Agri-Tech East members include leading research institutes, grower groups, farmers, technology companies and investors, and we love to hear how being part of Agri-Tech East has helped them!
We have received some kind words from a number of our members, which you can read below.
To find out about the benefits of becoming a member and how to join, please click here.
As a start-up company with little experience in the agri-tech sector, PBD Biotech considers itself hugely fortunate to be located in East Anglia. Although the business plan was well advanced, the technology validated and ready for prototype manufacture, there were major gaps in terms of seeking seed finance in the sector, networking with other commercial partners and understanding the regulatory processes.
Having joined Agri-Tech East, Belinda and Becky opened numerous doors to local investors including the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Fund and introduced us to a network of relevant bodies including the NFU and regulatory advisors with a common interest in the improved control of mycobacterial disease in agriculture.
Moreover, the opportunity to present at networking events such as REAP allowed us to really maximise PR opportunities that have had a startling impact on an early phase business.
– Dr Berwyn Clarke, PBD Biotech
The pathogen and hygiene control system developed by Ozo Innovations is making a significant impact in the horticulture and food processing industries.
– Rowan Gardner, Ozo Innovations
We’ve benefited enormously from our discussions with other members, particularly given that Agri-Tech East encompasses a diverse array of businesses, academic institutions and governmental organisations.
Entomics first became involved with Agri-Tech East after participating in the REAP Startup Showcase back in 2015, before we had even incorporated our business.
Our technology revolves around transforming food waste into sustainable agricultural inputs, and we quickly realized that Agri-Tech East was the perfect partner for accessing the world-leading knowledge and expertise within the East Anglia agricultural sector.
Belinda and the team’s passion, dedication and leadership ensure that Agri-Tech East initiatives are always professionally delivered, with meaningful insights aimed at real issues and topical themes.
We are grateful to be part of the Agri-Tech East community, and look forward to seeing this amazing organization continue to grow.
– Matt McLaren, Entomics
Originally, the decision was made to join because some of our angel investors come from an agricultural background, and therefore harbour an interest in investment deals from the agri-tech sector. But the benefits of becoming a member of the group have far outweighed what we initially expected!
Belinda Clarke has been a fantastic source of exciting and varied investment opportunities, and the access to a wide range of interesting and educating events with fantastic networking opportunities has been invaluable to our business.
We are looking forward to this year’s REAP conference!
– Hannah Smith, Investment Analyst, Anglia Capital Group
For the John Innes Centre, Agri-Tech East has opened a window to the needs of companies across the agricultural supply chain. It helps us to refine the projects that move our research findings towards their deployment in agricultural practice. We find new commercial partnerships and discover the unseen wealth of on-farm and post farm gate innovation.
Through our engagement with the GROW business plan competition we identified a new opportunity for our pea research programme which led to the formation of new a joint venture company. The venture creates a route to market for our innovation in pea flours and extracts.
– Jonathan Clarke, Head of Business Development, John Innes Centre
BBRO is based at the Norwich Research Park and has benefitted from membership of Agri-Tech East, who have enabled it to expand its network not only across the Norwich site but also across the wider scientific and business communities. BBRO would recommend membership to those looking to develop their business in the new and exciting landscape of agri-tech.
– Colin MacEwan, British Beet Research Organisation
My first detailed level of interaction with Agri-Tech East came when I was very kindly invited to be a member of the farmer panel for part of the 2015 REAP conference.
I take great value from events like REAP because often you get ideas and come away with something that you didn’t go intending to find. In some ways you’re being presented with the answers before you have considered the question.
The REAP conference was fantastic and I would liken it to having a room full of answers floating above you and just needing to grab the right answer to match your question – sometimes before you even know the question!
– Andrew Francis, Senior Farm Manager, Elveden Farm
Delta-T’s products are mostly used by the research community. However, technology transfer from research to agricultural and horticultural growers has resulted in a number of Delta-T’s products entering commercial grower markets.
In a short period of time Belinda has been able to build a substantial and diverse network of high-calibre agri-businesses and technologists. As a result Agri-Tech East has enabled Delta-T to better engage the region’s significant commercial grower community as well as providing a forum for novel B2B opportunities and collaborations. This exposure is helping shape our on-going new product developments as well as our longer term strategic aims.
– Tony Peloe, Regional Head of Export Sales, Delta-T Devices
Since becoming a member of Agri-Tech East early in 2015, we have widened our network of collaborations with technology providers and research institutions.
These collaborations are providing us with the expertise we need to continue to strive for sustainable intensification of our farming practices through the uptake and application of innovative approaches.
The challenge of food security, in the light of a growing global population, has resulted in considerable interest in agri-tech in recent years, with funding being made available for both research institutions and companies looking to provide ‘solutions’ for growers.
