Digital Dairy Chain

Funding opportunities for 2024 – April update

“Where can I find out about additional funding opportunities for my dairy business?”

This is a question the Digital Dairy Chain are asked on a weekly basis. To solve this, we have collated a list of current funding opportunities, which may be of interest to you and your organisation.

Please see the table below to view the current list. And don’t forget to look out for our monthly newsletter, which will feature details of more funding and grant opportunities. You can sign up here.

FunderFunding CallEligibilityDeadlineMore Information
Scottish EnterpriseSMART: ScotlandThe SMART: SCOTLAND grant is one of our research and development (R&D) grants that aims to support high-risk, highly ambitious projects. It covers conducting feasibility studies. It’s only available to small and medium enterprises (SMEs)* based in Scotland and supports activities that have a commercial endpoint.Applications welcome all year roundRead more
VariousUK Innovation & Science Seed FundTo receive UKI2S funding you must fulfil one of the following:

• Be based at one of our research centres

• Working in a strategic priority area

• Your innovation is based on IP associated with one of our partners
Applications welcome all year roundRead More
Innovate UK EDGEFunded access to Catapults and RTOs to support growth & scaling• Businesses must be a UK-registered, trading company, with up to 500 employees (250 in Northern Ireland)

• The grant funding provided to the business will be under Minimal Financial Assistance or De minimis. The maximum value of ‘Minimal Financial Assistance’ allowed per 3 year rolling period under the ‘UK Subsidy Control Bill’ is £315,000

• The ‘De minimis’ regulation, which has similar characteristics, but a maximum value of €200,000, remains effective for any awards to enterprises governed by the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) or based within the EU.
Applications welcome all year roundRead More
Scottish GovernmentNext generation practical trainingThe Next Generation Practical Training Fund offers financial support to those resident in Scotland who are:

• Newcomers into the agricultural sector

• Those who would have been unable to undertake training without financial support

• Those who would have been unable to undertake a (possibly additional) formal qualification. There is no age limit for applicants to the Next Generation Training Fund as agriculture attracts both mature new entrants and school leavers.

OngoingRead More
Scottish GovernmentThe Women in Agriculture Practical Training FundThe Women in Agriculture Practical Training Fund offers financial support to women and girls aged thirteen and older who are resident in Scotland and:

• Are newcomers who wish to pursue a career within the agricultural sector

• Who would have been unable to undertake training without financial support

• Who would have been unable to undertake a (possibly additional) formal qualification. There is no age limit for applicants as agriculture attracts both mature new entrants and school leavers.
OngoingRead More
Scottish EnterpriseGreen Heat Innovation Support ProgrammeThe GHISP supports innovation and capital investment that will accelerate the roll out and adoption of green heating solutions and associated products. It's about encouraging the growth of Scotland’s green heat market and helping projects in areas such as:

• Energy efficiency products
• Green heat equipment, such as heat pumps and heat networks
• Supporting solutions, such as thermal storage
• Enabling solutions, such as digital and smart controls
• Green heat manufacturing or R&D in Scotland

We’re delivering GHISP in partnership with Scottish Government, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise.
Rolling deadline till March 2026Read More
ESPRCProsperity Partnership Round 6This funding opportunity is aimed at supporting promising earlier-stage research partnerships which are on their way towards becoming strategic partnerships, as well as established partnerships that already have a long-term strategic partnership in place.

A strategic partnership in this context is one which is established, trusted, and built on a track record of significant, regular, collaborative research projects which the academic and business partners have developed and completed together. The strategic partnership will be recognised by both parties, have a clear trajectory for future collaborative work, and may involve the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) or collaboration agreement.

You can request doctoral studentships as part of the project, but these studentships will not be funded through EPSRC money. They will be fully costed research assistants (research and innovation associates) funded by either the academic or the business partner(s).

Route one
If your collaborative relationship is at a relatively earlystage of approximately one to five years in duration, then the amount of EPSRC funding you may apply for must not exceed £1 million. Grants are normally between two to three years in duration. Shortlisted applications will go directly to an expert interview panel. Funding decisions will be made by November 2024. Those invited to interview may respond to any panel feedback and queries during their interview.

Route two
If your collaborative relationship is well-established and has lasted for five years or more, then there is no restriction on the maximum amount of EPSRC funding you may apply for. Grants are normally between three to five years in duration. This route is intended for larger grants of more than £1 million. Shortlisted applications will undergo peer review, before going to an expert interview panel and will be able to respond to reviewer feedback. All the appropriate comments will be made available to the interview panel. Funding decisions will be made in January 2025. We are particularly looking to encourage Small Medium Enterprise (SME) involvement. This could be alone, or as part of a consortium, or as part of the supply chain of a larger company. Smaller businesses may prefer to support smaller projects and are welcome to consider route one even if they have a more established partnership.
21st May 2024, 4pm (UK time)Read More
FCDO Research Commissioning CentreThe use of artificial intelligence in food and agricultureThe FCDO’s Climate, Energy, Environment, and Water Team is looking to commission a landscape study on the use of AI in food and agriculture. The study will inform investments in the use of AI in agriculture research and development under four main portfolios (a) AI and agricultural innovation, (b) ethics and governance research (c) capacity development (d) expanding existing workstreams.

• Only legally registered organisations and consortia of registered organisations, not individuals, may apply.

• Please review the call for proposal document carefully for additional details
10th April 2024Read More
Scottish GovernmentAgri-Environment Climate SchemeThere are two levels of entry to this scheme. Applications falling into each category will be assessed as follows.

