SQW commissioned to evaluate the Transforming Food Production Challenge

The £90m Transforming Food Production (TFP) Challenge programme led by UKRI has an ambitious goal: to accelerate the development and adoption of integrated precision agriculture approaches that will improve the productivity and resilience of primary food production systems and, at the same time, to set the sector on a trajectory to net zero emissions by 2040.  

Delivered over the 2018-2024 period, the programme is supporting a range of activities designed to address this challenge, including:  

  • focused collaborative R&D projects to develop optimised prototypes to improve productivity or supply chain solutions for sustainable crop protection and ruminant systems
  • multi-disciplinary, large scale R&D projects developing novel resource efficient and low emission food production systems to disrupt traditional land-based models of production
  • demonstration projects focused on near market solutions at commercial scale and across different production environments
  • an innovative ‘Investor Partnership’ scheme offering grant funding alongside private equity investment to support the commercialisation of later-stage R&D and growth of agri-tech firms
  • international collaboration projects, focusing on the development of new technologies that provide opportunities for UK agri-tech companies to gain traction in rapidly expanding precision agriculture markets in Asia and North America.

A key characteristic of the programme is seeking to tackle system level challenges across the agri-food landscape from agriculture, through to manufacturing, distribution and consumption. Programme participants will work with partners across this landscape in the design, delivery and diffusion of their projects.

SQW, together with the Institute for Manufacturing, Collison and Associates, IFF Research, Cambridge Econometrics, know.space and Frazer-Nash, has been commissioned by UKRI to evaluate the TFP programme. The purpose of the evaluation is to gain insight into the outcomes and impacts of the programme, assessing both the programme itself and the process through which it is delivered.

For more information about the evaluation or SQW’s wider work in innovation and enterprise, please contact Joe Duggett or Rebecca Pates.