Agriculture is facing a major challenge to feed a global population of around 9 billion by 2050.
Food producers must grow more food but in a way that is more sustainable and efficient and that reduces pollution, minimises waste and improves soil condition.
Both the UK and Canada recognise the economic importance of agriculture and have been working together to identify areas of mutual interest.
The Canadian and UK agri-food sectors were worth C$108.1 billion and £109 billion respectively in 2014.
The UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Transforming Food Production Challenge has up to £90 million to help businesses invest in new data-driven precision-agriculture technologies that could transform food production.
Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, has up to £2 million from the fund to invest in innovative research and development projects that involve UK businesses working with partners in Canada.
Partner businesses in Canada must be registered small or medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees and will receive funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program International
Projects should aim for net zero emissions
Projects must be in line with the aims of the transforming food production challenge including the use of data-driven precision approaches and contributing towards a target of net zero agriculture emissions by 2040.
They should aim to bring new businesses and technologies into the UK and Canadian agriculture sectors and show they have taken account of the needs of farmers and growers. They can be in crop, livestock and aquaculture systems.
Funding will support projects 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 competition is open, and the deadline for applications is at 5pm on 20 May 2020
- UK businesses of any size may apply, and projects can be led by a UK or Canadian business
- we expect the maximum grant for UK partners in a project will be £400,000
- briefing events will be held online on 11 February and in Birmingham on 13 February 2020