Bids Invited for Forestry Commission’s Tree Production Innovation Fund

A new fund which aims to increase and diversify stock for tree planting in England has opened to applications.

The Tree Production Innovation Fund (TPIF) is designed to encourage the development and adoption of new technologies and ways of working that will enhance the quantity, quality and diversity of planting stock available for tree planting in England.

Applicants will be invited to apply for up to £200,000 in grant funding to support projects designed to address one or more of the following challenges identified through stakeholder engagement as barriers to tree production. These include:

  • Making better use of available seed and vegetative planting material to maximise the quantity, quality and diversity of trees produced
  • Developing growing systems to enhance their efficiency and resilience to change, whilst delivering improved quality and diversity of product
  • Using innovative environmentally sustainable weed control solutions to reduce reliance on herbicides

The TPIF is open to a range of applicants from the private sector. Applications from consortia and new entrants to the sector will be welcomed. The following groups are identified as likely potential applicants to the fund:

  • Private sector nurseries, organisations and seed suppliers
  • Public bodies partnered with private sector third party organisations
  • Research institutes
  • ·Universities and colleges
  • Environmental NGOs (eg Wildlife Trusts)
  • Horticultural and agricultural growers

Public bodies will be required to partner with private sector third party organisations to be eligible for funding. Lead applicants to the fund will need to be based in the UK.

Projects can be standalone with output(s) that will be fully developed by 27 March 2022 or pilot studies looking to establish the feasibility of longer-term projects.

The deadline for applications to be submitted is 8 September 2021.