News story

Satellite technology and food supply: apply for business funding

Businesses can apply for a share of £3.75 million to explore and develop new ways to improve food production using satellite technologies.

Innovate UK and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) are to invest up to £3.75 million in business projects that seek to improve the productivity of agri-food systems using satellite technologies.

A predicted world population in excess of 9 billion by 2050, the increasing wealth of developing countries and the trend towards greater urbanisation will all put increasing strain on the world’s food resources and on the environment.

Satellite technology and increased use of data are already being used to increase the productivity of agricultural systems in a sustainable way.

New European systems such as Galileo and Copernicus and new global data providers are coming online and presenting new opportunities for business.

We are looking for feasibility studies and collaborative R&D projects in both primary production and in the supply chain beyond the farm gate.

Areas for projects could include:

  • guidance of farm machinery and autonomous systems
  • yield, biomass and soil mapping and monitoring
  • livestock monitoring and stock movement traceability
  • whole farm connectivity
  • geo-traceability and geo-referencing
  • field surveys
  • compliance and mapping
  • logistics and delivery

Competition information

  • this competition opens on 16 November 2015 and the registration deadline is noon on 17 February 2016
  • collaborative R&D projects must be led by a business working with at least one partner
  • we expect collaborative R&D projects to range in size up to £1 million in total costs
  • small businesses could receive up to 45% of their costs for collaborative R&D projects, medium-sized businesses 35%, large businesses 25%
  • up to £750,000 will be available for smaller-scale feasibility studies, which can be led by a business working alone or with partners
  • we expect feasibility studies to range in size from total costs of £45,000 to £200,000
  • small businesses could receive up to 70% of their costs for feasibility studies, medium-sized businesses 60%, large businesses 50%
  • a briefing webinar for potential applicants will be held on 16 November 2015, and a consortium-building workshop will be held in London on 7 October 2015