£7 Million Funding for Agri-Food AI Innovation Drive

Agrifood

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the UK’s burgeoning agri-food sector are invited to compete for a portion of £7 million in funding designed to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI). This significant commitment comes as part of two new competitions launched today.

The initiative, backed by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Technology Missions Fund and delivered through Innovate UK’s BridgeAI programme, seeks to fuel transformative change in the agri-food industry. Businesses have the chance not only to secure funding, but also to access valuable training, expertise, and mentorship programs as they deploy AI.

Transforming Agriculture with AI

The first competition, backed by £5 million, targets feasibility studies showcasing AI’s potential to address challenges faced by the agri-food sector and other high-growth UK industries. Lead SMEs seeking to embrace AI will collaborate with academic partners or other SMEs to develop productivity-boosting solutions. Applications addressing a range of hurdles are encouraged, including:

  • Data-driven decision-making
  • Automation of administrative processes
  • Streamlined supply chain management

Spotlight on Agri-Food Success

The second competition, with £2 million in funding, allows existing AI projects in areas such as agriculture and fashion to apply for follow-on investment. These projects will have the opportunity to develop further, potentially resulting in industry-altering AI innovations.

Previous UKRI-funded projects highlight AI’s potential in agritech, including disease prediction in grape crops.

Deadline and Next Steps

The application deadline for both competitions falls on 8 May 2024. UKRI is proactively engaging with potential applicants, having recently hosted workshops to explain the initiative.

This robust funding package signals the UK’s strategic commitment to pro-innovation AI development, placing the nation at the forefront of the global AI revolution in agriculture and other key industries.

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