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European Innovation Partnership (EIP)


European Innovation Partnership (EIP)

CAFRE is delivering an exciting new scheme called European Innovation Partnership (EIP). It is designed to bring people together to help Northern Ireland’s farmers innovate and address the opportunities and challenges of a fast moving world.

What are European Innovation Partnerships?

EIP schemes bring together expertise such as advisers, researchers and businesses to work in partnership with farmers to consider how practical solutions might be developed to address a particular problem or opportunity for the agri-food industry. The scheme will be delivered by CAFRE which will award funding to successful groups for the implementation of their projects.

The scheme is jointly funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and DAERA.

What funding was available?

The pilot scheme has now closed for new applications.

Funding was available in 2 stages. Initial Stage 1 funding of £4987 was available to help bring together expertise as Operational Groups to consider how to develop practical solutions to a particular problem or opportunity facing farmers. CAFRE funded ten Operational Groups at Stage 1 to help pay for someone to assist in developing their project plan, and apply for Stage 2 funding to implement their project.

CAFRE awarded Stage 2 funding of up to £120,000 to seven Operational Groups in October and November 2020 to deliver their projects.

These seven groups can also apply for additional funding of up to £30,000 for capital expenditure which is paid at a grant rate of 50%. Full details on available funding and eligible expenditure is detailed in the Scheme Brochure.

What type of projects were funded?

The types of projects can be very broad, but each project must contribute positively to at least one of the following themes: improving productivity; increasing resilience;improving environmental sustainability or enhancing the supply chain. Have a look at previous and ongoing EIP-AGRI Projects in other regions.

Spreading the word

An important aspect of the EIP approach is the sharing of findings both at a local and European level. To support regional EIPs, the European Commission runs the EIP-Agri network through the EIP-Agri Service Point. The Service Point offers a range of tools and services which can help develop ideas and projects, these can be explored by registering with the EIP-Agri website.

How can I find out more?

To find out more detailed information about the scheme, read the scheme brochure. If you have any queries email:

Part of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme in the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
The European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development
Rural Development Programme