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UK: Work with China to transform food production

Businesses can apply for a share of up to £5 million to work with Chinese partners on developing new smart farming technologies.
KTN is hosting a briefing event for this competition on Tuesday, 5th November 2019 in London.

World demand for food is expected to grow by 60% to feed a rising and more prosperous global population. Food producers in the UK and China need to supply what we eat in a more sustainable and efficient way, reducing pollution, minimising waste and improving soil conditions.

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 £5 million from the fund to invest in UK businesses undertaking joint projects with Chinese partners to develop new integrated precision farming technology that helps towards achieving a sustainable position of net-zero emissions.

The Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China is investing a similar amount to support the work of Chinese partners.

Projects must drive UK growth and exports
Projects must be in line with the aims of the Transforming Food Production Challenge to improve agricultural productivity and reduce emissions, to drive growth in UK precision agriculture companies, and to develop export opportunities.

They could cover:

  • remote sensing of crop growth and nutrients, soil health, weather, crop yields, water stress and pests through satellites, drones and sensors
  • smart pasture production including animal feeding systems, analysis of herds and individual animals, environmental control systems, methane reduction and improved animal welfare
  • precision technologies for indoor farming such as for planting, transplanting, harvesting, watering or applying fertiliser
  • exploitation of big data to improve productivity
  • robotic systems for agriculture including for detecting pests and diseases, making precision applications of agrochemicals and planting and transplanting

Projects must show equal effort on the UK and Chinese side and must work with commercial end users, which could be demonstration sites, farms, laboratories or other research and development facilities in one or both countries.

The competition is now open and the deadline for registration is midday on 15 January 2020. Projects must include at least one business and one research organisation from each country. You can find out more on the competition page here.

Source: Innovate UK

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