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New Agri Living Lab facility launched at Westcott

Member News
The views expressed in this Member News article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent those of Agri-TechE.

The Agri Living Lab was formally launched today at the new Building 4000 at Westcott Venture Park.

Established by Harper Adams University and Satellite Applications Catapult, the Agri Living Lab is a real-world testing environment that supports organisations to innovate, co-create, demonstrate and deliver solutions that address global agri-food challenges. Combining space and agricultural expertise, the state-of-the-art facility is primed to bring together agri-food stakeholders and technology service providers to create sector solutions for agriculture.

Addressing the challenges of food security and production efficiencies is ever more critical for UK well-being. The Agri-Living Lab will play a vital role in addressing these challenges with research, testing and demonstrating satellite enabled agricultural solutions. Located in the heart of Westcott Venture Park, the establishment of the Agri Living Lab represents a significant development in creating a physical space for scientific and agricultural collaboration.

The Agri Living Lab is leasing Unit B of Building 4000 and is managed by Satellite Applications Catapult.

The development of Building 4000 at Westcott Venture Park was funded through a partnership with the Buckinghamshire LEP (administers of the Getting Building Fund GBF) and the Satellite Applications Catapult.

Sonia Pietosi, Business Development Agriculture Lead at the Satellite Applications Catapult, said:

“We are truly excited to have formally launched the Agri Living Lab and wish to thank our partners at Harper Adams University for creating this important service. We would also like to acknowledge the role Buckinghamshire LEP has played through GBF to invest in infrastructure to face economic challenges.  The opening of the Agri Living Lab also allows the Satellite Applications Catapult to continue with its own mandate to combinespace and agricultural expertise for the UK to become a global leader in connectivity enabled agriculture and supply chain research, products, and services”.

Parmjit Chima, Head of Engineering at Harper Adams University, commented:

“We are delighted to be here today to formally launch the Agri Living Lab. The establishment of this physical resource is vital as a collaborative test-bed facility to solve the many challenges facing the agricultural sector. Through this fantastic facility, UK agriculture and academia can continue to embrace technology to resolve food security issues and improve upon efficiencies in food production. We look forward to continuing our work with the Satellite Applications Catapult and we are excited about what solutions may be delivered in the future to all interested stakeholders”.

Richard Harrington, Chief Executive of the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“We are delighted to support the new Agri Living Lab facility that contributes to our Enterprise Zone programme, with a £2m Getting Building Fund which went towards the construction of this state-of-the-art facility.  This investment at Westcott will not only address the global issues of food production but it will help facilitate growth in the Buckinghamshire economy and further establish Buckinghamshire as a global centre of excellence in space technology.”