The Northern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub supports collaboration, research and commercial trials to growers, agronomists, retailers, scientists and researchers from across the UK and further afield.
Advancing UK agri-food research and development at the Northern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub, on Easter Bush Campus.
The Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation (Agri-EPI) Centre is one of four UK Government centres of agricultural excellence.
Agri-EPI focus on the delivery of research and development, demonstration and training on precision agriculture and engineering for the livestock, arable, horticulture and aquaculture sectors. The Northern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub houses laboratories, a full-time in-house technician, meeting and presentation space.
The Hub's laboratory capabilities on the University of Edinburgh's Easter Bush Campus include:
- HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGING CAMERA
A novel technology, hyperspectral imaging is one of the most powerful and rapidly growing methods of non-destructive food quality analysis and control.
- BUCHI NIR
Supporting routine analysis of samples for the food and feed industry in meat, dairy and grains.
- TEXTURE ANALYSER
With a focus on extending the shelf-life of our seasonal produce and also on the quality and presentation of meat and fish products.
The Agri-Tech Centres are a unique collaboration between Government, academia and industry to drive greater efficiency, resilience and wealth across the agrifood sector. A £90m investment from Innovate UK, the UK’s strategic innovation agency has enabled the Centres to harness leading UK research and expertise as well as build new infrastructures and innovation.
Midlothian Science Zone talked with a Northern Hub representative about the concept behind the Centre, the benefits of membership and how the Centre is helping farmers produce more with fewer resources.
What is the Agri-EPI Centre?
The Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation (Agri-EPI) Centre was set up as part of the UK agricultural technologies strategy to innovate technology in agriculture, or ‘Agri-Tech’, as we call it.
Agri-EPI has four agri-tech innovation ‘hubs’ located across the UK: the Northern hub in Edinburgh, the Midlands hub in Newport, the Southern hub in Cranfield and the South West Dairy Development Centre in Shepton Mallet. We are based at the Northern hub here in Edinburgh.
The organisation as a whole specialises in engineering and precision technology, bringing partners together to develop new technologies that will help farmers become more efficient and productive – essentially helping them to produce more with less.
Our Northern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub supports collaboration, research and commercial trials to growers, agronomists, retailers, scientists and researchers from across the UK and further afield.
Why did Agri-EPI choose to base in Midlothian Science Zone and what are the benefits of being based there?
The companies and organisations working 'in the zone', including Agri-EPI, are known for being innovative and cutting edge. It’s fantastic to be based at a hub which has that kind of reputation.
The recognition that comes from being based at a centre of scientific excellence and innovation, and opportunities for collaboration, are enhanced by co-location alongside key partners, including the University of Edinburgh, the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and Scotland’s Rural College.
What sort of institutions and companies are you partnering with?
We are a membership organisation, so we bring together a variety of players in the agri-food supply chain: farmers; universities; agri-tech and precision farming companies; agronomy and agrochemical companies; and engineers and manufacturers. For example, Tesco, a household name in groceries and retailing, is one of our members.
We work with a broad range of farms, both large and small, and many agricultural institutes and governing bodies. Big retail organisations and processors, like Bakkavor and the 2 Sisters Food Group, are also part of our network.
The agri-food and agri-tech sectors cover a broad scope of disciplines that must work together to develop new technologies and knowledge that will help make UK farming more productive. We aim to bring them together, working with our members to help them develop technology.
For further information, please contact:
Agri-EPI Centre - Northern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub
University of Edinburgh Easter Bush Campus
Roslin, EH25 9RG
t: +44 (0)131 239 7100
Easter Bush Campus
- The University of Edinburgh
- Midlothian, EH25 9RG
Campus Operating Officer: Val White
T: +44 (0)131 651 9180
Midlothian Science Zone
- Roslin Innovation Centre
- The University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Campus
- Midlothian, EH25 9RG, Scotland
Enquiries: Project Team
T: +44 (0)131 651 9000