Chance to shape Defra funding for agri-tech


Ben Rayner, Defra
Ben Rayner, Defra

Agri-Tech East is hosting a Defra workshop on 24th April that provides an opportunity for everyone with an interest in agri-tech to help shape the future delivery of funding.

The aim is to gather views on the current delivery options, the lessons learnt and the value achieved and to look at ways to improve in the future.

Ben Rayner of the Food Chain Innovation Team at Defra comments: “We are keen to hold this workshop with Agri-Tech East to establish relationships and gain feedback from a wider stakeholder group.

“We are hoping this session will provide views, input and data on possible delivery options for future agri-tech R&D and identify potential synergies and other resources.

“We have this opportunity to innovate and a greater diversity of views will provide challenge for our thinking and better solutions going forward.”

The Secretary of State Michael Gove outlined the government’s vision for agriculture in a speech to the Oxford Farming Conference in January. This provided a taster of the Government’s Command Paper on the future of farming, which has recently been published.

In summary, the four key areas of his address were:

  • Develop a coherent policy on food that integrates the needs of consumers, agriculture businesses, the environment, public health and other enterprises.
  • Give farmers and land managers the tools to prepare properly for the changes that are coming.
  • To use the concept of ‘public money for public goods’ to create a new method of financial support for farmers that rewards good stewardship.
  • To ensure that natural capital thinking is built into the government’s approach to promote good decision-making over land use and sustainable management of assets.

The workshop will bring delegates up to speed on the latest policy developments and provide an overview of possible new incentives for industry to invest in innovation and new technologies to increase their profitability.

These proposals could include:

  • Collaborative grants for R&D funds
  • Catalyst projects
  • Research through industry focused PhD fund
  • Capital Investment

The workshop will be held immediately before the Pollinator “Trust, Provenance and Blockchain – impacts and opportunities for agriculture” on 24 April at the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Bateman Street, Cambridge CB2 1LR

To register for the workshop. 

Delegates are welcome to attend one or both of the events, note there is a charge for non-members to attend the Pollinator.

Useful sources of information

Government consultation ‘Future for Food, Farming and the Environment’

Agri-Tech Archives