Posted on 6th November 2023
Category: News

Defra and UK Research & Innovation open new fund to improve UK Biosecurity and tackle the threat of regulated plant pests and diseases.

UK technical capability to protect plant health and biosecurity in the UK is set to be boosted from today (6 November) with new research grant funding available for businesses working in technological innovation and the UK horticultural, forestry, agricultural growers, importers and plants and plant products export sectors.

From today, businesses can apply for a share of a new funding pot of up to £800,000 launched by Defra and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to devise new solutions and technologies to increase UK biosecurity and protect it from regulated plant diseases and pests.

The fund will develop innovations to enhance plant health inspections, both at the border and in-land, pest and disease surveillance and management of infected commodities – helping safeguard food security and mitigate the effects of climate change.

The move is a key part of our Plant Biosecurity Strategy.

Lord Benyon, Defra Minister for Biosecurity, said:

Plants and trees provide £15.7bn to society annually in the UK and it is imperative that they are protected and the UK remains at the forefront of emerging technologies to do this.

The UK is proud to be a global leader in plant biosecurity, and this new investment is part of the Government’s commitment to invest in new technologies, enhance biosecurity and boost the economy which will ensure protection for our plants and trees.

Types of activities eligible for the grant include:

  • Developing innovative technologies and practices to enhance border inspections of traded plants for planting and plant commodities, including wood and wood products, improving sampling accuracy, detection rates of regulated pests, time and resource efficiency of inspectors.
  • Enhancing in-land inspections of plants in nurseries, recently planted sites or the wider environment, through the application of innovative technologies and practices to enable pest and pathogen detection in the field, reducing the risk of outbreaks.
  • Utilising passive and scanning surveillance approaches to provide timely and cost-effective methods for detecting pests and diseases in different landscape settings.
  • Managing the supply of potentially infected or infested plants and plant commodities pre and post border by presenting alternative treatments to destruction of the plants following detection of a quarantine organism, reducing financial losses whilst maintaining biosecurity.

See Full details here


Funding for non NHS-organisations for one-off payments

Eligible non-NHS organisations including charities and social enterprises can apply for funding to deliver one-off payments to staff, worth at least £1,655.

See here