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Funding possibilities

Funding opportunities to accelerate smart technology in the fruit industry exist in both the USA and the Netherlands. On this page an overview from current and future financing options and grants.



Together we are creating a future proof tree orchard industry.


This table contains an overview of the most suitable and relevant grants and financing opportunities which can be used by (mostly) Dutch companies to fund their (international bilateral agri-food) cooperation projects. The overview contains instruments & cooperation possibilities both with a focus on Innovation, Business Development & Trade.

The SME Top Sector Innovation Support Program (MIT)  The SME Innovation Top Sectors program(MIT) stimulates innovation amongSMEsacrossregional boundaries. Variousgrantinstruments areavailablefor this purpose. The SME grant instruments areavailable to SME entrepreneurs and start-ups. 
Public Private Partnerships in Agriculture Food & Water  The Dutch top sector Agri & Food, Horticulture & Starting materials  & the top sector Water have joined  forces  in a call for proposals which  develop solutions  for the new knowledge & innovation agenda Agriculture, water  food.The solutions are basically focused on three missions: circular agriculture, climate-neutral agriculture & food production and climate proof rural and urban areas.  The projects focusses on research on key enabling technology innovations who address these missions. 
Act for the Promotion of Research & Development (WBSO)  Through the WBSO companies can reduce the financial burden of R&D projects by receiving a tax relief both for the labor costs for the hours employees spend on R&D projects and for investment costs made for investments in fox example machinery on behalf of R&D activities. 
SME Idea  With SME Ideathe Dutch Government wantsto encourage SMEs to invest more in training and development of current and future employees. The scheme has a strong focus on digitalization & strengthening the labor potential of organizations in view of the increasing digitalization & Robotization. 
Early Stage Finance Fund(VVF)  Early stage finance fundbridges the financing need from idea to proof of concept with a view to a follow-up investment. By using a loan from the VFF fund SME’s and innovative startupscan validate the market potential of their technical idea. The VFF helps to get those initial idea’s from a planning to a starting phase. 
Innovation Credit  With the Innovation credit program, the Ministry of Economic Affairs financesthe development of new products, processes or services with a strong business case. The credit is risk-bearing, companies only have to pay back the loan if the development succeeds. 
Demonstration, Feasibility& Investment Readiness (DHI)  The DHI program focusses on supporting businessesrealizing their international ambitions on foreign markets. The goal is to introduce & demonstrate national technology on a foreign market to enhance market introduction. 
Partners in International Business (PIB)  PIB is a government contribution program to support the development of international public private cooperation programs to position a specific sector on a foreign market. The contribution can be used for three types of modules: hiring a local liaison, economic diplomacy & missions. 
Seed Capital Fund  With the seed capital program the Government supports innovative enterprises on both technological and creative area’s with access to risk capital. Together private investors & the government create an investment fund that invests in high potential techno & creative startups. 

U.S. research funding opportunities

All applications in response to AFRI Requests for Applications may include collaborations with international partners but may only be submitted by eligible U.S. institutions. Such applications may include subcontracts to international partners and must clearly demonstrate benefits to the sustainability of U.S. agriculture. 

Program  Scope  Duration  Budget (USD)  Submission deadlines 
Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) at USDA  Must focus on systems approaches that promote transformational changes in the U.S. food and agricultural system within the context of the long-term goal of increasing American agricultural production by 40% with a reduction in environmental footprint by 50% by 2050  < 5 years  < $10M  Letter of intent: JanuaryApplication: April 
Foundational & Applied Science at USDA  Engineering for Agricultural Production Systems: Focuses on engineered devices, technologies, and tools to improve agriculturally relevant plant, animal, forestry, and natural resource systems. Applications must have a significant engineering component.  3-4 years  $650,000 

($800,000 w/ an Int’l partner) 

2021: July2022: October 
Small Business Innovation Research  Offers competitively awarded grants to qualified small businesses to support high quality research related to important scientific problems and opportunities. Participation by university faculty is highly encouraged. U.S. businesses only  Phase 1:8 monthsPhase 2:24 months  Phase 1: $100,000 

Phase 2: $600,000 

2023: October 2022 
Specialty Crop Block Grant Washington State  The purpose of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is to provide funding for projects that enhance the competitiveness of Washington’s specialty crops.   
  1. 3 years 
Up to $250,000  January 2024 
Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission  The Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission (WTFRC, the Commission) funds research projects for apples, cherries, stone fruit and technology. Research is funded based on per-ton assessments collected on tree fruit produced in the state. WTFRC also administers funding for pears via Federal Marketing Order #927.  1-3 years  $1- 250,000  September 2023