Fostering sustainability: further funding secured for five innovative projects

CHAP is excited to announce funding approval for five new collaborative projects through Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme.


The competitions delivered by Innovate UK’s Transforming Food Production challenge encompassed crucial areas where innovation is most-needed such as climate-focused solutions, advanced farming technology and further early-stage research and development ideas. 

Sustainable Farm-Based Protein 

Aimed at accelerating development of innovative technologies able to transform conventional farm protein production systems by creating more sustainable models whilst supporting the growth of the sustainable protein sector in the UK. 

Part of this competition, CHAP has been successful in winning three projects:

  • Sustainable inputs for UK legumes’ – a two-year project led by CHAP that will identify and develop sustainable inputs including biopesticides and biostimulants for use on UK peas and bean crops. The project brings together a multidisciplinary consortium with Agrii, Fargro, Russell Bio Solutions, CABI and the University of Warwick. The project aims to address the constraints faced by pea and bean growers in the UK, exploring the potential of biofungicides to combat foot rot, biopesticides to control pea and bean weevil, and biostimulants to enhance crop resilience.


  • Improving the sustainability of lupins through conventional and next generation methodologies’. This 24-month project led by CHAP in collaboration with Phytoform Labs and Soya UK is set to explore the potential of lupin as a sustainable protein source for the livestock feed market in the UK. The work will explore sustainable production methods and trait enhancement for lupin, employing two innovative approaches: exploring decarbonisation strategies and harnessing genetic editing for trait improvement.


  • VIP Leaf’. Led by Vertical Future in collaboration with University of York, Cha Panni and CHAP, this two-year project aims to harness the potential of vertical farming facilities to cultivate amaranth – a highly beneficial crop, rich in antioxidants however currently overlooked by growers in the UK. By using amaranth to develop a novel protein source, it is hoped that the UK’s reliance on imported proteins such as soy and pea will decrease therefore positively contributing to the economy, environment as well as improving consumer health.


Industry-Led R&D Partnership Funds

Part of the Feasibility Round two competition, the funding encouraged development of early-stage solutions aimed at advancing sustainability, productivity and resilience in the agriculture sector.

The first of the two projects awarded funding is led by FA Bio, with partners CABI and CHAP, entitled ‘Novel dual-action biopesticide for wheat’. This two-year project is set to transform wheat pest and disease management by developing dual-action bioinsecticides and biofungicides. Building on existing cutting-edge work by FA Bio, novel microbial active ingredients which can act against wheat insect pests and fungal diseases will be identified. By incorporating these solutions, crop yields can be sustainably improved whilst reducing reliance on synthetic agrochemicals.

The second innovative project is led by Crystal Heart Salad, ‘Protected cultivation of horticultural crops: setting a new standard’. The work will focus on designing a novel greenhouse structure to maximise light infiltration whilst mimicking outdoor climate conditions through precise HVAC-based climate management. The proposed system will integrate renewable energy sources and enable the cultivation of various crops – lettuce, herbs, root crops, pharmaceutical crops and more – under protected conditions whilst enhancing hygiene, productivity and resource efficiency.

More information about individual projects will follow in due course. If you have any queries, contact CHAP at  enquiries@chap-solutions.co.uk  or visit  www.chap-solutions.co.uk