Innovation Grants to Stimulate ‘Agri-tech’ Research and Development in Cornwall

17th January, 2018

Farmers have historically been early adopters of technology whether it is the move from horses to tractors or the adoption of GPS and other precision farming techniques. The constant drive to improve farm efficiency and profitability is an ever increasing challenge as well as an opportunity.

However, with a few notable exceptions, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has not been an area where the actual technology that is taken up by farmers has been researched or developed.  The Cornwall Agri-tech Project has been designed to help address this issue.  The market is ripe for innovative advancements within Agritech; and by supporting and accelerating the development of the Agri-tech sector it is hoped that new businesses, jobs and growth will be encouraged.

Eligible businesses must be operating within the scope of the Agritech project (in the identified four research strands):

  • Animal Health and welfare in livestock
  • Maximising soil, water and nutrient use efficiency for sustainable crop and livestock production
  • Improving the productivity of speciality crop production
  • Utilising technology to drive agri-tech productivity and innovation

How to access the Innovation Grants

The Innovation Grants are one element of the overall project and are managed by Cornwall Development Company, and range from £2,500 to £50,000. These grants are available for eligible small and medium-sized businesses based in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and can be used towards the cost of a range of Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) activities. These can include feasibility studies, commissioning specialist research, the purchase of equipment for RD&I related activity, or to cover consultancy costs to undertake an RD&I project.

The Business Engagement Managers (Caroline Hanlan and Liz Gilbert) can offer businesses support and advice with their application and procurement, ensuring eligibility of activity. Both Liz and Caroline, have extensive experience within the rural and farm business sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

If the Innovation Grant is not the most suitable form of support Caroline and Liz can also put businesses in contact with the other partners in the Cornwall Agri-tech project to see if a larger collaborative research project would be a better way of achieving the necessary RD&I outcomes. In addition, there is salary subsidy funding available towards the wages of a job created with a research and development element for eligible businesses within Agritech. This is managed by Unlocking Potential.

The Cornwall Agri-tech Project is led by Duchy College and involves the University of Exeter, University of Plymouth, Rothamsted research and the Cornwall Development Company.  Between them they aim to support new Agri-tech related ideas and innovation from Cornish based businesses.

The Cornwall Agri-tech project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Cornwall Council and the Council for the Isles of Scilly.

If you have a great idea which you would like to research or develop, or you know a business that does, get in touch with our friendly team.

abi@investincornwall.com / 01872 326727

 


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