Innovate UK: New agri-tech centre launches in April

16 Apr 2024 | Network Updates | Update from Innovate UK
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

Innovate UK CEO, Indro Mukerjee, has unveiled the UK Agri-Tech Centre, the UK’s largest agri-tech organisation responsible for driving innovation in the sector.

This follows last September’s announcement that three existing Agri-Tech Centres will join forces to create a new integrated capability.

The Agri-Tech Centres merging are:

  • Agricultural Engineering, Precision and Innovation Centre (Agri-EPI)
  • Crop Health and Protection (CHAP)
  • Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL)

See: merger of Agri-Tech Centres paves way for future ambitions.

National and international voice

The UK Agri-Tech Centre will become the national and international voice for agri-tech innovation in the UK.

The centre will:

  • broaden access to agri-tech opportunities
  • drive development and business growth
  • help the sector to reach even greater heights

It will provide strategic leadership, address challenges, identify new opportunities, and accelerate the adoption of agri-tech solutions for farmers and growers throughout the UK.

The centre, which receives its core funding from Innovate UK, will be led by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Phil Bicknell and a newly appointed executive leadership team.

World-class facilities and expertise

Speaking at the launch event today at the Midlands Agri-Tech Innovation Hub, Harper Adams University, Newport, Indro Mukerjee, CEO, Innovate UK said: "As the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK works to support innovative businesses, particularly start-ups and SMEs, through their growth journeys. Agritech is an important sector with forty times the number of startups, and record levels of private capital invested over the last decade and the potential to develop further. The creation and launch of the UK Agri-Tech Centre will be an important step in developing that potential and will support the agritech businesses to start up, scale up and develop internationally.:

Lifeline for our planet and our people

Stella Peace, Executive Director for Healthy Living and Agriculture said: "Agritech is a lifeline for our planet and our people. The launch of the UK Agri-Tech Centre marks a pivotal moment for the UK, where we have the opportunity to deliver greater impact for the sector and the UK economy. For those leading, and working in the Centre, this is an opportunity to pioneer a new era of innovation and impact.

Implementing innovation at speed

Dr Peter Quinn, Chair of Board, UK Agri-Tech Centre said: "Becoming the UK Agri-Tech Centre increases our ability to implement innovation at speed to solve the increasing challenges in our food systems for the long term. The challenges ahead require a technology pipeline of innovative solutions and applications to combat climate change and feed a growing worldwide population. The creation of the new UK Agri-Tech Centre is an important step to ensure food security for the future. One of the major benefits of the new Centre is that we have the best people with expert inter-disciplinary skills from all sectors, working collaboratively to develop and deploy new technology. We combine deep scientific and technology specialisms with general business acumen to commercialise innovation and increase market adoption across the agri-food sector."

This article was first published on 15 April by Innovate UK. 

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