As the go-to enabler in precision agricultural innovation, Agri-EPI Centre helps members with key business challenges to drive forward agri-tech innovation.
During our recent Stakeholder Day on 14 May 2019, we offered our members a full programme allowing them to catch-up on the latest UK agri-tech developments and share their projects and ideas with the wider Agri-EPI Membership network. The event was held at the Midlands Agri-Tech Innovation Hub in Newport-Shropshire. Why this venue and what did the day bring?
Our members represent the wider food supply chain – from farmers to processors and retailers plus engineering and technology businesses of all sizes. They share a commitment to positioning the UK as a global leader in sustainable food production.
The Vice Chancellor of Harper Adams University, Dr David Llewellyn, warmly welcomed more than 60 guests. A variety of other speakers talked about agri-tech innovations. An inspiring presentation about autonomous vehicles was given by Jonathan Gill, Mechatronics Researcher and UAV Pilot at Harper Adams University, home to the t Hands Free Farm project. The aim is to create a fully autonomous cereal farm that brings together precision machines, an autonomous farmyard and remote agronomy.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is working with the supply chain to help end-users extract value from Internet of Things technology and simplify the development and integration of robotics. Relevant case studies were presented by Ricardo Sueiras, Principal Cloud Evangelist. Dr Cheryl Teoh, Consultant of Leyton Group’s Technical Advisory explained R&D Tax Relief in more detail and addressed a couple of key R&D areas for innovation in agriculture. Douglas Armstrong of IceRobotics, presented innovative sensor technology solutions for livestock research.
Partners Member Stakeholder Day 2019
There are different mechanisms available to Agri-EPI members for funding R&D projects. David Telford, Knowledge Transfer Manager in Agri-Food, talked about Innovate UK funding calls as part of the Transforming Food Production Challenge. Up to £90 million of new funding will become available for agri-tech to help businesses, researchers and industry to transform food production. He highlighted that “globally we need to produce food in ways that are significantly more efficient, resilient and sustainable. Innovation is key to ensure a competitive and prosperous sector.”
European project opportunities were presented by both Kavitha Muthu, Regional Ambassador for Midlands and Northeast at ESA Business Applications, and Ian Holmes, National / Global Contact Point in Agri-Tech & Bioeconomy at Innovate UK. Next to an introduction to the H2020 Agri-Food work programme, Holmes gave top tips on how to read the calls: “Focus on the impact of your project by involving future end-users in your proposal; apply real market information in the application and be sure that your project matches the scope of the call.”
About the venue
The Midlands Agri-Tech Innovation Hub is part of a UK-wide network of Agri-EPI facilities, each of which offers specialist expertise, space and equipment to investigate, develop and evaluate precision technologies and techniques for better productivity, profitability and sustainability.
The Hub is a bright, airy and modern venue offering five different spaces, which can be booked together or separately. The board and meeting rooms provide excellent breakout areas, while the lower and upper atriums are great exhibition, networking and catering spaces. These areas are not only open to agri-food companies – they provide the perfect space for local companies of all kinds.
“It’s a privilege to host events where we bring together our members and inform them on interesting developments in the field of Agri-Tech.”
~ Yoni van Breukelen, Marketing Manager Agri-EPI Centre
In addition to, the Hub boasts a dedicated incubation facility, with space to grow, which is open to technology start-ups. A range of state-of-the-art precision technology equipment is available for hire, both by companies occupying the incubation space and by others in the agri-tech sector.
The Midlands Dairy Research Centre, which is managed by Harper Adams University, works with next generation dairy technology to understand dairy cow behaviour and welfare, and is just a ten-minute walk away from the venue. Its 50-cow robotic milking shed was designed specifically for trial work, complementing Harper Adams’ 380-strong commercial dairy herd. Agri-EPI welcomes proposals from technology companies and those involved in the dairy sector for projects to be undertaken in the Centre.
Book your next event
Get in touch to book your next event or to discuss prices of our meeting rooms and venue spaces, please contact our dedicated team:
T: 01952 570 147
For general enquiries
To discuss research opportunities, projects and the leasing or hiring of facilities, please contact us:
T: 01950 570152