DAERA reopens Research Challenge Fund

23 February 2017

A grant scheme worth almost £900,000 to help stimulate innovation in Northern Ireland’s agri-food industry has reopened, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has announced.

The Research Challenge Fund (RCF) provides funding for Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) to get involved in industry-led collaborative research projects that have potential to further the sustainability and competitiveness of agri-food and rural enterprises.

First launched in 2010 with 19 projects benefiting from £2.3million in grant aid to date, RCF supports the Agri-Food Strategy Board’s “Going for Growth” report which recommends making support for research and innovation a priority.

For businesses that want to get involved in research and development starting in 2018, the Research Challenge Fund offers support to help cover up to 50% of eligible research and development costs (up to a maximum of £250,000).

Applications are now being invited for the 2017 fund with up to £877,000 available for this the fifth tranche of the scheme. The closing date is 5pm on Friday 26 May 2017. Successful projects will then commence from 1 January 2018.

An information awareness session will be held on Wednesday 22 March 2017 at 10am in the Conference Hall, CAFRE Greenmount Campus.

Download application form and guidance. 
Successful projects from previous RCF calls 
You can register your interest in attending the information awareness session by emailing rcf@daera-ni.gov.uk.