Three Agri-Tech Centres to merge to create an Agri-Tech Catapult

Published: October 11, 2023

Statement from Dr Peter Quinn, Chair of the Transition Board

Today, Minister of State for the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, George Freeman MP announced that three Agri-Tech Centres will work with Innovate UK on plans towards establishing a Catapult for the agri-tech sector.

The announcement was made at the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in London and will see Crop Health and Protection (CHAP), the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL) and the Agricultural Engineering, Precision and Innovation Centre (Agri-EPI) come together to form an integrated capability. The new organisation will build on the Centres’ strong foundations to accelerate innovation and strengthen the UK’s world-class agri-tech ecosystem.

Utilising our UK-wide assets, world-class facilities and expertise, the new company will be a gateway for funding programmes, such as the Farming Innovation Programme and Horizon Europe, and provide even more benefits to the whole supply chain, the UK economy and beyond.

In joining the wider Catapult network, an Agri-Tech Catapult would create greater cross-sector working opportunities and systems-wide approaches to agri-industry challenges, such as climate change, disease mitigation and environmental sustainability. 

A Catapult for the Agri Industries

Established by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, Catapults support specific sectors as independent, not-for-profit organisations offering physical centres with cutting-edge R&D laboratories, testbeds, factories and offices. An Agri-Tech Catapult would provide a hub for world-class knowledge, funding expertise and facilities that could be accessed by a wide range of agri-tech businesses to accelerate their innovation and growth.

Such a proposed Catapult would provide a range of other benefits for the agri sector and its partner industries, including strategic leadership, identifying new growth opportunities and accelerating the adoption of agri-tech solutions by farmers and growers.

To find out more about our future plans, please join the Centres for our Accelerating Innovation Conference on the 12 October.