Innovative crop protection R&D may help farmers cope with new EU regulations

01 Jul 2010

Over thirty innovative projects put forward by business led consortia from across agriculture and the crop protection industry are to receive support of over £13.5m from the Government to carry out applied research and development.

The investment, from the Technology Strategy Board, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), has been awarded to thirty two consortia in a recently concluded competition entitled 'New Approaches to Crop Protection' .

The projects will develop new technologies to help farmers and growers adapt to the specific challenges posed by recent changes to EU pesticide regulations that threaten the withdrawal of a number of key crop protection products, as well as supporting the broader aims of the Technology Strategy Board's recently established Sustainable Agriculture and Food Innovation Platform (SAF IP).

Taking into account contributions from the British companies undertaking the research and development, the total value of the R&D is in excess of £25m. The thirty two consortia will bring together over 100 British companies, research establishments and other organisations from across the UK.

Jim Paice MP, Agriculture and Food Minister said:

"Crop protection is an important issue for UK farmers and growers so I'm pleased that this is the first area to be targeted by the Platform. This competition, to which Defra has contributed £3.5m, will give vital support to farmers following changes to the EU pesticide regulations."

Explaining why the Technology Strategy Board decided to invest in this area, Chief Executive Iain Gray said:

"This competition is the first initiative from the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Innovation Platform. The platform aims to bring government, business and researchers together to stimulate the development of new technologies that will increase food productivity, while decreasing the environmental impact of the food and farming industries. The farming industry has welcomed the work that we are doing to support them and sees this competition as a positive way forward. "

The competition, which attracted additional funding from the Scottish Government and the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board, is the first of a number of planned investments co-ordinated by the Sustainable Agriculture & Food Innovation Platform. It will invest up to £90m over the next five years in projects and initiatives across the Agri-Food sector, focusing on areas such as crop productivity, sustainable livestock production and the reduction of food-chain waste and greenhouse gas emissions from the sector. Ends

For full press release including notes to editors, please follow this link

Companies and other organisations seeking further information about the Technology Strategy Board's research and development funding competitions should visit the competitions page of the Technology Strategy Board website, email or phone the Competitions Helpline on 0300 321 4357

Press enquiries should be directed to Claire Cunningham, Media Relations Manager, Technology Strategy Board -

Switchboard 01793 442700; Direct line: 01793 442901; Mobile: 0755 411 5745,
OR Nick Sheppard, Media Relations Consultant, Technology Strategy Board - 07824 599644;


Last updated on Friday 30 July 2010 at 14:26

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