Government invests in 'big data' for agri-tech with Centre for Agri-informatics


Good news for agri-tech in this week's Budget: Rothamsted Research has been selected as the headquarters for a new Centre for Agricultural Informatics and Sustainability Metrics, which aims to make more effective use of datascience and modelling for the agri-food industry.


Sam White, Assistant Director of the Agri-Tech Industrial Strategy BIS, says that the £12m funding, which has been awarded to the consortium of business and academia, will put “the UK at the heart of the data revolution in agriculture”.

The consortium includes Rothamsted Research, National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), University of Reading and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

Dr Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-Tech East, says that it is a coup to have the centre located in the east of England and shows government recognition of the world-leading strengths of NIAB and Rothamsted. She says: “This is a real opportunity to ensure that research is directed at business need.

“There is a strong agri-tech cluster developing in the east of England. We are bringing big players such as Microsoft and SMEs such as RedBite Solutions together with the growers and producers. This is creating a dialogue with research institutes that is needed to create solutions that are fit for purpose. The new informatics centre will enable us to fast-track the latest technology out into the hands of the people that need it.

“Involvement in the Agri-Tech East Special Interest Groups – such as ‘Remote Sensing and Monitoring’ and ‘Big Data’ – are opportunities for interested parties to influence and gain access to the updates on latest developments.”


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Agri-TechE is a business focused membership organisation, supporting the growth of a world-leading network of innovative farmers, producers, scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs who share a vision of increasing the productivity, profitability and sustainability of agriculture.
Together we aim to help turn challenges into business opportunities and facilitate mutually beneficial collaboration.