed £1 million per project in the UK
  • businesses can attract up to 70% of their project costs
Published 15 June 2017