Drone

Ingenious innovations to help transform UK farming

New technologies are set to help UK farmers cut down on pollution, minimise waste and produce more food thanks to a £22 million government investment.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore today (28 June 2019) announced the first 31 projects to benefit from the government’s dedicated Transforming Food Production Challenge, a £90 million Industrial Strategy fund to help businesses, researchers and industry to transform farming and meet the needs of a growing population.

This investment in the latest technological developments is a key part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, and commitment to boost R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

It will also contribute towards providing greener, cleaner processes for the agricultural sector, helping towards the government’s commitment to a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Projects will benefit from a share of £22.4 million to develop their innovative projects, with industry partners contributing a further £8.8 million.

CIEL success
CIEL is delighted to partner with CIEL Member RAFT Solutions on one of the successful bids – to develop new diagnostics tests for the dairy industry.

The RapiPath project aims to develop hardware and software to collate and share diagnostic results in a bid to improve animal health & welfare and maximise farm productivity. Working alongside RAFT Solutions and CIEL will be Fera Science Ltd, Optisense Ltd, and Quality Milk Management Services Ltd.

In total, a huge £11.6M of the £22M available has been awarded to partners and members across the CIEL network and fellow Agri-Tech Centres.

The UK is a global leader in technological innovation, as well as being the first major economy to introduce plans for a legally binding target to reach net zero emissions and end the UK’s contribution to global warming entirely by 2050.

The projects announced today will ensure we lead the way in supporting our vital farming industry, delivering high quality food for consumers while reducing the wider environmental impact.

This is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy, investing in ground-breaking projects, creating highly skilled jobs and providing a cleaner, greener future for generations to come.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore

Agri-tech can help us address the biggest challenges facing the agriculture industry, such as eradicating crop pests and diseases for arable farmers without harming the wider environment.

In 2018 we saw the total value of agri-tech investment worldwide skyrocket to $17 billion – an increase of 40% on the previous year.

Today’s funding will enable more investment in new technology, helping lead to scientific breakthroughs that could transform the sustainability of global food supply chains.

Farming Minister Robert Goodwill

It is predicted that 60% more food will be needed worldwide by 2050 to feed the increasing global population. To do this we need to produce food in more resilient, sustainable and efficient ways. This means reducing emissions and pollution, minimising waste and improving our soil.

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport

The projects announced today will help to address this challenge, delivering benefits for consumers through innovation in the food economy.

Click here for a full list of successful projects

Watch the video below to find out more about ‘Transforming Food Production”.