International - Agri-EPI Centre - Engineering Precision Innovation


Agri-EPI collaborates with growers and scientists around the world. Partnering on international projects, as well as initiatives throughout the UK. Supporting agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture, Agri-EPI explores and delivers precision farming engineering, technology and innovation. Discover more about our international collaborations and projects.

Brazil to UK agri-tech delegation visit continues international collaboration

This month, Agri-EPI and the Agri-Tech Centres hosted three Brazilian SMEs for a collaborative market exchange visit to the United Kingdom with Embrapa and AgriTIERRA.

Joining us were three Brazilian SMEs, Perfect Flight, NOOA, and GeoApis, who got to immerse themselves in the UK agriculture and agri-tech sectors. The visit included learning about Agri-EPI’s networks and R&D opportunities, key market challenge areas, business and research ecosystems farm systems, export market potentials, and facilities in the UK that can be used to benchmark r validate new market-ready product and services.

Funded by the UK’s Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, this visit forms part of a larger effort to enable regional UK-LATAM agri-tech collaboration and to further develop international agri-tech ecosystems.

Rose Judeh-Elwell, Agri-EPI’s Director of Business Development, said:

“This project is very much about sharing knowledge that will provide agri-tech companies at the right stage in their journey the chance to understand what the opportunities are within these different markets, whether that is networks that can facilitate collaboration, access to physical space or understanding more about the challenges being faced on farm through in person interaction.” 


UK-Argentina market visit expands international collaboration in agri-tech

The past couple of weeks, Agri-EPI and the Agri-Tech Centres have been facilitating a successful market exchange visit in collaboration with Movimento CREA and AgriTIERRA for three market-ready start-ups interested in entering the Argentine market.

We were joined by three companies, iLivestock, Pastoral, and N2 Applied, who got to meet with a range of innovators, farmers, distributors and industry representatives, to give a better picture of market challenges and opportunities.

Funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, this visit forms part of a larger effort to enable regional UK-LATAM agri-tech collaboration and to further develop international agri-tech ecosystems.

CREA’s Gabriel Tinghitella, said:

“During the last two weeks we travelled more than 3,000km in Argentina. We visited institutions, agricultural companies, distributors, research centers, and more. Our intention was for the visiting start-ups to recognise and understand the local realities in Argentina and to link them with different types of actors who, in different ways, can enhance their landing processes in this market.”



Agri-EPI hosts delegation from Canada in a 1,000 mile UK innovation tour

Agri-EPI’s Academic Partnership Manager, Wendy Hewitson, recently hosted Olds College of Agriculture and Technology, Lakeland College Canada, and Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network from Canada, for an innovation tour of the UK, covering over 1,000 miles in four days.

The aim of the Smart Farm tour was to showcase agri-tech companies within Agri-EPI’s network, including the innovation farms and various tenants within the Agri-Tech Innovation Hubs, across Scotland and England. These visits focused on the latest agri-tech that is being developed and implemented across commercial farms in the United Kingdom.

The tour started in Scotland, visiting the Northern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub where the delegation met Agri-EPI centre staff and agri-tech companies including Beta Bugs, Rhizocore Technologies and Crover. The group then visited Bowhill Farm near Selkirk, Scotland, that is a part of the wider Duke of Buccleuch’s estate. This farm visit involved a tour of the facilities to see how a working farm is incorporating agri-tech into day-to-day business operations to support the future of agriculture (click here for more information on agri-tech solutions for sustainable farming).

This was followed by a visit to the Midlands Agri-Tech Innovation Hub, in Shropshire, where Les Hurdiss, the Hub’s Operational Manager, provided a tour of the facilities and engineering workshop space. Rebecca Lewis, Head of New Business at Agri-EPI, gave talks about the wider support and funding landscape. The morning was concluded by a visit to the Dairy Research Facility at Harper Adams University, and an afternoon in Wales at Beacons National Park to showcase Newton Farm, one of Agri-EPI’s innovation farms, with Ross Robertson, Head of Mixed Agri-Tech at Agri-EPI.

The final day of the Smart Farm UK tour focused on showcasing technology capabilities for increasing productivity and efficiency of farming. This involved a visit and tour of Godminster Farm in Somerset, led by Peter Cheek, a manager at the farm, and a visit to Agri-EPI’s Southwest Dairy Development Centre led by Robert Morrison, Head of Dairy, and Charlie Bowyer, Livestock and Aquaculture Business Development Manager at Agri-EPI. Here, the delegation saw the technology and its capabilities in supporting sustainable, efficiency, high welfare, and cost-efficient milk production.


Wendy said:

“Supporting and hosting the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm delegation was a huge opportunity to showcase how the work at Agri-EPI Centre is centred not only around our agri-tech innovation hubs and the SME’s we support, but also our far-reaching network of commercial farms that play an integral part in our thriving ecosystem nationally. We work with farmers to ensure they have a voice, are directly involved in technologies that can be applied, and have a direct impact not only on their business, but to a much wider audience globally.

No matter where you live in the world, or what type of farming business you operate, the systematic challenges within the sector are borne by the farming businesses from the soil upwards.

