Innovate UK invites South West agri-tech businesses on visit to China

Export | South West | Technology

Innovate UK has announced a new opportunity for ambitious, cutting edge agri-tech businesses in the South West.

SME’s can apply to participate in a fully funded programme which includes an 8-day visit to China.

Organised by the Enterprise Europe Network as part of Innovation UK’s Global Business Innovation Programme, 15 companies will be selected to travel to China from 9-16 March to meet leading Chinese researchers and companies.

Louise Hooker, EEN Global Business Innovation Manager who is leading the programme said: “Aware of the UK’s agri-tech capabilities, the Chinese government is providing major investment to stimulate UK-China collaboration to overcome shared challenges and drive the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and innovative approaches.

“The aim of the innovation mission is to meet partners and identify opportunities to collaborate on the development and commercialisation of new technologies.”

The Chinese have some major challenges including, shrinking farmland, poor soil health, ageing workforce and a growing population, which is expected to exceed 1.5 billion and demand an extra 100 million tons of food each year by 2030.

Ahead of the visit successful companies will benefit from intensive support which will include a two-day workshop to fully prepare them for this exciting opportunity. Previous Global Business Innovation Programme delegates, which include Gloucestershire businesses Versarien Plc and Trackwise Designs Plc, have derived great benefit.

Athan Fox from Aurelius Environmental said: “I think it would have been impossible to be taken seriously by some of these companies at this stage. Not only because of the language barrier, but also because the support from EEN, IUK and the British Embassy made us look powerful, influential and potentially game-changing”

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