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Fri, 15 Mar


Sophi Taylor Building, NIAB

Agritech in the East of England

Discussing the the importance of farming and food production, the advancements that are already taking place, and what types of initiatives, both policy and private, can help the sector grow.

Registration opens on 20th December 2023
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Agritech in the East of England
Agritech in the East of England

Time & Location

15 Mar 2024, 12:00 – 14:00

Sophi Taylor Building, NIAB, Impington, Histon, Cambridge CB24 9NZ, UK

About the event


  • George Freeman MP, former Minister for Science, Research, and Innovation
  • Prof. Mario Caccamo, CEO, NIAB
  • Dr. Belinda Calarke, Director, Agri-TechE
  • Louise Sutherland, Director, Freiston Associates


12:00 - 12:30 | Guests arrive and welcome refreshments

12:30 - 13:15 | Speeches and open discussion

13:15 - 14:00 | Netowrking, drinks, and canapés

About the event

The East of England has one of the largest agricultural sectors in the UK. In 2022, the total output value of farming was £4.5billion, and with a workforce of 38,000 people, its importance for the region cannot be overstated.

Agricultural technology, which is having a transformational global impact on farming, is also a key specialism in the region. The UK currently has 2,845 registered businesses in the emerging ‘AgriTech’ sector with a combined turnover of over £11bn. Of these, just over 13% are based in the East. Second only to the South East among all regions and nations in the UK. While the sector is currently very small in terms of the number of businesses and employees, it is among the fastest growing sectors in the UK, with an average company growth of 6.1% per year.

Agri-tech is vital to the future competitiveness of farming in the East and the UK. Research and development into the application of new and innovative technologies, will be increasingly important to ensuring food security and a sustainable farming industry. Yet the sector has not received sufficient investor attention in recent years and the amount of venture capital funding is not increasing as fast as our other emerging sectors. On average the roles advertised in AgriTech are 4.2% lower than the UK’s average salary.

To truly transform the sector, there is a greater need for public and private sector investment, to further enable innovation around growing, in areas such:

  • Data science
  • Crop protection
  • Measuring of emissions
  • Robotics, automation and remote sensing
  • Vertical and precision farming

We need sound and visionary policies that will attract and incentivise the level of private investment required to break new ground. This is why we are bringing together industry representatives, policymakers, and wider stakeholders to discuss and debate an optimal way forward for the sector and for the region.

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