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Welsh Science Parks team up nurture & grow the AgriTech sector in Wales

M-SParc and AberInnovation have launched a partnership in a bid to boost growth in and support businesses to thrive in the AgriTech sector in Wales, with a call to action for companies, organisations, academics and researchers to get involved. The focus is on Agritech, something both organisations have expertise in, and a priority sector for the Welsh and UK Governments.

The announcement of this collaboration is timely as the UK Research and Innovation published the first of a number of funding calls in the sector on Friday (7th of June) through its latest Launchpad Programme. The funding targets innovative businesses in the Agritech and Agrifood sectors. Organisaitons can learn more about the funding at the next cluster meeting that’s to be held on Friday the 14th of June.

Pryderi ap Rhisiart, MD of M-SParc, said “The development of the AgriTech sector provides an opportunity for us to build on the strengths of the area, to listen to the needs of the agricultural community and develop innovative solutions to address them.”

AgriTech, simply put, is the application of technology to produce more, using less! For example, using a robot with sensors to target specific weeds in a crop, rather than spraying a whole field with pesticides using large machinery, or using technology on animals to monitor behaviour and actions rather than walking out to check them every hour. It is a growing industry; agriculture already accounts for 1.1% of the Welsh workforce and the digital economy employs a further 1.3%. For comparison, tourism accounts for 5%.

Together, M-SParc & AberInnovation now run AgriTech.Cymru – a cluster established to bring agritech businesses together, to identify collaborations and funding sources to drive ideas forward. AberInnovation has a focus on innovation in agriculture, the environment and natural resources, forming a key part of the sustainable economic strategies of both Wales and the UK. Together, this new partnership brings a new power to the sector.

 

On the 14th, the cluster will meet again at M-SParc and online, to learn more about the launchpad. Businesses are encouraged to attend to explore the latest advancements in farming practices, sustainability, and cutting-edge solutions. This event is perfect for anyone passionate about the intersection of agriculture and technology.

Dr Rhian Hayward, CEO of AberInnovation said “We’re delighted to partner with M-SParc on the AgriTech cluster which builds on the natural strengths of both organisations. AberInnovation are serving a range of clients in agriculture, food and the circular economy. Together with the announcement of the UKRI Launchpad we’re well placed to contribute to developing this sector.”

You can register to attend the next AgriTech Cymru event either online or in M-SParc on Eventbrite. The event is to be held on Friday 14th June 2024 at 13:00.

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Tom Burke

Digital Innovation Manager

tom@m-sparc.com

Tom used to work at the KFC in his hometown of Colwyn Bay before it mysteriously burned down. He then spent several years “on the lam” in East Germany, where he worked as an animator in Berlin. When the wall fell, Tom came home.

He enjoys climbing and hates ice-skating.