Initiatives like the Agri-Tech East cluster enable the agricultural sector to clearly articulate the challenges faced in food production to ensure that innovation is targeted at solving the issues that really make a difference to the way our food is produced. It is equally important for growers to understand how developments in science and technology can be harnessed to improve production efficiency, sustainability and resilience.
Having attended the REAP conference in October 2014 and then again at the considerably expanded event in 2015, the impact of our membership was evident by the number of people I spoke this year to who I now consider to be part of our innovation network or indeed who we are now actively collaborating with.
– Charlie Kisby, Head of Product – Leafy Salads, G’s Growers
Hutchinsons joined Agri-Tech East quite early on in 2014, in spite of some initial reservations. However we were quickly impressed by the quality of the organisation of the events, and by the broad range of participants who took part.
I was struck by the number of leading farmers from the East Anglia area who were involved at the inaugural summer meeting in 2014, and was able to use the special Agri-Tech East environment to construct concrete plans with those farmers, notably in the analysis of the environmental impact of farming practices.
The other important benefit was the contacts which were facilitated with Research partners. Whilst 1:1 meetings with identified experts is quite easy to manage independently, the Agri-Tech East environment allows you to meet academics that you didn’t know about, or to discover topics of research of which you were unaware.
The final area of interest is with businesses operating in neighbouring disciplines. There are a whole host of businesses from Microsoft to Anglian Water, and the general meetings allow great networking opportunities. However, the best way to develop contacts is through the Special Interest Groups, where you can explore relevant and mutually beneficial ideas.
– Jeremy Macklin, Director of Technology and Innovation, Hutchinsons
As a company co-founder I was exploring best routes to the market when I was introduced to Belinda Clarke and Agri-Tech East. Belinda immediately saw the value of our product to seed producers and wheat growers.
Arlabion is an agri-tech startup developing new generation seed treatment products for sustainable crop management – fungal inhibitors and plant activators.
Belinda introduced me to top experts in wheat research and seed breeding. Their validation of our approach to the wheat pathogen problem gave us confidence and sense of direction – if you have ever developed a startup company you will know how important it is!
Also, I was lucky to have presented our startup at the showcase at the first REAP conference. Every company can only dream of such targeted exposure to industry professionals and getting their immediate response. As part of preparation for the showcase, Agri-Tech East provided pitch training. I can assure you that after this training your presentation will never be a boring PowerPoint deck of slides again!
Our company Arlabion is based in Yorkshire, where we produce our new chemical compound in small quantities. We have joined Agri-Tech East because I believe it provide excellent professional network opportunities and access to best research capabilities. In addition, I just loved working with the very nice people in Agri-Tech East. I am now considering relocating the company to the East of England to ensure proximity to industry and wheat growers.
Joining Agri-Tech East turned out to be one of the best moves in my company development.
– Ella Kalnina, CEO and Co-founder, Arlabion
The Department of Engineering has already benefited greatly from membership of Agri-Tech East. We have been introduced to some very innovative local companies and have already started a number of collaborative research projects.
Agri-Tech East has also provided introductions to other institutions and we are hoping to build on these relationships in the coming year. Membership of Agri-Tech East has given us some fantastic opportunities to share our work in agri-tech with relevant audiences, with our Soft Robotics research presented in a poster session at REAP 2015 and further opportunities to present this work in a Pollinator in the coming year.
We feel very lucky to have such an organisation on our doorstep and look forward to working with other members on challenging joint research projects in the coming year.
– The Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge
As a Micro R & D company every penny spent is debated; when we consider what Agri-Tech East membership has allowed us to achieve within 12 months – in terms of industry knowledge, relationship development, product promotion and industry inclusion – the few pennies it will cost to renew membership this year will not be debated at all.
We have developed an organic soil improving hydrogel product which is a spin off from a University study designed for a wholly different objective. Membership of Agri-Tech East has been an extremely valuable facility in our drive to commercialise a product in a market of which we had little previous knowledge.
Attending Agri-Tech East events has allowed us to rapidly develop our understanding of the Agri-Tech sector, meet key individuals and companies in the sector and develop important relations that are assisting our product development.
From our experience most successful operations are driven by focused, dynamic individuals. Belinda Clarke’s leadership of Agri-Tech East reinforces that opinion. Belinda’s enthusiasm permeates every Agri-Tech East activity and her pro-active approach – firstly in identifying the positive impact our product could have to agriculture, and then promoting us within the sector – has accelerated our development profile within the field. Through Belinda we feel that we have been accepted as genuine members of the sector, something we could not have achieved in such a short timescale on our own.
– Paul Smith, Head of Development, Biomation Ltd
If you are interested in becoming a member of Agri-Tech East please take a look at our membership page for details.
You can also see a list of our members here.