Acting as an industry-focussed innovation network is Agri-EPI’s core business. The more connected we can make the agri-tech sector, the better. Last week, Agri-EPI Centre welcomed more than 60 members to Cranfield, the base of one of our hubs in Bedfordshire. Companies present, covered the wider agri-food industry and included all key players in the supply chain. The annual Stakeholder Day is mainly organised to bring together the full breadth of the membership, including leading academic partners, agri-food industry partners and technology providers. Members get a chance to get personally acquainted with other organisations and build new collaborations.
Professor Leon Terry, Director of Environment and Agrifood at Cranfield University, opened the event in the morning. He gave an overview of Agri-EPI’s Remote Sensing and Precision Agriculture technology located at Cranfield University. Chief Executive Officer Dave Ross provided an update on the developments within the organisation over the last year, the international links that are built to support our members and the expected opportunities in the near future.
The Knowledge Transfer Network and Innovate UK presented key upcoming grant funding opportunities, in both UK and Europe. United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI), and particularly the forthcoming £90m funding via the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund call titled “Transforming Food Production” is highly relevant funding for Agri-EPI members, as became clear on the day. Agri-EPI can help members with applications by helping members understand what funding is available, getting project ideas on paper, connecting relevant partners and making Agri-EPI facilities and equipment available (both research and business).
It was a high-paced event, with lots of short presentations covering various topics. New this year was the member pitch programme. It offered 12 members to pitch their organisation to the audience. Presentations were short but inspiring nonetheless, given the network activity during lunch break afterwards. The day was concluded with a tour around the exciting new facilities on campus.
The location for this year’s Stakeholder Day was chosen for a specific reason. Agri-EPI Centre are owner of some state-of-the-art agricultural technologies and facilities on-site, which they share with agri-tech partner CHAP and Cranfield University. Industry partners can make use of on-site technologies and can sign up for this for future projects.
Getting introduced to new organisations is key to successful development and adoption of new technologies within the world of agri-tech. “This day facilitates just that”, says Agri-EPI Marketing Manager Yoni van Breukelen. “It is a significant time for agriculture. The need for new technology solutions is not only growing, organisations not traditionally involved in agri-food are more than ever realising the potential to get involved. The sooner our members get introduced to other relevant organisations to further their products and services, the better.”
More information and how you can get involved
Would you like access to researchers in academic partners? Are you interested in facilities and equipment – at University hubs and commercial farms? Looking for ways to expand your network of industry partners? Need help in establishing new projects? Contact Agri-EPI Centre via firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and join our member network.