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Call Us:

+44 1904 567716


Visit Us:

IT Centre – Suite 01
York Science Park
Innovation Way
YO10 5NP


What is an Agri-Tech Centre?

The Family of Agri-Tech Centres

The Agri-Tech Centres are a unique collaboration between Government, academia and industry to drive greater efficiency, resilience and wealth across the agrifood sector. A £90m investment from the UK’s strategic innovation agency (Innovate UK) is enabling the Centres to harness leading UK research and expertise as well as build new infrastructures and innovation.


Four Centres One Vision LogoThe Centres are essential catalysts for change. They are a gateway for businesses seeking access to the very best science, expertise and technologies – stimulating new research, technology and solutions for the agrifood sector. Each has its own unique focus, building capabilities that can lead the world in delivering sustainable food and farming solutions.


There are four Agri-Tech Centres (CIEL, CHAP, Agri-EPI Centre and Agrimetrics)

Together, the four Centres aim to:

  • join up existing excellence and invest in new innovative resources and research that don’t exist elsewhere
  • address challenges that no one part of the sector can address alone
  • open up opportunities for transformational change
  • position the UK as a global leader in sustainable food production.


The Agri-Tech centres were funded as part of the Agri-Tech Strategy that was launched in 2013 as part of a £150million commitment to UK Agriculture by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Find out more about the vision, aims and impacts of the Agri-Tech Centres at www.agritechcentres.com

What does the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL) do?

CIEL works to identify key challenges to the UK’s farmed animal industries and provide world-leading, applied solutions through a research base of 12 leading UK academic institutions. We have helped to co-fund the development of new research facilities which are designed to bridge the gap between basic academic research and commercial products, utilising a range of projects, from small, pilot-scale experiments through to commercial-scale trials.


We act as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the livestock sector, helping to simplify the research & innovation process by drawing together expertise, trial facilities and contracts across multiple institutions.


Please get in touch to find out how we might be able to work together.

Who do you work with?

Primarily we work with universities, large businesses, SMEs, trade groups, levy bodies and Government. But we’re open-minded and always interested in working with anyone who’s passionate about livestock production. We take a collaborative approach and actively work with the other Agri-Tech Centres on projects where appropriate, as well as other organisations out with the livestock sector.

We’re an SME working in the livestock sector. How can you help us?

We provide a wide range of support for SMEs. To help you build capacity we run a broad program of technical events and Research & Development Committee (RDC) meetings, which allow for interdisciplinary networking. We can also help with securing public funding for internal R&D, inclusion in larger project consortia, managing projects, helping with dissemination or exploitation, and general business development assistance.


Please get in touch to find out how we might be able to work together.

I work at a large company. Can CIEL work with us on a project?

We’re always interested in partnering with large organisations that can have a significant impact on a sector or market. We can help you to secure public funding for competitive work or develop a specific consortium of interested parties for a pre-competitive project.


Please get in touch to find out how we might be able to work together.

I’m a farmer. How can CIEL help us?

Engaging with farmers is crucial for the long-term success of CIEL and we are committed to engaging with farmers in a meaningful way. We interact with farmers in a number of ways, including through NFU, AHDB and specific trade bodies, including BFREPA, the Texel Sheep Society… We’d also be delighted to hear your innovation ideas directly and can help you to find the right partners and grant funding/finance options to move these ideas forward.


Please get in touch to find out how we might be able to work together.

Do you work with Government?

We work closely with several UK government departments, including BEIS, DEFRA, FSA, DIT and DFID. CIEL acts as an impartial body to help collect the views of the industry to help inform future government policy making and funding decisions.

What kinds of projects have you worked on recently?

Although we’re a young organisation, we already have a small portfolio of active projects, both publicly and privately funded. In addition, we also have several new project ideas which are in development.


Please get in touch to hear about what exciting projects we have completed!

How is CIEL funded?

We receive limited public funding from Innovate UK until March 2019, which covers core start-up costs. We meet our wider costs through funding obtained from competitively won Collaborative Research and Development grants and industrial partner membership fees.

Do you provide funding for SMEs?

No, sorry. We’re not a funding agency and don’t offer grants, loans or other direct financial support. As part of our SME support, however, we can provide you with advice about raising private finance, help you identify the best grant-funding sources, or potentially partner with you on a larger bid application.

How can I get involved?

To become involved with one of our existing projects, you’ll need to become a member of CIEL – either directly or as a member of a CIEL registered trade body e.g. BSAS IA, AIC. Occasionally, we promote open project calls in which we invite wider industry to get in touch and work with us.


Please get in touch to find out how we might be able to work together.

I’ve got a great idea for a project that we could work on together. What should I do?

We’re always interested in hearing about potential project ideas. We’re currently focussing on five grand challenges:

  1. Antimicrobial Resistance & Gut health
  2. Foodborne pathogens
  3. Endemic diseases
  4. Resource efficiency
  5. Food quality & integrity

If you have a viable proposal that could fit into one of these themes, or another idea with potential for a commercial return, please get in touch. 

Can my farm benefit from innovations created/identified through CIEL?

CIEL plan on disseminating results of projects through well-established industry networks, including through AHDB, NFU and academic networks, and directly through agricultural shows and the press across the UK.

I’d love to join the CIEL team. How can I apply?

We’re always looking for talented people who could help us. If you’re interested in working for us on a permanent basis, take a look at our current opportunities and apply online. Alternatively, you may wish to consider a secondment or internship with us.


Please get in touch to find out how we might be able to work together.

Can CIEL publicise my event for me?

Sorry, we don’t publicise events that we’re not directly involved with at this current time. You can, however, speak to the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) who may be able to include details in their promotional activities.

What skills does CIEL offer?

Our multidisciplinary team offers core services in:


  • project management,
  • funding identification,
  • bid writing
  • innovation brokering & consortium building
  • market analysis
  • route to market analysis
  • knowledge exchange & SME engagement


These services can be utilised across a broad range of projects across the livestock sector.

How can I keep track of what CIEL is working on?

Our monthly newsletter, outlining funding opportunities and project bids, is exclusive to CIEL members at this time. However, news about our asset development, industry events, project awards and job vacancies is regularly updated on our website and via Twitter.

What facilities are available through the CIEL network?

Through CIEL, we can offer industry partners access to facilities throughout the UK in a simplified, transparent manner.


To read more about the assets and expertise available across CIEL, please click here.

Why are you based in York? Do you cover the whole UK?

After extensive research, we decided to base our offices in York to ensure our proximity to a high concentration of national talent, as well as being central to the rest of the country. We’re almost halfway between London and Edinburgh, with excellent rail and flight connections.

What happens to your profits?

We are a not-for-profit distributing organisation. Our revenues are reinvested into our work through industry events and project pump priming funds.

Are you involved with a particular political party?

No. We are funded by Innovate UK but operate as a private company and not part of government. As an independent organisation, we are able to provide entirely impartial advice.