Blue Monday is the 16th January, said to be when the impact of the festive excesses hits home. So this month we’re trying to think positively about what money is around, how to get hold of some of it and how new approaches like crowdfunding are changing the landscape.
As we move into 2017, it’s clear that whatever your industry – agriculture, horticulture, science, technology development – money is going to be firmly in focus.
Farmers are facing tight margins, volatile market prices, uncertainty about the future of subsidised support, delayed RPA payments. Researchers are wondering how much of the money allocated by the Government for innovation is going to be directed towards agriculture. This month we are putting cash in the spotlight.
One of the major barriers to adopting new innovations is the economic case for investment. The first mover advantage of being an “early adopter” can turn sour if later versions prove more reliable, accurate and cheaper.
A key role of Governments is to help de-risk that process, and local and national funding is available via the Local Enterprise Partnership and Innovate UK to help.
While details are still sketchy, the Autumn Statement announced new investment in science and research would reach £2bn a year by 2020, along with a review of tax incentives for innovative companies. Already companies – even farm-based businesses – doing R&D can benefit from tax credits, and we hope and expect new funding streams to continue to support acceleration of new ideas into commercial practice.
The new Industry Strategy Challenge Fund has robotics specifically named as one of its priority sectors, which hopefully bodes well for agriculture and horticulture.
Will it be soft rock or a hard place?
Brexit poses another big unknown for our sector, not only as some of our scientific research is currently supported by the EU, but also for farmers. Much has been written and spoken about the potential implications of Brexit, but the unanswered questions of the financial impact, subsidies and trade tariffs mean financial uncertainties undoubtedly lie ahead.
Insiders view on how to get the money
Our Pollinator in January is going to be a Focus on Funding – one of our most popular Pollinators ever was on this topic two years, ago, so we’re taking a fresh look again now.
We’ll be discussing the funding that is available to farmers for rural development (but use it, or lose it!), how to “crowd fund” a new business idea, what R&D tax credits are and how to get them and the new funding instruments in the pipeline to support agri-tech innovation.
With a speaker line-up from both the public and private sector, this is a chance to find out more about how to access money to support and grow your business.
We hope to see you there, and wish you a successful and prosperous 2017.