• Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation Centre

About us

Amidst the current revolution in information technologies and engineering science, the Centre will explore how to optimise the performance of the highly complex production and processing systems in agriculture. This will include key drivers of profitability and sustainability, such as livestock and plant growth rates, nutrient efficiency, product quality, and health.

Driving growth and supporting innovative ideas to help farmers and business owners become more profitable and sustainable, our work focuses on:

  • Offering one-stop access to leading academic institutions
  • Developing exciting new facilities for research and development, demonstration and training
  • Initiating ‘Think Tanks’ to coordinate R&D agenda
  • Partnering researchers, industry & funding
  • Developing business incubation facilities at a range of scales
  • Providing data for identification of issues/opportunities
  • Designing, testing & demonstrating new technologies in real farm/processing situations

FAQs

What is an Agri-Tech centre?

There are four Agri-Tech Centres (Agri-EPI Centre, CIEL, CHAP, and Agrimetrics) who focus on bridging the gap between industry and academia across different areas of agriculture. They work with UK businesses, scientists and engineers to turn ideas into new products and services that will generate economic growth.

The Agri-Tech centres were funded as part of the Agri-Tech Strategy that was launched in 2013 as part of a £150 million commitment to UK Agriculture by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Of this £150 million, £90 million was set aside for the centres and to fund specific infrastructure improvements. Funding is administered via Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency. Innovate UK is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. More information about Agri-Tech Centres can be found on www.agritechcentres.com.

What happens to your profits?

Agri-EPI Centre is a Company Limited by Guaranteed owned by three HEIs and three companies from across the agri-food industry. We are a not-for-profit distributing organisation. Our revenues are reinvested into our work through industry events and project pump priming funds.

How was the consortium of partners chosen?

This consortium of key organisations in the field of precision agriculture and engineering brings together expertise in research and industry, as well as data gathering capacity in all areas of farming.

Who are the core partners?

The core partners in the Centre are Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Harper Adams University, Cranfield University, Harbro Ltd, Ag Space Agriculture Ltd and Kingshay Farming. Over 100 other companies are supporting the Centre, including large supermarkets, food producers, farmers, processors and engineering and technology businesses.

Do you provide funding?

No, sorry. We’re not a funding agency and don’t offer grants, loans or other direct financial support. As part of our support, we can provide advice about raising private finance, help you identify the best grant-funding sources, or potentially partner with you on bid applications.

How can I get involved?

We are very open to new collaborations with commercial organisations and researchers from across the agri-food industry, as well as tech providers with any technology that could potentially be applied to benefit the sector. To become involved with one of our existing projects, you’ll need to become a member of Agri-EPI. Occasionally, we promote open project calls in which we invite wider industry to get in touch and work with us. Areas of current focus include:

  • Robotics and autonomous systems eg robotic milking or automated vehicles
  • Satellites or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) to remotely monitor crops
  • New instrumentation to monitor both operations and infield performance of cropping and grassland systems
  • Sensing and imaging technologies to monitor crop and livestock production in areas such as product quality and health
  • The ‘Internet of Things’ using networks of sensors connected via the internet to help farmers remotely manage their farms

What services do you provide?

We provide a range of services that include:

  • Project management
  • Access to research expertise, facilities and equipment
  • Assisting with trials
  • Development of technology through our satellite farms network
  • Precision agriculture knowledge exchange events
  • Agri-tech start up office space at our Newport Hub
  • Comprehensive database of commercial farm data
  • Technology development and dissemination
  • Access to a network of over 100 Agri-food companies
  • Bridge between commercial farms, agri-business and academia

There could be services that we don’t yet provide because we don’t know there is a need for them. Please get in touch if you think we can help you in realising your aspirations.

To find out more about Agri-EPI Centre please get in touch.