Partnership launches to boost £1.5billion agri-tech sector in Gloucestershire
By Laura Enfield | 4th November 2022
A new partnership has launched in Gloucestershire to promote growth and innovation in the £1.5billion agri-tech sector.
The Gloucestershire Agri-Tech Partnership brings together the county's local enterprise partnership GFirst LEP, with key organisations to harness their expertise and bring more businesses here.
The founding members are food science and technology consultancy, Campden BRI; Hartpury University and College's Agriculture Agri-tech Centre and Tech Box Park, the Royal Agricultural University's Farm 491 and the University of Gloucestershire's Countryside & Community Research Group (CCRI).
Gloucestershire has the largest and fastest growing network of high growth agri-tech small and medium sized enterprises in the UK, and one of the largest concentrations of agricultural education.
The sector was valued at almost £1.5billion pre-Covid and supports more than 50,000 jobs in the county's wider economy.
The partnership's main goal is to showcase the sector's capabilities to start-ups and high growth businesses across the globe, attracting new agri-tech firms into the area.
It will provide opportunities for companies to test their new products and services on demonstration farms and at various incubators and provide bespoke support in developing business plans, accessing finance and linking to prospective 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 chief executive of GFirst LEP, said: "It's fantastic that Gloucestershire's centres of excellence in agri-tech are working together to showcase to the world what we can offer; attracting exciting growing firms to the county and supporting the expansion of firms already here."
The Invest in Gloucestershire project team has recently created a county-themed agri-tech proposition, highlighting the opportunities available to expanding agri-tech businesses.
It points forms towards technology incubator hub Farm 491, the Tech Box Park at Hartpury University and College which helps small firms accelerate new products to market and research organisations Campden BRI and the CCRI.
Sarah Carr, head of Farm 491, said; "Forming this group has already been so valuable in sharing ideas and resources. We have some exciting plans in the pipeline which will further add to the county's offering of business support to agri-tech businesses."
The Group will meet bi-monthly and has already identified key opportunities including working alongside the county's cyber platform, CYNAM.
Members also attended UK showcase LAMMA in Birmingham and the Intelligent Farming Summit in Barcelona to meet with prospective 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 the groups aims to share knowledge and expertise.
Ben Thompson, agri-tech centre manager at Hartpury University and Hartpury College, said; "Hartpury are delighted to join the Gloucestershire Agri-Tech Partnership, a mutually passionate group driven to help shape the future of digital farming and drive productivity and competitiveness in the agricultural and land-based industries across the region."
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