Cornwall: A strong Agritech focus

11th June, 2018

Cornwall is demonstrating why the UK is regarded as a Global Centre of Excellence for Agritech Research, Development and Innovation. Agriculture is in the DNA of the region.  For generations, innovative farmers and producers have capitalised on the regions climate and natural assets, resulting in particularly strong Dairy, Grassland and Speciality Cropping sectors.

In a recent Tech Nation report, areas throughout Cornwall were identified as ‘tech hotspots’ for the third year running, with the region’s tech sector growing almost twice as fast as the UK average. The region also boasts the largest rural fibre broadband network in the world.

Combine this with a strong agricultural heritage, easy access to world renowned research institutions, including Rothamsted Research and Duchy College and access to the £10 million Cornwall Agri-Tech Fund, and the agritech sector in the region starts to stand out globally.

Precision Grazing

Agritech Funding in Cornwall

The agritech grant from the European Regional Development Fund, match funded by Cornwall Council, is part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The funding is for Research, Development and Innovation and is available in three strands:

  • £50,000 to £250,000 collaborative research fund for businesses looking to undertake research, development and innovation
  • A voucher scheme for projects ranging from £2,500-£50,000 available to support areas such as consultancy costs, feasibility studies or for the commissioning of specialist research
  • A subsidised graduate placement programme with salary subsidies ranging from £1,500-£2,250.

This offer is further enhanced by the South West Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence, based at the iconic Goonhilly Earth Station, capitalising on the region’s expertise in Satellite Applications, driving innovation and research into Agritech.

Agritech businesses choosing Cornwall

Cornwall’s agritech offer is attracting businesses from throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. Agricultural Biosecurity Services Ltd (ABS) is an organisation that assists governments and key stakeholders in developing and implementing strategies to manage and eradicate animal health problems. Founded in New Zealand,  ABS expanded into Cornwall in 2017 due to a natural synergy between the two regions, particularly evident within the agritech sector. Cornwall was also a logical focus area for the business, due to the high level of bovine TB incidence; a key focus area for ABS as it seeks to successfully achieve official bovine freedom for farmers worldwide.

Michael Ross, Director of ABS says of his expansion to the region, “Cornwall has an environment where agritech is supported very strongly, the government support agencies are very proactive and they work together. If you’re an agritech business and you’re looking to move from New Zealand into Europe particularly, Cornwall is an excellent place to go. You will get support, you will be working with really great people. They make things happen.”

To talk about growing your business, expanding into Cornwall and taking advantage of our strong Agritech roots, get in touch.

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