HomeTech‘UK’s largest agri-tech centre’ opens as study flags big funding gap

‘UK’s largest agri-tech centre’ opens as study flags big funding gap


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The findings come from a new report which surveyed 200 R&D and technology decision-makers in the agriculture and food sectors.

While 51% of food and agri leaders identified technology implementation as imperative as they look ahead to the next five years, 48% said there were stages in their supply chain where investments and innovation is lacking.

Growth and expansion were also found to be a priority for 58%, followed by becoming more sustainable (40%).

In line with this, 40% of agri-food businesses said they want to explore new technologies relating to sustainable production, 38% food security, and 31% resilient food systems.

Twenty eight percent are keen to explore the potential of AI and machine learning, but just 26% were interested in robotics and automation which has previously been one of the most popular ventures for agri-tech. In 2023, global investment in farm robotics and mechanisation rose 9% year-over-year, reaching $760m.

Regardless of the type of tech, access to funding is proving difficult, with 39% of R&D and technology leaders flagging this as a major barrier. This is followed by a lack of resource and time (38%) and attracting investment (27%).

UK Agri-Tech Centre opens

The research from the Future of Agri-Tech Report has been published to coincide with the opening of a new UK Agri-Tech Centre earlier this month.

The centre is a merger of Agri-EPI, CIEL and CHAP and is said to be the UK’s largest dedicated agri-tech organisation.

The business, which is funded predominantly by Innovate UK, aims to strengthen and build connections between science, business and funders to accelerate R&D, and connect businesses to funding, expertise, facilities and collaborators to accelerate progress within the agri-systems supply chain.

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