SHAKE Climate Change Programme opens for submissions from February 2021

The 2021 SHAKE Climate Change programme is looking for entrepreneurs with bold ideas to help farmers, agricultural production and the food chain to combat climate change.

The programme is a collaboration between CHAP partners Rothamsted Research, which leads the initiative, and Cranfield University, along with the University of Hertfordshire and University College London. SHAKE Climate Change programme, founded in 2019 and funded by The Société Générale Foundation, helps start-ups with science or tech-based ideas to develop their businesses.

SHAKE believes small companies have more agility and flexibility to approach the problem of climate change than larger businesses. It focuses on closing the gap in business development between early start-up stage and investable businesses through provision of expert care and advice, sourced through a high-profile consortium of universities and its associated network of mentors.

Those selected to be part of the programme will be part of SHAKE Climate Change for two years.The programme is phase-based with successful applicants being selected at the end of each stage. During all phases, the programme supports entrepreneurs to build their businesses. To date it has assisted a total of nine ventures, and businesses from the 2019 cohort are currently halfway through their final phase of the programme.

Almost every step in the chain associated with agriculture impacts on climate – from how food is grown or reared, to the way it is harvested, transported, stored and distributed. In addition, farmers themselves face increasing pressure to deliver enough food sustainably, while working in increasingly unstable climates.

Businesses on the programme so far include: CHAP member Climate Edge, which works with agricultural service providers to make their offerings accessible to thousands of smallholder farmers; Economad, an agricultural waste reduction and sustainable resource management company;  Glaia which aims to enhance agricultural productivity and reduce pressure on natural resources by optimising the performance of plants using a revolutionary technology; and Pherosyn – a company committed to reducing the use of pesticides in agriculture through pheromone-based integrated pest management strategies.

The Rothamsted Research Campus is no stranger to start-up businesses. Rothamsted Enterprises, the company set up to establish the site as the world-leading centre for agri-tech research and innovation, is a member of the UK Science Park Association. CHAP’s Fine Phenotyping Lab, a cutting-edge, multifaceted service facility serving the agri-tech community is based at the site.

This year’s SHAKE Climate Change programme opens for applications on 1st February. UK-registered start-ups using science or tech-based ideas in the area of agriculture and food production to combat climate change are encouraged to apply. Successful applicants will be invited to participate in the first phase of the programme. They will receive £140,000, along with support and mentoring for two years.

For more details and information on how to apply, go to SHAKE

If you are interested in learning about how technology is revolutionising agriculture, read our latest article for our Focus on Data Diagnostics: The Rise of the Digital Farm, by Keith Norman.

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