Agri-Tech East

Agri-Tech East

Agri-Tech East is an independent business-focused cluster organisation for the East of England. It is creating a global innovation hub, to improve the international competitiveness of plant and crop-based agriculture and catalyse economic growth.

Address: The Entreprenuership Centre, Hauser Forum, Cambridge
Postcode: CB30GT
Country: United Kingdom
Membership type:Professional Individual and Corporate < 5 (£50+VAT pa)

Agri-Tech East is bringing together farmers and growers with scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs to create an innovation hub that will focus on activities where improvements in crop production, agronomy and technology can influence yields, and on-farm efficiency.

To increase food production on existing farmland while minimising pressure on the environment, we need new thinking and this is driving a new agricultural revolution.

The East of England is ideally positioned to pioneer agricultural innovation. It has:

  • Concentration of world-class R&D in agriculture, horticulture and plant science
  • Prime agricultural land – the most profitable and productive in the UK
  • Innovative large-scale growers/processers
  • Funding initiatives from local and national government
  • Expertise in high technology and advanced engineering

Agri-Tech East is an independent business-focussed cluster organisation, created to catalyse economic growth through improving the international competitiveness of plant and crop-based agriculture. It brings together the world-leading research, development and agricultural production across eastern England, and supports the translation and adoption of new innovations across a range of disciplines (including bioscience, ICT and engineering).

The priority is to improve production in the UK and globally, helping meet the challenges of food and nutritional security, adaptation to climate change, and managing limited natural resources.

Agri-Tech East is the UK's first agri-tech cluster organisation. It contains the business and research power-houses of Cambridge and Norwich, and is home to highly innovative growers who manage much of the UK's most productive and profitable agricultural land.

For more information about Cambridge Network please see our own Directory page.

Wheat - soil health, seed infection and harvest monitoring

Revolution in diagnostics promises early disease warning for farmers

With advances in biotechnology, imaging and organic chemistry changing the way farmers are able to tend their crops and livestock, the UK’s latest diagnostic tests are to be discussed - many for the first time - at Agri-Tech East's Pollinator event in Cambridge on 13 February.

18 January 2019Read in full

Dr Ed Moorhouse, the new Head of Strategy Development with ITAKA

Event focuses on using natural products in conventional farming

Would working with nature relieve some of the evolutionary pressure on arable weeds and plant pests and stop them from becoming so aggressive? This is one of the areas of discussion for the Agri-Tech East Pollinator event 'Mimic, Harness or Borrow; Applying Nature’s Solutions to Agriculture' being held in Norwich next week (15th January 2019).

10 January 2019Read in full

World’s first robotic drill unveiled at REAP 2018

Just one year on since the tech start-up first announced its ‘Farming as a Service’ model at REAP Conference 2017, the Small Robot Company unveiled Harry, one of three precision engineered, smart robots that could revolutionise food production and the toll big machinery takes on soil and the wider environment.

20 November 2018Read in full

Unveiling Small Robot Company's Harry

Triple helix approach to agri-tech innovation underpins UK farming future

By delivering a ‘triple-helix’ model for innovation – which brings together industry, research and government – Agri-Tech East is helping to facilitate the rapid growth of the agri-tech sector. Priorities for future investment in agri-tech was the theme for its fifth annual REAP conference, held yesterday (Weds) in Cambridge.

8 November 2018Read in full

Teams of techies at Agri-Tech East's Hackathon earlier this year

Driverless car tech could bust weeds - what can your tech offer?

Earlier this year, Agri-Tech East held one of the UK's first hackathons for farming to fast-track innovation - and the learning points, future opportunities and next steps are to be discussed at REAP 2018 in Cambridge.

29 October 2018Read in full

UEA Prof Gerard Parr will deliver keynote address at REAP 2018

Laying the foundations for the internet of agri-things

East Anglia is one of five broadband black spots across the UK, which is exactly why the UAE's Professor Gerard Parr is driving a unique initiative to create the East of England Smart Emerging Technologies Institute. He'll be sharing project updates and insights at Agri-Tech East's REAP conference next month.

