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Bringing people together at the heart of UK Agri-Tech

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.

Member Stakeholder Day May 2019Member Stakeholder Day May 2019 - AWS

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

Partnership banner Member Stakeholder Day May 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

Agri-EPI Centre Midlands Agri-Tech Innovation Hub

 

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.

Midlands Hub Board Room

Board Room

Midlands Hub Conference Room

Conference Room

Midlands Hub Break out space

Break out space

Midlands Hub Meeting room

Meeting room

Midlands Hub Atrium

Wider atrium

Midlands Hub Upper atrium

Upper atrium

Midlands Hub Lower atrium

Lower atrium

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.

 


Yoni van Breukelen

 

“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.

Agri-EPI Centre Midlands Dairy Research CentreThe 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
E: venues@agri-epicentre.com

For general enquiries

To discuss research opportunities, projects and the leasing or hiring of facilities, please contact us:

T: 01950 570152
E: enquiries@agri-epicentre.com

Demonstration of the positive effects of Precision Soil Mapping

Agri-EPI Centre hosted a Precision Soil Mapping Showcase Event to demonstrate how Precision Soil Mapping can take precision farming to the next level. The project, in conjunction with AgSpace, IPF, Cranfield University and James Hutton Institute, is near completion. This event presented the commercial benefits of the projects. Specifically, how it can lower the entry cost to precision farming making it more viable for a wider community.

If you would like to know more about the outcomes of the project or this event, please contact us via enquiries@agri-epicentre.com.

Collaboration partners

Precision Soil Mapping Showcase event August 2018 partners

 

TAFE first business to take up residence in Agri-EPI Centre’s Newport Hub

Harper Adams University (HAU) has entered a new international collaboration with India-based Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) to develop advanced technological, agronomic and educational solutions for the delivery of sustainable food production around the world.

TAFE, the world’s third largest tractor manufacturing company in terms of volume, has become the first business to take up residence in the Agri-EPI Centre Newport Hub, on the university campus, to commence a major, collaborative research and development project.

Agri-EPI Centre is one of the four national Centres for Agricultural Innovation created as part of the £17.7m UK government investment from the UK’s Strategy for Agricultural Technologies to help provide engineering and precision agriculture solutions for the agri-food industry.

The collaboration between TAFE, HAU and Agri-EPI Centre will include joint research projects and programmes, joint publications and staff exchanges.

Research will be focused on agriculture, engineering and technology development programmes on autonomous farming and energy efficient implements, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and sensor technologies along with the Hands Free Hectare (HFH) project that will be implemented at JFarm India; TAFE’s adaptive agriculture research centre.

Partnership logo TAFE at Midlands Agri-Tech Innovation Hub

TAFE President & COO, Mr T R Kesavan said:

“TAFE’s collaboration with Agri-EPI Centre and Harper Adams is a reaffirmation of TAFE’s commitment to its vision of ‘Cultivating the World’ as it aims to combine integrated farming techniques with precision agriculture and engineering to develop sustainable farming models that work for both marginal and large farms. This collaboration will provide opportunities for developing a range of advanced training skills, learning and the promotion of international technology transfer and exchange.”

On the team’s arrival, Harper Adams Agricultural Engineering Lecturer Kit Franklin said: “We at Harper Adams have been building contacts with TAFE for the last 18 months. “It’s great to now have this young and enthusiastic team of engineers from TAFE’s Centre of Excellence here in the UK, where we’re about to start on our first collaborative engineering project. “Along with the completion of the project, I hope the team will get a flavour of British agriculture, helping them to return with fresh new ideas.”

Welcoming them to the Agri-EPI Centre, Lee Williams, Newport Centre Hub Manager, said:

“We’re extremely excited about the first major R&D project coming into the centre but even more so as it’s a large international tractor manufacturer that’s working in collaboration with Harper Adams.”

Source: Harper Adams University

Looking back on a successful UK Agri-Tech Centres Capability Showcase

Born out of the UK Agri-tech Strategy in 2013, the 4 UK’s Agri-Tech Innovation Centres came together on March 21st at the Agri-EPI Centre Newport Hub in Shropshire to meet with 140 key decision makers from industry, trade associations and policy makers. The objective was to show the progress that is made in the last two years and inform industry how to engage with the Centres to address their business needs and how the centres can be of service. The Newport Hub located at Harper Adams University is one of three such facilities being developed by Agri-EPI Centre around the UK, and despite having only just opened has tenants waiting to move in.

AgriTech Agricultural Innovation Centres UK

Four AgriTech Centres: One Vision

The launch of www.agritechcentres.com was announced at the start of the event. The collective website, initiated by the four Agricultural Innovation Technology Centres Agri-EPI Centre, Agrimetrics, CHAP Solutions and CIEL Livestock, is to set out the ‘Four Centres One Vision’ collaboration between the Agri-Tech Centres as one, unified message.

Programme

The day included different elements, such as series of interactive short talks, video displays, discussions and field demonstrations. Guests were divided in different tour groups, which was part of the registration process, each in their own field of industry to ensure and maximise relevance. The demonstrations were widespread: the latest dairy technologies; LED lighting that increases crop productivity; thermal imaging for farms; big data support. Overall, the event allowed both Tech Centres as well as the key decision makers in the wide AgriTech industry to enhance the network that will have a positive influence on new collaborations and business opportunities.

Event photo impression