Agri-Tech is a growing industry across the UK with Staffordshire and the wider Midlands region at the forefront. The midlands can boast that 75% of the UK is within 2 hours travel time, that it has the nation’s largest concentration of food processors and supply chain companies (including Princes, Mondelez and Müller), and is home to World Class centres of excellence supporting the agri-food industry.

World population growth over the next 30 years is anticipated to increase significantly. With this growth will come an inevitable increase in urbanisation, changing dietary habits, a more volatile climate, and stalling outputs in some areas of agricultural production. This provides the opportunity to develop new ways to increase farm productivity and profitability.

With this comes many business opportunities to transform food production with innovative technologies, able to improve productivity whilst also reducing the environmental impact of farming. Food production is developing rapidly – involving more data analysis and information systems, software development, new sensor technologies, robotics, artificial intelligence, battery technologies, sustainable food packaging materials and many other innovations.

The Midlands has the knowledge and expertise to support companies to make the most of these opportunities, building on the region’s long history of being home to those who are already leading the way in Agri-food. Global brands, such as Müller, Heineken, Mondelez, Pepsico and Arla, have combined with a strong indigenous industry to create a research, processing, distribution, packaging and agri-technology base. This ensure that they are delivering world-class products and services from farm to fork and trawler to table.

The region is home to world-class Centres of Excellence and universities with a proven track-record of collaborating with the region’s businesses to keep them at the cutting edge of innovations and latest developments in the Agri-food sector.

Agri-tech is not just limited to crop farming. Keele University in Staffordshire have partnered with Harper Adams University and confirmed plans to establish a joint veterinary school, one of only 9 in the UK, which is set to take its first students in 2020. The veterinary school builds on the research specialisms in agriculture and animal sciences at Harper Adams University, complemented by Keele University’s established track-record in the fields of life sciences and medicine.

Agri-Tech West (ATW) is the alliance formed within three Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership areas: The Marches (covering Shropshire, Herefordshire and Telford & Wrekin), Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire, and Worcestershire - plus neighbouring Cheshire and Warrington LEP. ATW aims to remove barriers to innovation by providing access to support for skills development, business growth, knowledge transfer and R&D.

Agri-tech West