The Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation Centre

  • In five years’ time this quickly growing sector will be worth £2.3 billion globally and Agri-EPI intends to help drive that growth, supporting innovative ideas which will help farmers and business owners become sustainable in this challenging time.
  • The Centre will operate a wide range of industry-led activities in applied research and development, demonstration, training and education.
  • This Centre will be key to ensuring that the UK grows its status as a world leader in precision agriculture and engineering.
  • Knowledge exchange will be a significant output of the Centre’s work ensuring that the knowledge generated is translated and transferred to relevant audiences.

The Agri-EPI Centre is a consortium of key organisations in the field of precision agriculture and engineering. It brings together expertise in research and industry, as well as data gathering capacity in all areas of farming, to increase the efficiency and sustainability of the land-based industries.

Through joining organisations in all sections of the supply chain – 76 companies and institutions in all – it will become a world-leading centre for excellence in engineering and precision agriculture for the livestock, arable, aquaculture and horticulture sectors.

Amidst the new revolution in information technologies and engineering science, the Centre will explore how to optimise the performance of the highly complex production and processing systems in agriculture. This will include key drivers of profitability and sustainability, such as livestock and plant growth rates, nutrient efficiency, product quality, and health.

Initial areas of interest will include cutting edge technologies such as automated vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”), new instrumentation to monitor both operations and in-field performance of cropping systems, as well as sensing and imaging technologies to monitor livestock production in areas such as product quality and health.

The core partners in the Centre are Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Harper Adams University, Cranfield University, Harbro Ltd, Ag Space Agriculture Ltd, Kingshay Farming and AGGO Ltd. A further 69 companies are supporting the Centre, including large supermarkets, food producers, farmers, processors and engineering and technology businesses.

A central feature of the Centre will be a series of farms and processing facilities equipped with the latest sensing and imaging equipment. These sites will enable the Centre to identify issues for research, but also provide locations to develop and demonstrate technologies to UK producers, supporting the rapidly expanding global market for these technologies.

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