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Boost for UKs farming innovation

Artificial Intelligence technology to optimise welfare in pigs, agri-robots to greatly help increase vegetable harvests and automation to improve fruit crop yields are simply a few of research and development projects to get funding through the Farming Innovation Programme, the united kingdom government has announced.

The 16.5 million of funding can help drive innovation in agriculture and horticulture and is area of the Governments 270 millionFarming Innovation Programme, it said. It really is run together with UK Research and Innovation and the meals Production Challenge.

Farming Innovation Minister Steve Double said: Our 270 million investment in farming innovation is made to help take the UKs world-leading research ideas and turn them into practical answers to support healthy soils, abundant pollinators and clean water alongside profitable food production.”

Katrina Hayter, challenge director for the Transforming Food Production challenge, said: You merely need consider the sheer breadth of projects which have received funding to see you can find so many opportunities for innovation over the food sector. From animal health to crop productivity, the introduction of strategic support technology and the complete application of chemicals, its exciting to see so many concepts starting to become more active.

The Farming Innovation Programme aims to spark new ideas and collaboration over the sector to handle long-term challenges such as for example producing nutritious food better whilst helping the sector to lessen greenhouse gas emissions to accomplish net zero goals.

Farmers, growers, foresters, businesses and researchers are increasingly being invited to collaborate and submit applications for both of these new competitions. A 5.5 million competition for Feasibility projects will offer you grants for projects worth between 200,000 and 500,000 to aid research and development through the difficult testing phase of a concept to see if it’s worth buying further.

Winners of the tiny R&D Partnership competition will get a share of the 11 million grant funding for industrial studies worth between 1 million and 3 million to help expand develop new solutions which will ultimately address major on-farm or immediate post farmgate challenges or opportunities such as for example enhancing productivity and sustainability.

Information on the successful applications from the initial round of Small R&D Partnership Projects, Feasibility Projects and Research Starter Projects, which were launched in October 2021 were shared by the UKRI. Included in these are Farmsense, which uses of innovative sensor technology and AI to optimise welfare in pigs; Blue Planet II, a fresh project which aims to create upon its highly successful autonomous technology to help expand increase fruit crop yield and quality; and a fresh project from Muddy Machines, whose agri-robot concepts try to increase vegetable harvesting with sustainability and reliability at their core.

Altogether Defra expects to invest around 600 million on grants along with other support for farmers to purchase productivity, animal health insurance and welfare, innovation, research and development on the next 3 years.

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