Three Agri-Tech Centres to merge to create an Agri-Tech Catapult

Published: 26 September 2023

The announcement of the merger was made at the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in London. The three Agri-Tech Centres are Crop Health and Protection (CHAP), Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock(CIEL) and Agricultural Engineering, Precision and Innovation Centre (Agri-EPI).

The three organisations will come together together to form an integrated capability. The new organisation will build on the Centres’ strong foundations to accelerate innovation and strengthen the UK’s world-class agri-tech ecosystem.

This new single entity will facilitate a stronger cross-sectoral approach and drive better outcomes for the agri-tech sector across innovation, commercialisation, and adoption, as well as research. Together they are being invited to develop a proposal to establish an agri-tech Catapult, to complement the work of the existing nine Catapults.

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Established by Innovate UK, Catapults are world leading technology and innovation centres spanning over 50 locations across the UK, transforming the UK’s capability for innovation in sectors of strength.

As the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK will offer additional support to UK businesses in the agri-tech sector, aligning with a key strategic priority in its healthy living and agriculture domain.

"With global population set to hit 9 billion within the next 25 years, scientists have been clear that we need to double global food production using the same land with half as much energy and water. That is the challenge driving global demand for agri-tech – the technologies that allow us to produce more with less.

From drought and disease resistant crops to precision farming, robotics and the shift to biological pest control instead of agrochemicals, the fast-growing agri-tech sector is attracting billions worldwide. The UK has long been a scientific leader in academic agricultural research but for 40 years we have not commercialised it effectively.

Having launched our first Agri-Tech Industrial Strategy in 2013, I’m delighted to be back driving the next wave of investment with much clearer frameworks, and an offer for global investors to back UK agri-tech.
A transformational impact."

The Minister of State for the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, George Freeman MP 

"As the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK supports innovative businesses on their growth journeys. Our plans to merge these centres and work with them to develop a proposal for a new Agri-tech Catapult will have a transformational impact on the UK, creating an excellent environment to start and grow innovative agri-tech businesses. This is and will be an important area for Innovate UK’s work."

Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Innovate UK

"The formation of the new single organisation will build on the three Agri-Tech Centres’ strong foundations to create an innovation ecosystem that will strengthen connections and accelerate innovation to develop scientifically robust, commercially viable and sustainable solutions that will benefit business, people and the environment."

Peter Quinn, Chair of Crop Health and Protection

Find out more about Agri-Tech Centres and proposed Agri-Tech Catapult

 

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