Preparations are well underway for the South West Agri-tech Showcase, which will feature innovations from Cornwall to Gloucestershire and an agenda promising high-profile speakers, new exciting research and an indoor marketplace dedicated to networking.
The conference, which is free to attend, aims to demonstrate the wealth of agri-tech innovations available on the market.
“It will show the wealth of opportunity in the industry, from the academia to the research and development,” said Joanna Rufus, chair of South West Agri-tech.
Key technologies are now infiltrating the agricultural industry and event partner, Satellite Applications Catapult, works to ensure that the next generation of agri-tech is provided with frequent and localised data, connectivity and accurate GPS information.
“This event will give us a great opportunity not only to meet the farming and agri-tech communities in the southwest but also to showcase how satellite technology can help the agricultural sector and introduce our Environmental Space Living Lab supported by the Heart of the South West LEP and developed with regional partners,” said Sonia Pietosi, Space Living Labs business development manager at Satellite Applications Catapult.
The key aim of the conference is to accelerate innovation in the industry and James Trotman, innovation lead at Barclays Eagle Labs, says that the company is well-placed to help with this. “Our Agri-tech team offers support to start-ups and scale-ups throughout the food supply chain.
“Through putting on targeted programmes, events, content, connections and mentoring we are committed to supporting brilliant ideas and fast-tracking routes to market. We believe the South West Agri-tech showcase is an excellent opportunity to highlight the amazing ideas and support available in the region.
“We hope the innovation on display will continue to inspire new ideas to support the food supply chain on the transition to a secure, sustainable and exciting future.”
Farming remains integral to many southwest communities, and this is particularly true in Wiltshire, according to Russell Frith from Wiltshire Council.
“The agricultural sector is a vital part of the Wiltshire economy, but it is currently facing a period of uncertainty and economic challenges.
“We are sure the event will highlight some of the opportunities that are becoming available to farmers and landowners, ensuring that the sector continues to support both the local and national economy while contributing to the fight against climate change.”
Dan Norris, mayor of the West of England Combined Authority agrees: “I am proud to support the Agri-tech Showcase Event highlighting opportunities for local people and businesses as they move to lower carbon.
“Agri-tech is crucial for our region’s people, places and nature and will play a major part in addressing climate change, the loss of biodiversity and food supply issues, along with aiming to reach our ambitious target of net zero by 2030.”
The conference will take place at Exeter Racecourse, Devon, on the 20th of April.
“The southwest is the most significant agricultural region in the country, we need to focus on the interests of our communities who own, farm and manage our land,” said Paddy Bradley, chief executive officer at Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
“The LEP work helps to ensure a vibrant and healthy future for our rural economies that support the beauty of our working land and environment, as well as protecting the populations of our villages and market towns. This event will draw attention to the exciting research, development and commercially available technology in the region and we are thrilled to be a sponsor.”
The event was partly inspired by the G7, held in Cornwall in 2021. “It’s no secret that Cornwall and Isles of Scilly have an incredibly rich history of agricultural excellence,” said Nicola Lloyd, director of Cornwall Trade and Investment.
“The region’s heritage, combined with transformational agri-tech innovation, provides the perfect environment for progressive farming. It’s wonderful to be showcasing examples of this alongside the wider South West regions.”
For more information go to www.southwestagritech.org.uk