As Glasgow prepares for the Commonwealth Games, so too will there be an opportunity to showcase Britain’s knowledge-based industries.
The British Business House is a one-day event that is encouraging an ideas exchange between industry leaders, experts and ministers in key areas of UK expertise such as digital health, space and satellite communication, oil and gas and agri-tech. To be part of this line-up of economically important industries, gives a clear signal of the importance that the government is giving to agri-tech.
This is underpinned by the appointment of a UK Business Ambassador for Agri-Tech, James Townshend, who will be moderating the session in Glasgow, and by the creation of a dedicated agri-tech group within UKTI.
The government’s commitment to the East of England was seen recently through an injection of £1.55M of new funding into the Eastern Agri-Tech Initiative fund, which aims to encourage SMEs to create business opportunities and explore collaborative R&D with the region’s research base.
Such visible and tangible support for business growth and training in agri-tech by government is important in consolidating the excellence and capabilities we have in the region. This is a key message to communicate outside the region particularly to those who would considering investing here.
We had an opportunity to do so recently when Agri-Tech East hosted a briefing visit of the UK’s Agri-Tech Organisation, which is responsible for promoting overseas trade and inward investment.
This team is an international “sales team” travelling the world to promote the national capabilities and so provide a good opportunity to profile the East of England’s strength as an agri-tech cluster.
A further opportunity to promote the cluster will be in Glasgow later this month to delegates from global agri-businesses attending the British Business House.
There will be a ministerial welcome to the agri-tech session which will explore how technology can be used to assist Commonwealth countries with their food security issues.
I am delighted to participate within the panel along with Professor Simon Blacker from Harper Adams, Professor David Hume of the Roslin Institute and Professor James Turnbull of Stirling University.
Judith Batchelar, Director of Brand at Sainsbury’s, will also contribute to the session, and will provide delegates with an overview of the agri-tech industrial strategy.
Attracting the agri-best to come and work with us, and invest in the cluster partners is a key priority for Agri-Tech East, I will be telling anyone with an interest in the sector that if you are seeking new research partners, validation of your new technology, finding more customers, or setting up a sales office, you are guaranteed a warm welcome in the East of England.