Agri-Tech Week 2019: How Agri-Tech East is growing sector’s reputation

This week is Agri-Tech Week, and in the first of a special series of articles, we take a look at Agri-Tech East, the membership organisation for the sector.

Agri-Tech East supports the growth of a world-leading network of innovative farmers, food producers & processors, scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs, in the UK and beyond, with a shared vision of improving the productivity, profitability and sustainability of agriculture. It aims to help turn challenges into business opportunities and facilitate mutually beneficial collaboration.

An independent, member-led organisation catalysing innovation in agriculture and horticulture, Agri-Tech East brokers connections, runs a diverse open events programme, including the annual REAP Conference which takes place tomorrow (Wednesday, November 6) as part of Agri-Tech Week.

How Agri-Tech East can help your business

Agri-Tech East is driving innovation in agriculture by:

  • Facilitating conversations and connections
  • Accelerating the application of research and technology development.
  • Enabling economic growth and competitive advantage
  • Supporting businesses wanting to engage with the agri-food ecosystem

The east of England is one of the most fertile regions of the UK and is home to many progressive farmers, ground-breaking technologists, innovative companies and centres of world leading research. Agri-Tech East is the catalyst, bringing these elements together to accelerate the transfer of knowledge from lab to field.

Growers

Agri-Tech East is helping to make new, more efficient technologies accessible and demonstrable by providing access to the world-class innovation community, as well as opening opportunities to help improve efficiency and productivity.

Technology developers

The organisation can help businesses establish key contacts and provide a vital introduction to agriculture for those not familiar with the sector, such as understanding consumer needs and support in finding partners to accelerate your journey to market.

Researchers

East Anglia’s research excellence means it is home to scientists working in biosciences, ICT, engineering and other fields. New technologies can be developed, and existing research can be adapted and applied to agri-tech.

Investors

High quality deal-flow of opportunities seeking investment and support; Agri-Tech East brokers links and showcases exciting new developments in agri-tech.

Young Entrants

Agri-Tech East runs a Young Innovators’ Forum, which provides an opportunity for PhD students, young farmers & trainee agronomists to learn about each others’ work, and build a strong network to aid them throughout their careers.

Moving to 'One Agriculture'

The driving force behind the organisation is director Belinda Clarke. She explained that agri-tech is putting this region at the forefront of new approaches to farming, including the ‘one agriculture’ model which is theme of REAP 2019.

“The question for society is no longer ‘how to feed the population’ but ‘how to feed it well’,” she said. “Food systems, human health, animal health and the environment are inextricably linked by best practice in agriculture. This brings with it a huge opportunity to create sustainable, productive and profitable farming enterprises.

Entitled ‘Innovating for One Agriculture’, the conference is reviewing the changing conversation about food systems and the opportunities that emerging agri-tech offers to mitigate the grand challenges facing society – through the eyes of millennials.

Dr Clarke added: “One Agriculture will require a combination of new technologies, improved knowledge, and enabling policies and regulations, as well as collaborative, innovative thinking, and we are seeing growing evidence of this from across the agri-tech cluster.”

Find out more about joining Agri-Tech East and the organisation’s work at www.agritech-east.co.uk.

* Are you an Agri-Tech innovator? The Tech Corridor is putting together a list of the most influential figures, companies and support organisations working in agri-tech in the Eastern region. Email your suggestions to info@techcorridor.co.uk or tweet us @TechCorridorUK and we’ll add them to the database.