£18M of Agri-Tech funding for UK-led projects

25th Jul 2014

The Agri-Tech Catalyst, in which BBSRC is a major investor, has awarded 15 agricultural innovation projects a share of £18M to help accelerate agricultural innovation and their commercial viability.

This funding will help to support the growth of agricultural science and technology sectors in the UK, which already employs nearly four million people and is one of the world's fastest-growing markets.

The 15 projects will receive £12.1M funding from Government with £5.7M co-investment from industry. They are all led by UK companies and span three key areas of the agriculture sector – crops, livestock and aquaculture.

The Agri-Tech Catalyst, run by BBSRC and the Technology Strategy Board, forms part of the UK's Industrial Strategy for Agriculture – a long term plan and £160M government investment which sets out how the government, researchers and industry will build on the strengths of the UK agricultural technologies sector.


Names of the 15 Agri-tech Catalyst Award winning projects:


1) Antimicrobial technology to control disease in potato production


Advanced Pest Solutions Ltd (lead)

Agrico UK Limited

Branston Limited

McCain Food (GB) Limited

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA)

Scottish Agronomy Limited


2) Preservation and sequencing technology to address food security and production efficiency in the poultry sector


Cobb-Europe (lead)

The Roslin Institute


3) New strawberries optimised for growing without soil


East Malling Services limited (lead)

Agrovista UK Limited

Botanicoir Limited

CPM Retail Limited

East Malling Research

Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd


4) Using light to extend the shelf-life of fresh produce


Finlay Flowers UK Limited (lead)

Adas UK Limited

Lambda Photometrics Ltd

May Barn Horticultural Consultancy Limited

North Bank Growers Limited

Nutricycle Limited

University of Nottingham

Wight Salads Group Limited


5) An automated system for precision application of fertiliser and plant growth compounds


Growhow UK Limited (lead)

Adas UK Limited

Chris Harry-Thomas Consulting

Hill Court Farm Research

Patchwork Technology Limited

Precise Crop Nutrition Limited

Syngenta Seeds Ltd


6) Developing technology for an organic natural based pesticide


Hockley International Limited (lead)

Almac Sciences Limited

Bangor University


7) Improving efficiency and reducing environmental harm of fertiliser production


ITM Power (Trading) Limited (lead)

BPE Design and Support Limited

FERA Limited

University of Sheffield

Waitrose Limited


8) Wheat research and breeding project to improve food security in India and Pakistan


KWS UK Limited (lead)

Global Crop Innovations PTY Limited

Indian Agricultural Research Institute

University of Sydney


9) Improving the production of farmed salmon to reduce its environmental impact


Marine Harvest (Scotland) Limited (lead)

Biomar Limited

Pharmaq Limited

University of Stirling


10) Ground and aerial sensors to improve wheat production and breeding


Masstock Arable (UK) Limited (lead)

RAGT Seeds Limited

University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation


11) Increasing the efficiency and quality of strawberries grown without soil


PlantWorks Limited (lead)

Agrovista UK Limited

Berry Gardens Limited

East Malling Research


12) Protecting peas and beans from beetles without blanket insecticide spraying


Processors and Growers Research Organisation (lead)

BASF Public Limited Company

Exosect Limited


Rothamsted Research


13) Optimising 'big data' to drive improvements in crop production and utilisation


Produce World Group Limited (lead)

Cranfield University


14) Breeding lamb for more taste and less waste by scanning live animals


WM Morrisons Supermarkets PLC (lead)

Scotland's Rural College (SRUC)


15) Technology to automatically monitor pigs for the early detection of health and welfare problems


Zoetis (lead)

Harbro Limited

Innovent UK Limited

Newcastle University

RAFT Solutions Ltd

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