Connecting you to expertise, networks, funding and facilities
The Agri-Tech Centres offer a complete life-cycle of support, driving agri-tech innovation and adoption through world-class facilities, expert knowledge and business support, saving you time and accelerating your progress.
We strengthen the connections between science, business and funders to accelerate research and development, tackling the agri-industry’s most critical challenges such as climate change, labour availability, disease mitigation and environmental sustainability.
As independent companies we are trusted to provide leadership and guidance to progress transformational change for people and the planet while stimulating economic growth.
The UK Agri-Tech Centres have taken a critical step in fostering collaboration with Spain to address shared challenges and promote sustainable development in agriculture, agroforestry, food and aquaculture. Agri-Tech Centres staff have recently travelled to...
In the autumn of 2023 three Agri-Tech Centres – Agri-EPI, CHAP and CIEL – formally announced their intention to merge in April 2024 to form an integrated business spanning the entire agri innovation ecosystem. This position was supported by Innovate UK, who,...
By Phil Bicknell, Director at CIEL In September, three Agri-Tech Centres were invited to develop plans to become an Agri-Tech Catapult by the Minister of State for the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, providing recognition of the importance of...
11 March 2024
The City Food & Drink Lecture
The annual, invitation-only high-profile fixture in the City of London and international food and drink industry calendars. The Lecture is delivered every year by a leading figure in the British food business who is invited to speak about the issues they regard as most important in shaping the way food is produced, distributed, marketed, sold and consumed.
12 March 2024
Plant Protein Connect: Shaping the Future of Food
As the plant-based sector continues to flourish, preserving the momentum of collaboration and innovation is imperative. Establishing a platform for innovators, academics, growers, food processors, and retailers to collectively exchange ideas and best practices becomes pivotal in fostering sustained growth within the industry.
We aim to bring together a diverse range of approaches to assess and discuss the challenges faced by the UK plant-based food sector. This event, formed as a series of panel presentations and an exhibition area, provides a unique opportunity for discussion and debate about innovation, shared interests, technology, policy and potential points of leverage to maximise the impact of the alternative plant-based protein sector.
This aims to address the plant protein needs of the future market, confront the challenges of the 21st Century and facilitate actual collaborations.
Date: 12th March 2024
Time: 09:00 – 17:00 GMT
Location: INOX, Level 5, Students’ Union Building Durham Road Broomhall S10 2TG United Kingdom
Tickets: £45 + booking fee – Book here!
Have a question?
Read our FAQs or get in touch for more information.
The Agri-Tech Centres are merging on 1 April 2024: what will happen to CHAP, CIEL and Agri-EPI?
The Centres will continue operating, providing a high level of service to members and other partners until the new merged business is implemented, on 1 April 2024. The Centres are in a transition period until April as work progresses to shape the future organisation, engaging with partners to ensure it will deliver their needs, but all current workstreams and projects will be maintained.
Will there still be an equal focus on all sectors? Crops, livestock and engineering?
The new merged business will maintain a focus on all areas of crops, livestock and engineering, as well as exploring new sectors within the wide area of food, feed, fuel and fibres. It will retain and attract sector specialists, with the expertise and passion for all areas of the agri eco-system.
Will existing Agri-Tech Centres' projects continue into the new merged business?
Yes, each Centre is fully committed to delivering all its existing projects and completing its agreed plans and objectives for the current year to March 2024. The innovative longer term projects that extend into April 2024 and beyond may be transferred into the new business and completed in line with the project agreements.
The Agri-Tech Centres are proposing to create an Agri-Tech Catapult – what does that mean?
We are working on a proposal for an Agri-Tech Catapult that would drive forward responsible agri-innovation at unprecedented levels, securing society’s supply of nutritious food, fuel and fibre, stimulating economic growth for the UK and beyond.
Based on a strong foundation, this would continue to be an independent entity that the entire agri systems supply chain can trust for leadership and guidance. Connecting research, industry and policy in an innovation ecosystem that develops and delivers evidence-based solutions at scale, to benefit business, society and the planet.
What is the Catapult Network?
Established by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, the Catapults are a network of world-leading technology and innovation hubs. They are independent, not-for-profit, private organisations transforming the UK’s capability for innovation in sectors of strength. Their purpose is to accelerate the application of research and further develop new technologies so they can be scaled up and realised.
Catapults provide businesses of all sizes with access to their expertise and facilities, enabling them to test, demonstrate and improve their ideas. By fostering collaborations between industry, government, research organisations, academia and many others, Catapults help to create the best environments for innovation.
Bridging the gap between research and industry, Catapults help tackle the biggest challenges that society and industries face today. Through their knowledge, infrastructure and collaborations, Catapults make today’s industries more productive and create the markets of tomorrow.
Will existing Agri-Tech Centre projects continue into the new merged business?
Yes, each Centre is fully committed to delivering all their existing projects and completing their agreed plans and objectives for the current year to March 2024.
The innovative longer-term projects that extend into April 2024 and beyond may be transferred into the new business and completed in line with the project agreements.
How would the proposed merged business relate to the existing Catapults?
There are no Catapults currently focused on the agri-industries. Development of this proposal demonstrates recognition of the importance of this sector by government, with valuable support through Innovate UK.
Several of the existing Catapults have expertise and experience within the agri-sector, along with technologies that will form part of the innovative solutions required to address major challenges. Our new merged capability will benefit from this expertise whilst providing greater focus on solutions for the industry.
How will the new merged business support innovation to deliver benefits across the agri-tech sector?
Our proposal for an Agri-Tech Catapult will ensure a thought leadership programme of activity to influence positive change across the sector, actively engaging with industry, academia and government to drive innovation and R&D.
Exciting plans are being developed to accelerate agri-innovation – including providing opportunities for industry and academia to work together on new ideas in open innovation groups. This will ensure that the industry is can rapidly respond to both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
There is already a thriving pipeline of projects in all phases of development and delivery, and this will be accelerated with the new business.
How can current Members of the Agri-Tech Centres contribute to developing the proposal for an Agri-Tech Catapult?
The team shaping the proposal for a new Catapult pride themselves on addressing industry needs with evidence-based research and innovation. An essential part of developing the future strategy and business plan will be creating opportunities for existing and future partners to provide input and identify key priorities.
Continuous engagement will be at the heart of how the new entity operates – to ensure that ways of working actively gather industry, academic and stakeholder input at every opportunity.
Would an Agri-Tech Catapult be a government or private sector organisation?
As with the existing Catapults, any new Catapult would be supported by both government funding, delivered through Innovate UK, and commercial income, secured through the provision of products and services aligned with the new organisation’s Purpose, Mission and Vision.
The new merged business will help accelerate innovation, grow businesses and sectors, and stimulate additional private sector investment in R&D in the UK.
Will you work with companies outside the UK?
The new merged business will be focused on supporting economic growth for the UK – but will work with businesses of all sizes both in the UK and internationally. It’s important that the organisation addresses local, national challenges.
Additionally, with support from other Government departments and industry, our proposal for an Agri-Tech Catapult will help to provide UK businesses with opportunities to export and develop technologies and solutions that will also benefit developed and developing countries to enhance inward investment.
How can I get involved?
If you are interested in finding out more about our plans , please do get in touch by submitting an enquiry.
For more information about the three individual Agri-Tech Centres, please follow the links below.