Partnership launched to boost Gloucestershire’s £1.5bn agri-tech sector
A new partnership has been launched in Gloucestershire to promote growth and innovation in the £1.5 billion agri-tech sector.
The Gloucestershire Agri-Tech Partnership brings together the county’s local business partnership, GFirst LEP, with key organizations to harness their expertise and bring more business here.
Founding members are food science and technology consultancy, Campden BRI; Hartpury University and College’s Agriculture Agri-tech Center and Tech Box Park, the Royal Agricultural University’s Farm 491 and the Countryside & Community Research Group (CCRI) at the University of Gloucestershire.
Gloucestershire has the largest and most dynamic network of high-growth small and medium-sized agri-tech companies in the UK, and one of the largest concentrations of agricultural education.
The sector was valued at nearly £1.5billion before Covid and supports more than 50,000 jobs in the wider county economy.
The main objective of the partnership is to showcase the capabilities of the sector to start-ups and high-growth companies around the world, attracting new agri-tech companies to the region.
It will offer businesses the opportunity to test their new products and services on demonstration farms and in various incubators and provide tailored support in developing business plans, accessing finance and connecting with potential investors and customers.
The partnership will also support growing businesses in the country by identifying key opportunities and challenges to foster innovation and growth.
Dev Chakraborty, Deputy Director of GFirst LEPsaid: “It’s fantastic that Gloucestershire’s Agri-Tech Centers of Excellence are working together to showcase to the world what we can offer; attracting exciting growth businesses to the county and supporting the expansion of businesses already there. .”
The Invest in Gloucestershire project team recently created a county-themed agri-tech proposal, highlighting the opportunities for growing agri-tech businesses.
It points to the Farm 491 technology incubator hub, the Tech Box Park at Hartpury University and College, which helps small businesses get new products to market faster, and research organizations Campden BRI and CIRB .
Sarah Carr, Farm Manager 491, said; “Forming this group has already been so valuable in sharing ideas and resources. We have some exciting projects in the works that will add to the county’s offering of business support to agri-tech companies.”
The group will meet every two months and has already identified key opportunities, including working alongside the county’s cyber platform, CYNAM.
Members also attended the LAMMA UK Showcase in Birmingham and the Smart Agriculture Summit in Barcelona to meet potential new investors looking to establish a business in the county. They will also attend the World Agri-Tech Summit in London later this month.
A Memorandum of Understanding has also been jointly signed to confirm that the groups aim to share knowledge and expertise.
Ben Thompson, director of the agro-technology center at Hartpury University and Hartpury College, said; “Hartpury is delighted to join the Gloucestershire Agri-Tech Partnership, a group passionate about all and committed to shaping the future of digital farming and driving productivity and competitiveness in the region’s agricultural and land-based industries.