A new £3.2 million Agri-informatics facility has been officially opened by the Rt. Hon. George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Agri-EPI Centre, Cranfield University and its partners will share the facility to create informatics in support of innovative business, management and policy approaches for the agricultural sector.
Environment Secretary, George Eustice believes that the new centre will ensure that planned agricultural policies are “underpinned with world-leading science.”
Fostering collaboration between the industry and academia
“We are delighted to share this key facility at Cranfield,” said Agri-EPI Centre CEO, Dave Ross. “It will complement our existing facilities and allow us to foster collaborations with both industry and academia to meet the significant productivity and environmental challenges facing the agri-food sector, now and in the future.”
The site has been funded by Cranfield University and Innovate UK through Agri-EPI and the Wolfson Foundation.
The Environment Secretary, George Eustice, said: “Cranfield has a world-leading role in driving agricultural innovation and development and I was pleased to open the new facility today. Soil health is central to delivering our objectives on biodiversity and profitable agriculture and this new centre will ensure that the policies we plan are underpinned with world-leading science.”
Leon Terry, the university’s Director of Environment and Agrifood had this to say: “By utilising data science, we can create new technological interventions that will improve crop yields, improve soil health and reduce food waste. All of these things are vital to reducing the environmental impact of agricultural production.”
Accelerating adoption of precision data agriculture
Agri-EPI’s activities at the new site will focus on agri-tech research and innovation. Our work will accelerate the development and adoption of engineering technology and precision data agriculture, which will in turn boost sustainable productivity across the entire agri-food chain.
Ian Cox, Agri-Tech Centres Lead at Innovate UK said: “I am delighted that this new joint facility, part funded by Innovate UK, is now open. It will expand the capabilities of both Agri-EPI and Cranfield University, and will help to address some of the major challenges – facing not only the UK but the world – around how we feed everybody sustainably.
“The facility will help to drive forward the competitiveness of the UK’s growing agri-tech sector into the next decade and beyond.”