Working closely with stakeholders globally like the Pan-Canadian delegation ensures that the reliance, interoperability, and robustness of future technology is able to solve or alleviate those inherent problems from a collegiate approach.”

James Kayam appointed International Business Development Manager at Agri-EPI

The Agri-EPI centre has recently welcomed a new International Business Development Manager, James Kayam, to their Business Development team.

James has a diverse background in marketing, business support and development across both the private and public sector, internationally and within the UK. He has spent 8 years in New Zealand as a resident and spent 6 years working for the UK Government in the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), as a Deputy Senior Lead for Agri-Tech, receiving an DBT Expert Award in 2021. Previously, James worked for Innovate UK EDGE as an International Project Manager coordinating and delivering Government funded Global Business Innovation Programmes and Global Incubator Programmes to markets all over the world.

Throughout his career so far, James has assisted hundreds of UK companies on trade and export support and assisted in delivering millions of pounds of inward investment into the UK Agri-Tech sector, as well as supporting overseas strategies and export ambitions. He has strong international networks and has also led on mapping regional UK agri-tech capabilities.

James is highly passionate about promoting UK business, innovation, and capability to the world.

James said:

“I am excited to be joining the Agri-EPI Centre. I am incredibly passionate about showcasing UK agri-tech innovation and its potential on a global scale. I have found that nothing satisfies me more than meeting new people, developing new relationships, identifying opportunities, and contributing to the success of business.

In light of the challenges posed by climate change and the increasing global population, I firmly believe that Agri-EPI pioneering agricultural engineering can play a pivotal role in driving sustainable farming methods.”

The Merage DeserTech Competition

Innovate UK and Agri-EPI Centre are pleased to announce their support for the 4th Merage DeserTech competition, an annual event aimed at accelerating innovative technologies addressing global desert challenges. This competition takes place in Be’er Sheva, Israel, and is dedicated to advancing sustainable solutions for arid climates. 

DeserTech’s vision is to establish Be’er Sheva and the Negev region as a prominent global hub for desert technologies. This initiative leverages existing technological and policy research resources, including Ben Gurion University and its Institutes for Desert Research, regional R&D centers, as well as prominent startups and corporations specializing in sustainable agriculture, energy, water, and infrastructure. 

The competition invites British startups to test and develop their solutions in the Negev desert, serving as an ideal testing ground for technologies in an increasingly arid world. With funding opportunities of up to £20,000, British startups can collaborate with trial partners in Israel to refine their technology. 

To participate and learn more about this competition, we invite you to register for an informative event scheduled for September 28th, UK time. During this event, you will gain insights into the unique advantages offered by Negev assets, engage in brainstorming sessions through one-on-one meetings, and begin the development of joint pilot projects. Winning startups may even secure funding for the execution of their pilot initiatives. 

To register for the event, simply follow the provided Zoom registration link.  

Don’t miss this chance to adapt your innovations for thriving in arid climates and to collaborate with Negev assets, your ideal partners for sustainable living in desert environments. Join the Launch Event and become a part of the solution to global desert challenges! 

UK-LATAM Agri-tech collaboration strengthened on visit from Agri-EPI and CIEL

Agri-EPI and CIEL embarked on a trip to Argentina and Brazil over the last few weeks to help strengthen LATAM-UK agri-tech collaboration. Agri-EPI’s International Business Development Manager, Jane Lycett and Head of Agri-Tech (Dairy), Robert Morrison, along with Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock’s Head of Innovation, Dr. Mark Young, met with representatives at Hub4 Agroinnovacion, where they were given a comprehensive overview of Argentine agriculture and agri-tech innovation – including a fascinating insight into circular farming systems being applied to beef production and a visit to Seed Matriz.

Jane Lycett sat on a panel session at the BCR Agtech Forum, hosted by Ingrid Drago from Bolsa de Comercio de Rosario. At the Congreso Aapresid (Argentine No Till Farmers Association), they saw some of the latest developments in Argentine agri-tech.

With Movimiento CREA they agreed some practical steps towards supporting UK agri-tech companies to make an impact in Argentina and identified world class tech solutions from Argentina which can help to address UK farming challenges. This culminated in signing a MoU to formalise Agri-EPI’s commitment to collaborate.

The week in Argentina was wrapped up at The British Embassy in Buenos Aires to agree next steps, working closely with the UK Government’s Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and Department for Business and Trade.

The Brazil leg included visits to AgTech Garage, Embrapa’s research farms and with AgriTIERRA’s founder, Mark Jarman.

Jane said:

“There is so much potential for sharing best practices and knowledge in both directions between the UK and Brazil, which will be the focus of a series of company exchange visits that Agri-EPI will facilitate and host later this year.

“We are thrilled to embark on this journey of collaboration and innovation. By connecting the vibrant agri-tech communities of Argentina, Brazil, and the UK, we aim to accelerate the development and adoption of cutting-edge solutions that will drive sustainable agricultural practices and enhance food security on a global scale.”

The Agri-EPI team looks forward to strengthening existing partnerships and forging new connections that will propel the agri-tech sector towards a more sustainable and resilient future. The journey signifies an important step towards creating a global network of agri-tech innovators, researchers, and businesses that will work together to address common challenges and leverage emerging opportunities.