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First ever Agri-Innovation Den funding partnership announced

Agri-Innovation Den is a groundbreaking initiative from Briefing Media Agriculture - owners of Farmers Guardian.



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David Kerr was the day's big winner
David Kerr was the day's big winner

An automatic weight logging system which reduces stress for livestock and farmers was the big winner at the inaugural Agri-Innovation Den interview day.

 

Pitched to a panel of farm business experts by Ayrshire farmer David Kerr, he secured investment from Briefing Media Agriculture chief executive Neil Thackray.

 

The groundbreaking Agri-Innovation Den initiative was spearheaded by Briefing Media Agriculture, owners of Farmers Guardian, Arable Farming, Dairy Farmer and Agrimoney, and run in partnership with The Co-operative Food. It offered fledgling entrepreneurs and inventors the chance to secure investment and marketing support for their farm-based innovations.

 

 


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Agri-Innovation Den set to offer £100,000 funding Agri-Innovation Den set to offer £100,000 funding

Panel asks tough questions

Panel asks tough questions

Attracting huge interest and scores of entries, six finalists pitched their ideas to our very own Dragons Den-style panel consisting of Mr Thackray (inset), The Co-operative Food's senior agricultural manager Ciara Gorst (below), Briefing Media Agriculture head of content Emma Penny and Lincolnshire arable farmer and Forage Aid founder, Andrew Ward MBE.

 

Speaking just after he secured the major financial investment of the day, Mr Kerr said: "I am feeling really good, very positive. All of the dragons are really involved and enjoyed what I had to say. They can see a huge potential for my idea."

 

"[I will now conduct] more research into who it's going to be for and how much the market can stand and who will take it on. There's a lot of research and development to be done."

 

His concept, developed alongside fellow innovator Craig Bryson, incorporates EID technology and allows beef cattle, sheep or other animals to be weighed automatically on weigh stations when they go to the water trough to get a drink, which beef animals do four or five times a day. With the need for getting beef cattle in to a crush hopefully being dispelled, Mr Kerr said it could have a number of benefits.

 

And he believed innovation was crucial for the future of farming.

 

He added: "We would be stuck in the dark age is we don't move things forward and there hasn't been a lot of innovation and news ideas in the past few years but hopefully with projects such as this and grant schemes we're going to get a lot more ideas to make life a bit easier."

 

Groundbreaking scheme

Groundbreaking scheme

Mr Kerr's innovation will now face a period of due diligence before investment is formally signed off by Briefing Media Agriculture.

 

 

Other interviewees on day included:

 

  • Daniel Bowman - inflatable pesticide bund
  • Simon Deacon - farm data collection app
  • Stephen Meenaghan - Stozone chemical-free steriliser
  • Andrew Rabett - iLevel fuel tank monitoring
  • Claire Reigate and Becky Willson - Farm Crap App

 

 

While none of these received an overall offer of funding, many of them did secure help with marketing and development which will be detailed in Farmers Guardian and FGinsight.com in the coming weeks.

 

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