Level 1 - this is for lower value applications up to an agreed monetary value for the round. This agreed value is dependent on the amount and value of the applications received. Applications for this level will undergo an initial assessment by a case officer including a discussion with you. The discussion may take place during an on-farm visit, depending on the options you have applied for. Your application is then considered by the Rural Payments and Inspections Division or NatureScot (formally Scottish Natural Heritage) for approval or rejection.

Level 2 - this if for higher value applications above an agreed monetary value for the round. This agreed value is dependent on the amount and value of the applications received. Applications for this level will undergo an initial assessment as per level one. After assessment the case will be considered by an expert panel constituted on a national basis for approval or rejection. Applications will be scored against selection criteria.
Slurry stores:
15 February 2024 –
19 April 2024
Stand –alone
Water use
Irrigation Lagoon:
15 February 2024 –
19 April 2024
conversion and
01 February 2024 –
31 July 2024
01 February 2024 –
10 June 2024
Read More
Innovate UKSmart GrantsInnovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best game-changing and world-leading ideas, designed for swift, successful commercialisation.

The Innovate UK Smart grant has focused scope and eligibility criteria to support SMEs and their partners in developing genuinely new innovations with significant potential for rapid economic return to the UK. The application process reflects the importance of obtaining economic benefits from public funding, and the potential for successful commercialisation, growth, and exports. Proposals must be business focused, and show deliverable, realistic, adequately resourced plans to achieve return on investment, growth and market share following project completion.

Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy
24th April 2024, 11am (UK time)Read More
Innovate UK/BBSRCDiet & health innovation: early stage feasibility projectsInnovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to invest up to £2.5 million in innovation projects.

The aim of this competition is to support UK registered businesses and UK research organisations in the design and development of innovative food products to support sustained health and wellbeing. Projects can be focussed across the life course and are not restricted to older populations.

Your proposal must have the potential to impact the nutritional quality of food and drink products consumed by the UK population.
8th May 2024, 11am (UK time)Read More
KTPKTP 2024-2025 Round 1The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme allows a UK registered business or not for profit organisation, (which we will refer to collectively as the ‘business partner’ from now on) to partner with a ‘knowledge base partner’, which is either a UK higher education (HE) or further education (FE) institution, research and technology organisation (RTO) or Catapult.

The KTP partnership brings new skills and the latest academic thinking into the business partner to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project. The knowledge base partner recruits the ‘associate’ to work on the project. The associate has the opportunity to lead a strategic development within the business, developing new skills and gaining valuable experience. Guidance on how to apply for a KTP is available. Each application must be led by a knowledge base, working with a business partner and supported by a knowledge transfer adviser.
10th April 2024, 11amRead More
Leading Edge Only/ M&SWaste Not, Want Not: Revolutionising food waste solutionsMarks and Spencer are looking for those who can join them in developing creative solutions to minimize food waste and create a more sustainable future for all. Food waste is a challenge for all food retailers. M&S are looking for cutting-edge solutions that will put us ahead of the competition to make us more sustainable, efficient, and streamlined in the food supply chain. Innovators and experts at any stage of development are encouraged to apply.31st May 2024Read More
British Nutrition FoundationThe Drummond Pump Priming AwardThe Drummond Pump Priming Award is an annual scheme run by the British Nutrition Foundation awarding a grant of £5000 to help a postdoctoral researcher/research fellow/research associate or lecturer working in human nutrition to undertake the pilot work needed to generate data that can be used as the basis of a more substantial grant application.5th May 2024Read More
UKRIFunded access to Catapults and RTOs to support growth & scalingInnovative, ambitious businesses can benefit from the facilities and expertise provided by Catapults and Research & Technology Organisations (RTOs) through Innovate UK Business Growth Businesses that are looking to grow & scale through innovation can use this grant funding to access Catapults and RTOs to:

• Explore and test new product ideas

• Seek technical expertise and specialist sector knowledge

• Gain advice on regulatory and government processes as well as access networks of customers, services and funders

• Receive sector-specific expert advice and support with market analysis; cost modelling; business‐case support; creation of industry‐relevant R&D project plans

• Identify opportunities for R&D, collaboration, and partnership building

• Receive support to commercialise their innovation, including improving efficiency, making their business operations more sustainable, or investigating market gaps
Open endedRead More
Esmee FairbarnNature friendly farmingThere is a growing body of farmers leading the way in using innovative approaches to farming that produces food at the same time as restoring nature and allowing soils to recover. This has helped to create a window of opportunity to demonstrate the value of nature-friendly farming that will also help to increase biodiversity lost as a result of current farming practices.Open endedRead More
Rural Payments AgencyFarming Equipment & Technology Fund 2024 (England only)The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF) 2024 includes 3 grants to help you buy items to:

• improve productivity
• manage slurry
• improve animal health and welfare

You can apply for more than one grant, for items that suit your business.

FETF 2024 is competitive. You may not receive any, or all of the funding you apply for.

Successful applicants will receive:

• a minimum of £1,000 and a maximum of £50,000 towards productivity items
• a minimum of £1,000 and a maximum of £50,000 towards slurry items
• a minimum of £1,000 and a maximum of £25,000 towards animal health and welfare items
17th April 2024 (12pm UK time)Read More
DEFRA (England only)Various• Manage your land to benefit the environment
• Invest in equipment, technology and infrastructure to increase productivity
• Improve water quality and air quality
• Reduce flood risk
• Protect species and habitats and protect biodiversity
• Farming in protected landscapes
• Protect animal health and welfare
• Create or improve woodland and protect tree health
• Attract private investment in nature projects
• Funding for research and innovation
• Direct payments and lump sum payments
VariousRead More