The Agritech Growth and Resources for Innovation (AGRI) project is a knowledge exchange support programme run in partnership between Aston University and Harper Adams University.
The project provides support to SMEs based within the Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin region, to break down barriers to innovation resulting in an increase in efficiency and productivity within their business.
The support provided is FREE to eligible companies and is available to SMEs who operate within or want to diversify into the agri-tech / food & drink sector. The project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Our multi-disciplinary team of experts will work closely with your business, to provide bespoke and tailored support, to suit the individual needs of each company we work with. They can offer advice and support to bring new products and services to market; adapt/ develop processes within the business to save time/ money/ make your company more sustainable; understand markets; develop business models; provide specific technical support for food and drink and use technologies such as 3d printing and photonics.
The project started running in early 2017 and is expected to continue running until mid to late 2022. The project has already successfully supported in excess of 123 local businesses by providing sector specific knowledge and support through a team of innovation experts based at both universities.
How the support is structured
The project has two stages of support which will be discussed with you in depth at the application stage but there is scope for businesses to be supported in two ways.
- First stage– 12 hours of business innovation support
- Second stage– longer term business innovation support with a minimum of 60 hours (not required by all businesses).
The goal of both stages is to provide support to the company, which if implemented will allow them to be more innovative, productive or efficient. The support can relate to the business itself or to the development of a new or existing product, process or service.
What our beneficiaries say
” The team at Harper were relentless in trying to find a solution to one very specific and challenging problem. Finding that there was nothing on the market that could be bought in, they proceeded to try a variety of techniques until they hit upon a potential solution and built a proof of concept sensor. iSpaniel are now in the process of building a prototype tracking device incorporating the sensor designed during the project. “
Matt Yarranton CTO, iSpaniel Limited
” The AGRI team have helped me to take my business to the next level, the focus group and product development in the Regional Food Academy really showed us that there was a market for our products and that we could successfully upscale our production. ”
Kristiyan Dimitrov Owner, Nanny’s Craft Bakery
” Seeking innovative ways to improve the efficiency of our fruit harvesting operations, we engaged with the AGRI project and made an application for support in March 2018. Engaging with the AGRI team has been hugely rewarding and gave us access to academics and professionals who really helped turn some of our ideas and concepts into a reality. “
James Wright Farm Manager, White Heron Brands Limited