CHAP helps to make modern agri-tech concepts a actuality

4 minute learn

We dwell in a fast-paced and altering world the place the ever-increasing calls for on our meals manufacturing methods and atmosphere have by no means been higher. Society faces the dichotomy of needing protected, healthful, and inexpensive meals while on the identical time having to cut back greenhouse gasoline emissions, defend and enhance biodiversity, and regenerate agricultural cropping methods.

Whether or not you’re an innovator, agri-tech SME or firm, entrepreneur, college, institute or tutorial, remodeling your new thought or innovation right into a tangible actuality can usually be difficult. There could be regulatory obstacles, negativity as a result of your thought doesn’t match with the perceived knowledge or fairly merely, you lack the time or the funds.

Overcoming the obstacles to agritech innovation

Acknowledging these challenges, Crop Well being and Safety (CHAP) was established in 2016 following the then UK Authorities’s industrial technique. A not-for-profit organisation, CHAP has developed and advanced to satisfy the altering wants of the agriculture sector. On account of historic capital funding, CHAP now boasts 15 services in 10 centres of excellence throughout the UK with ongoing enlargement efforts.

It has by no means been so necessary or the necessity so pressing to discover game-changing concepts and approaches to the methods by which we produce meals, handle land and defend environments. Innovation requires that typical wisdoms are challenged, novel applied sciences and digital instruments are successfully deployed, and clever options to essentially the most difficult features of agritech are developed.

All sectors of the agritech business should come collectively to share concepts, foster collaboration and break-down the partitions of silo considering. As well as, we at the moment are witnessing quite a few stakeholders outdoors of the standard agricultural, horticultural and meals sectors contributing concepts, new improvements and forward-thinking approaches to assist the business deal with upcoming and protracted challenges. These could also be corporations with digital options, re-imagined processes for supplies or applied sciences that could be repurposed for brand spanking new functions.

CHAP key areas of focus graphic

“A big stage of success”

In 2022-23 the order e book for CHAP exceeded £1.8 million, with over £6 million for the sector general. This equated to 57 initiatives on the peak of enterprise actions, funded each via authorities and business organisations.

These initiatives usually contain undertaking consortia made up of SMEs, tutorial and company organisations in addition to R&D institutes. Initiatives are likely to fall into considered one of 5 key areas of focus; soil and crop well being methods, crop and protein diversification, advancing clever agronomy, modern crop well being methods and managed atmosphere agriculture.

Linsey Cresswell, business director for CHAP stated: “Given the intense turbulence within the business over the previous yr, it was very spectacular to realize such a big stage of success. I consider that this was a results of having a particularly excessive stage of motivation by everybody throughout the agri-tech community with employees, members, companions and the business as a complete able to deal with a number of the complicated challenges that we face at the moment”.

She added “We now have a really resilient mannequin on which to work for the long run to capitalise on the present successes and to construct a excessive functioning agri-tech sector”.

agricultural technology research

CHAP’s 4 key pillars

CHAP’s success since 2016 is attributable to a versatile and pragmatic method to business challenges and to be centered on the wants of the sector, members and companions, it has finished this through 4 key pillars of exercise:

  • Networking – CHAP has am spectacular and lively membership of agri-tech specialists who collaborate and work together to work on both new or present initiatives and enterprise concepts. This helps to drive new and present networks and enhances undertaking consortia and enterprise growth.
  • Entry to funding – The CHAP staff supplies skilled recommendation and steerage to tell companies and organisations about funding alternatives, information them via the bidding course of and assist handle the undertaking as soon as funded.
  • Capabilities – It’s usually difficult for SMEs to fund the tools or lab house wanted to check out new concepts or merchandise, this was why the UK Authorities supported CHAP and its companions with capital funding at an early stage to develop new capabilities. These centres of excellence are distributed throughout the UK and could be utilised to assist companies relying on necessities.
  • Dissemination – Good concepts and agri-tech options should be within the public area to achieve traction, as such, it’s vital that the end result of funded initiatives ends in merchandise, options or processes being communicated to and embraced by the business. Dissemination and information switch throughout the CHAP community through social and onerous media, via sponsored occasions and at stakeholder conferences ensures that suggestions is achieved for as extensive an viewers as doable.

CHAP’s ongoing focus stays the transformation of agri-tech concepts into sensible options, aiming to supply options which can rework UK and international farming methods sustainably.