Making the most of the appetite for agri-innovation

In the latest Agri-Tech Express event from Agri-TechE, Paul McGrade and Jennifer Lipman from Lexington Communications, highlighted how the UK government has a growing appetite for change and agri-innovation which could benefit many innovators and SMEs within the sector.

Chaired by Director Dr Belinda Clarke, the Agri-Tech Express is a new series of short presentations and “fireside chat” events arrange by AgriTechE for 2021. During his talk Paul highlighted how Brexit and the associated dis-alignment from Europe offered opportunities for innovation in the UK agricultural sector. Key to this are the joint goals of the government to allow access to new markets and an eagerness to develop the country as a ‘science superpower’, both of which aim to position the UK as a global centre for innovation and business, alongside supporting economic development.

Certainly, the recent consultation on the regulation of genetic technologies goes some way to highlight this and how the government may seek to de-regulate areas of agriculture where there is a case for innovation or where policy has not kept pace.

It is this view that may provide a prime opportunity for the agri-tech sector to add its voice to this call, helping change political ideas and thoughts on how technology, data and robotics could be used to build a new UK base in research and businesses.

One of the key hurdles is that small innovative agri-tech businesses can struggle to make their voice heard and in a way that politicians and policy makers understand. But this is where organisations such as CHAP are in the perfect position to help, through collating thoughts and new ideas; helping inform external organisations and policy makers of the sectors future direction and needs (see KTN Microbiome Strategic Roadmap).

Recent blogs from CHAP members Hummingbird Technologies, Climate Edge, CropSafe and Fotenix add to a growing store of information showcasing the innovations that small businesses are developing to grow the agri-tech sector in the UK and beyond, and CHAP is proud to play a part in helping to spread the message.

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