Nine ‘innovative’ agri-tech projects across the UK are set to benefit from £24 million in Government funding, in a bid to reach net zero food production and reduce carbon emissions.
Designed to apply big data, artificial intelligence and robotics to UK farming, the investment will help to assist farmers carry out essential processes, such as picking fruit and treating crops to reduce critical pests and diseases.
This has seen Deep Branch Biotechnology’s React First in Nottingham receive over £2m to generate clean, sustainable food for fish and poultry, by using technology to turn carbon dioxide (CO2) from Drax Power’s Selby power station into animal food with minimal water usage.
The project will work with major retailer Sainsbury’s, as well as the Scottish Agriculture Innovation Centre, to integrate into the fish and poultry supply chain, to ensure industry demand is met.
Highlighting the sector’s 2040 net zero target, Farming Minister Victoria Prentis said: “Farming has never before been at the centre of such exciting and forward looking innovations.
“It is great to see investment in these outstanding ideas, which will help us tackle the farming industry’s greatest challenges, from achieving net zero emissions to investing in sustainable, alternative protein for animal feed.”
Further projects led by Saga Robotics in Lincoln will also receive nearly £2.5 million to perform the largest global demonstration of robotics and autonomous technologies on farm.
Science Minister Amanda Solloway added: “From robotics assisting our farmers in fruit picking, to technology that converts CO2 to clean animal feed, the incredible projects we are backing today represent the future of farming.
“Working with the best of British science, we are turning our most creative ideas into pioneering projects that will accelerate our transition to net zero food production, boost jobs and drive forward the UK’s economic recovery.”