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Over 70 businesses and universities from across theUK will share £16 million from government and industry to develop 25 innovative business ideas and boostUK agriculture. The 25 projects, worth £16 million with £9.8 million from government and £6.2 million from industry, form the third round of funding to be distributed through the

 £70 million Agri-Tech Catalyst, announced as part of the UK Industrial Strategy for Agricultural Technologies.

The Agri-Tech Catalyst, run by Innovate UK and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), supports collaborative research between scientists and businesses to springboard projects from the lab to the market place – speeding up the time before the farmer and public benefit.

Innovations in this round include the ‘Sunshine Egg’ – a project to help reduce vitamin D deficiency in humans by enriching naturally-laid chicken eggs with higher levels of the vitamin via chicken feed, and developing 3D camera technology to identify when broccoli is ready for harvesting – a key step towards the development of a fully automatic robotic harvesting system for the vegetable which will significantly reduce production costs.

It is great that we can support innovative projects that are tackling such a wide range of challenges – from improved breeding of pigs and poultry to producing better wheat for cake and biscuit makers. Projects like these are essential to the competitiveness of our farmers and food producers and form a key part of our long-term economic plan.

Other winners from this round include developing environmentally-friendly cooling and heating to promote enhanced living conditions for healthier chickens and adapting the use of satellite imagery to identify the right time for farmers to tend to their crops.

 

Businesses and researchers with ideas that have the potential to solve global agricultural challenges can apply for the fourth round of Agri-Tech Catalyst funding.