9 October 2018Read in full

Wheat field - trials show that new solutions increase yield

New chemistries deliver industry's first major innovation in decades

Industry leaders will next week discuss novel fertilisation solutions at 'The Ag-Chem Pipeline' event, Rothamsted Centre - where, 160 years ago, the world's first commercial mineral fertiliser was developed.

3 October 2018Read in full

UK Parliament

New agri measures to invest in R&D and tech

Following widespread consultation, including with Agri-Tech East members, UK Government commits that the new Agriculture Bill will be underpinned by measures to increase productivity and invest in new technologies.

14 September 2018Read in full

Tony Bambridge and Mark Suthern

Agriculture is gearing up for the ‘fourth industrial revolution’

The Bank of England’s chief economist recently predicted that up to 50% of all jobs could be lost to robots and artificial intelligence (AI) in the next four decades. However, current technology needs considerable investment before it can address the labour shortage in agriculture. This and other priorities for agri-tech are to be debated by leading agrifood producers, technologists and academics at Agri-Tech East's REAP Conference 2018 on 7 November.

30 August 2018Read in full

Andrew Howseman with Lincolnshire Show award and irrigation

Smart irrigation becoming more attractive option for spuds

A sustained dry period, changes in water licences and shortage of labour are making smart irrigation systems more attractive to potato farmers, according to Andrew Howseman of Howseman Agriculture. Agri-Tech East is looking at smart irrigation in its next Pollinator event on 13th September 2018.

7 August 2018Read in full

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Agri-Tech East: Bringing The Outside In - Innovating for Controlled Environment Agriculture

19 Mar 2019Rothamsted Research, West Common, AL5 2JQ

Controlled Environment Agriculture aims to create the optimum growing conditions, allowing year-round cropping of a wide range of high value, fresh produce closer to the point of consumption.

Growing within a hygienic environment offers many benefits:

Quality control – there is less requirement for plant protection chemicals, resulting in fewer residues in the products
Tighter forecasting – production can be more closely aligned with market needs, thereby reducing waste
Improved nutrition and taste – the growing medium can be tightly controlled to deliver high value crops
Overcome seasonality – crops can be grown all year, enabling continuous cropping and also scope to grow exotics
Improved productivity – vertical farming in industrial or retail units increases the growing area available for food production
Plant production on non-agricultural land – closed environments can be used to grow ingredients for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and industrial applications

This one-day conference creates an opportunity to hear about new growing systems, the challenges, the business case and the experiences of early adopters.

Hydroponics to grow crops use nutrients in water. Technologies include:
– a deep-water system which offers higher nutrient levels and good ventilation control to provide greater consistency in temperature.
– 3D hydroponic towers which combined with genomics improves quality traits and reduces cost of production
Vertical soilless growing systems that uses less water and maximise growing space available
Aeroponics – a plant cultivation technique where the plant roots are exposed in the air while nutrient solution is delivered to them in the form of a fine mist.
Aquaponic urban farm – which combines two well-established farming practices – aquaculture (farming fish) and hydroponics (growing plants in a nutrient solution without soil) in a recirculating system.

The challenges of implementing a controlled environment solution.

G’s Fresh are assessing the feasibility of converting a large standard greenhouse facility
GrowUp Urban Farms share the learnings of six years scaling up its production facilities and describe what is needed to integrate it into the supply chain.

Agri-Tech East Pollinator - Swarm Robotics – The agri-workforce of the future?

25 Apr 2019Future Business Centre, King’s Hedges Road, CB4 2HY

We will explore the prospect of swarm robotics and the potential for its impact on-farm, as well as some of the technical challenges around sensor and data fusion, combining algorithms from multiple machines into a single decision-making system. How close swarm robotics is to commercial application?

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