Going global early is an ambition for many early-stage, high growth agri-tech companies and this is being supported with an initiative facilitated by the Missouri Partnership and Agri-Tech East.
The Missouri Agri-Tech Connect Programme will provide a gateway to the St Louis agri-food ecosystem, which is located in the heart of US agricultural production.
Tim Nowak of the World Trade Centre says that St. Louis agcluster with its vibrant grower communities, innovation centres, international ag and food corporations and centres of plant science research offers a wealth of opportunities for collaborative projects.
Tim comments: “Nearly 50 per cent of US crop and livestock production is located within 500 miles of St Louis so this is a good launch point for companies looking to engage with US food production.
“We see many synergies with the membership of Agri-Tech East and so are keen to broker one-on-one meetings and create networking opportunities to support innovation and productivity within the two clusters.”
Mark Sutherland, CMO of Missouri Partnership, and Tim Nowak of the World Trade Centre introduce The Missouri Agri-Tech Connect Programme
If you are unable to view the video above you can watch it on YouTube here.
Agri-Tech East has facilitated the rapid growth of an agri-tech cluster across the east of England through its support of networking and innovation. Its membership has become increasingly national and international in its scope and aspirations and this has created a driver for overseas collaborations. 2019 has seen a second trade mission to Canada and invitations to speak at conferences in India and South Korea.
Agri-Tech East Director Dr Belinda Clarke comments: “We were delighted to welcome a delegation from St Louis earlier this year to Cambridge and the idea of a trade mission seemed a natural progression. The region supports a number of multinational ag-food corporations as well as an early adopter grower network and this type of diversity offers considerable opportunities for entrepreneurial businesses.”
A number of agri-tech start-ups including: Smartbell.io, Herdsy, Folium Science, and Outfield had the opportunity to meet the St Louis delegation earlier this year at a networking meeting held at PWC offices in Cambridge with the support of SmithsonHill.
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The agtech cluster initiative is overseen by a highly collaborative partnership with BioSTL and Donald Danforth Plant Science Center as core industry organisations and the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership (regional EDO) as a key partner.
The St. Louis agtech cluster was originally defined by the key entities at its core: multinational firms such as Monsanto and Bunge as well as institutions like the Danforth Center, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and Washington University (along with other regional universities, including the University of Missouri in Columbia).
However, it has grown rapidly and a robust base of small firms has been established. There are now close to 300 startups in the biosciences overall supported by a dynamic research community.
The Missouri Agri-Tech Connect Programme will include bespoke introductions, visits to regional partners.
The Missouri Agri-Tech Connect Programme will take place from 24 – 27th February 2020, applications need to be submitted before 6th December 2019.
Successful UK applicants will have funding from UK Department for International Trade (DIT), Missouri Partnership, and World Trade Center St. Louis available towards:
- local travel and ground transportation to all mission events and receptions
- most meals
- trade mission planning and materials including events, receptions and business-to business meetings.
Applicants will need to be prepared to cover flights and hotels themselves, however discount rates on hotels may be available.
To apply, please download this application form.