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 focuses on supporting SMEs based within the Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin area 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 agritech / food & drink sector. The project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
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 110 local businesses by providing sector specific knowledge and support through a team of innovation experts based at both universities. The support provided by the project is bespoke and tailored to suit the individual needs of each company we work with, to find out more and to discuss applying for support please use our contact page.
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. The first is through an innovation review which provides a minimum of 12 hours of time with one of the project innovation specialists – a lot can be achieved in this time as our beneficiary companies will testify! The second stage, which is a longer term more in depth support, is not required by all businesses that have a review but it allows additional work and knowledge transfer to be carried out as necessary. The goal outcome 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