Agri-TechE’s director Dr Belinda Clarke has been awarded the prestigious Timothy Colman Prize 2021 by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, for her outstanding contribution to the development and promotion of food, farming and the countryside.
Announcing the Prize at the RNAA’s AGM held on 23 September 2021, Robert Alston, Chairman, said that “the award of the Timothy Colman Prize to Dr Clarke is recognition of her tireless energy and commitment to harness the collective power of the agri-tech sector. Her support to this sector and more widely, to highlight opportunities and to overcome challenges, has been exceptional”.
The award was founded by the late Sir Timothy Colman, a former chairman of the RNAA, as a way of recognising as a way of recognising outstanding commitment in the agricultural sector.
Belinda says: “Sir Timothy Colman was a wise and generous leader in agriculture, who I was lucky enough to meet on a number occasions. I’m very humbled to follow in the footsteps of previous winners of this award, such as Poul Hovesen, Jake Fiennes and others. A huge thank you to everyone in the agritech community who has joined in the Agri-TechE activities and of course to the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.”
Dr Clarke has been the Managing Director of Agri-TechE (formerly Agri-Tech East) since 2014. Agri-TechE is an independent, business-focussed cluster organisation, which seeks to improve the international competitiveness and sustainability of plant-based agriculture and horticulture. It is bringing together farmers and growers with scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs to create a global innovation hub in agri-tech.
The RNAA commented that ‘during her tenure Belinda has been the driving force behind Agri-TechE’s rapid and successful development into a world-leading network of innovative professionals who share a vision of increasing the productivity, profitability and sustainability of agriculture.
‘The impact of Dr Clarke’s work is well documented. Member organisations report many benefits from engagement within the cluster including collaborations; access to funding and grants; trials of technology with farmers; technology integration with other members; business growth resulting from profile raising activities.’
The success of Agri-TechE has been recognised through a number of awards including the UK’s SME National Networking Group of the Year 2019, European Business Awards One to Watch 2017 and Knowledge Catalyst Award Eastern Daily Press 2016.
Belinda is also a Non-Executive Director of Agrimetrics, one of the UK’s Agri-Tech Centres, has been a Trustee of the RNAA, and was a member of the Council of BBSRC-UKRI (2015-2021).