Hartpury announces plans to develop national Digital Innovation Farm

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Agriculture

Hartpury University and Hartpury College are announcing exciting ambitions to create a Digital Innovation Farm, in response to an increasingly digital world with global demand for new technology in farming.

This development will include the National Centre for Agricultural Data Management and Interpretation, to assist the industry in its advancement of agricultural technology, data and security.

This 10-year vision is already under way at Hartpury with the first phase featuring the construction of a £2 million Agri-Tech Centre, aimed at enhancing innovation in the farming industry.

Opening in Autumn 2019, the Agri-Tech Centre will provide farmers, students and organisations with access to the latest commercial technology.

The Agri-Tech Centre is already supported by a number of leading land-based organisations, including the National Farmers Union (NFU), the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (ADHB), Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) and the National Sheep Association (NSA).

Hartpury’s plans for the next decade will provide essential support for agricultural businesses and professionals.

Using Hartpury’s on-site commercial working farm and new purpose-built facilities, they will be able to design, develop, evaluate and promote their new products or systems.

Russell Marchant, Vice-Chancellor and CEO of Hartpury University and Principal of Hartpury College, said: “This is an exciting time for Hartpury. These plans highlight the scale of our commitment and our ambition to be leaders in shaping the future of digital farming in the UK and beyond.

“Our aim is that, by 2030, the Digital Innovation Farm will have expanded and grown into a state-of-the-art complex at Hartpury attracting leading agri-tech companies and contributing to increased productivity in Gloucestershire and the UK.”

David Owen, Chief Executive of GFirst LEP, added: “Hartpury’s plans for a Digital Innovation Farm present a great opportunity to further bolster Gloucestershire’s unique position as a leader in agri-tech.

“It’s vital that Gloucestershire, and the UK, continues to improve productivity and develop our cyber and digital offer to compete globally.”

Individuals and businesses interested in finding out more, or partnering with the Agri-Tech Centre, should visit hartpury.ac.uk/agri-tech or contact agritech@hartpury.ac.uk

Picture: The design for the new Digital Innovation Farm at Hartpury

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