Agri-Tech Catalyst

Agricultural science and technology is one of the world's fastest-growing and exciting markets, driven by global challenges:

  • a rising population
  • rapid development of emerging economies
  • shortages of land, water and energy.


The Agri-Tech Catalyst

The vision of the Government's new UK strategy for agricultural technologies is to make the UK a world leader in agricultural technology, innovation and sustainability. To achieve this, the Government is investing £70m in a new Agri-Tech Catalyst. The Agri-Tech Catalyst has been set up by the Technology Strategy Board and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The Department for International Development is contributing £10m to the Catalyst, to support the transfer of technology and new products to developing countries.

How will it work?

The Agri-Tech Catalyst is now open for applications, to support businesses and academia in developing innovative solutions to challenges in the agri-tech sector. The Agri-Tech Catalyst will fund proposals relating to: 
  • primary crop and livestock production, including aquaculture
  • non-food uses of arable crops (for example, for biomass)
  • food security and nutrition challenges in international development
  • challenges in downstream food processing, provided the solution lies in primary production.
The Agri-Tech Catalyst will not fund equine-related proposals, or proposals relating to forestry or wild-capture fisheries. With two competitions per year, the Agri-Tech Catalyst will award grants for early-stage pre-industrial research feasibility studies, industrial research, and late-stage pre-experimental feasibility studies and experimental development.

Who can take part?

Subject to eligibility, any UK business or academic undertaking research and development may apply. 
All projects must be collaborative. Developing country partners must be involved for applicants targeting international development.

Early-stage awards
These projects will explore the commercial potential of an early-stage scientific idea through feasibility studies. View the Agri-Tech Catalyst - Early-stage awards - round 2 competition page.

These projects will aim to develop innovative solutions, eg through field trials, lab-based prototyping, product development planning and market testing. View the Agri-Tech Catalyst - Industrial research awards - round 2 competition page.
These projects evaluate the commercial potential of a scientific application. This can be through pre-experimental feasibility studies or through experimental development including field-based prototyping and experimental production and testing. View the Agri-Tech Catalyst - Late-stage awards - round 2 competition page.

Further Information

Front cover of the Agri-Tech competition flyer Agri-Tech competition flyer