Welcome to Agri-Tech Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Agri-tech Cornwall is a £10m initiative to create a new sector for the Cornish economy, helping the United Kingdom become a world leader in agricultural technology and sustainability.

We will support ambitious small and medium-sized Cornish companies develop innovations to improve efficiency, profitability and resilience in the agricultural sector – in field or moor, forest or shore.

We have a strong agricultural heritage, however the sector is facing significant challenges; requiring new and improved ways to empower farms and their immediate supply chains – to enhance, protect and sustain our natural assets and those individuals and families that farm them.

These challenges provide us with a unique opportunity and we are one of the few regions in the UK to secure significant funding for research, development and innovation in Agri-tech.

Open to small and medium-sized Cornish companies, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop and apply new technologies assisted by project partners, research grants, grants and graduate placements.

The project is led by the Duchy College Rural Business School in partnership with leading research institutions – the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth and Rothamsted Research, as well as the Cornwall Development Company.

Who is it for?

Agri-tech Cornwall supports businesses new to Research Development & Innovation (RDI), as well as businesses that have already invested in research. Projects can be large or small.

Applicants can be from any sector providing the research supports growth, productivity or market development in ‘Agri-tech’ i.e. the sector providing innovative goods and services for the agriculture, horticulture and food sectors.

To be eligible, businesses must be based, or be setting-up, in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly, and have fewer than 250 employees and less than €50 million annual turnover.

Research themes

1. Animal health and welfare in dairy cattle.
2. Maximising soil, water and nutrient use efficiency for sustainable crop and livestock production.
3. Improving the productivity of speciality crop production.
4. Utilising technology to drive Agri-tech productivity and innovation.

Please note this list is not exhaustive, please contact us to discuss potential topics.

The Funding Available

  • Collaborative research fund – funding towards larger RDI projects over £50,000.
  • Innovation Grants are available for projects, from £2,500 up to £50,000 towards feasibility studies, commissioning specialist researchers, the purchase equipment for research, development or innovation development, to cover consultancy costs to scope an RD&I project, undertake an RD&I feasibility study or employ specialists to undertake direct research. For more information and advice about the grant eligibility and how to apply, contact the Innovation Grant team at Agritech@cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk or phone 01872 322672 to arrange an appointment with a dedicated Agritech Business Engagement Manager.
  • Graduate Placement programme – to help the business deliver an agreed RDI project. Agri-tech Cornwall can support the specification of the research and recruitment of the graduate, in addition to a salary subsidy of £1,500 (6 months) or £2,250 (9 months).

All funding awards are subject to application, eligibility, scoring and assessment processes.


Duchy College Rural Business School
In recognition of the success of its approach to technology transfer and business innovation, Duchy College Rural Business School (RBS) was presented with a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2014. As the first ever land-based college in England to receive such a prize, the award recognises the work carried out by the RBS to enhance the technical capabilities and growth of south west rural businesses.

Rothamsted Research (North Wyke)
Part of Rothamsted Research, the world’s oldest agricultural research institute, North Wyke focusses on grassland livestock systems; the processes that underpin them and the impact that they have on the wider environment. Bringing together specialisms in ruminant nutrition, greenhouse gas monitoring, soil sciences, and environmental modelling, research at North Wyke is being used to help optimise future farming systems; producing better quality products using fewer resources to reduce the environmental impact of farming and help farmers to achieve more from less. The site is home to the Farm Platform National Capability, a unique highly instrumented farm that can monitor, at a whole farm scale, the environmental and economic sustainability of alternative ruminant grassland systems.

University of Exeter
As a Russell Group University, the University of Exeter has a wide range of leading research activity relevant to the agri-tech sector, encompassing land use policy and management, environmental economics, ecosystem services, environmental monitoring, the environment and human health, systems management (ecological, biological, water, energy) and plant and animal health. In addition, broader research expertise within the advanced engineering, mathematical, computational and business departments is highly pertinent to supporting the development of a thriving agri-tech sector.

Plymouth University
Plymouth University (PU) is renowned for its high quality, internationally-leading education, research and innovation. PU’s Innovation Centres are now home to more than 110 innovative high growth enterprises, whilst the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre is a place for experimentation and creativity, connecting students, academics, researchers, businesses and entrepreneurs. The Sustainable Earth Institute brings together researchers from the Physical, Earth, Engineering and Environmental Sciences, along with Business, Arts, Humanities and Cognitive Sciences, to develop cutting-edge and sustainable solutions to global challenges, including those facing the agri-tech sector.

Cornwall Development Company
The Cornwall Development Company (CDC) is the arm’s length development body of Cornwall Council and has many years’ experience in working with businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to encourage economic growth. Their role in this project is the employment of two Business Engagement Managers to work with businesses to develop their RDI proposals. These may then be presented to the voucher scheme (managed by CDC) for funding approval or developed into a larger more collaborative research proposal involving one or more of the project partners

Agri-tech Cornwall partner logos

Agri-tech Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly is a 3 year £10m project to increase Research Development and Innovation in the Agri-tech sector across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It is part-funded by the European Development Fund.

Agri-tech Cornwall Innovation Showcase & Workshop

This event is an opportunity for the Agricultural industry to input into the delivery of the Cornwall Agri-tech Innovation Grant Scheme. There will be a range of speakers in the morning session looking at what innovation is; examples of agricultural innovations and information on the opportunities available for businesses to benefit through the ESIF Programme through research, development and innovation grants.

Date: Tue 23 January 2018
Time: 10:30 – 15:30
Location: The Pavillion Centre, The Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge, PL27 7JE

Bookings essential – please book via the Eventbrite



Grazing Innovation Workshop

Grazing Innovation Workshop

Are you a business with an interest in grazing?Do you have a research idea or innovation that you would like to develop?

Have you identified a grazing-related problem to which there is not a satisfactory solution?

The Agri-tech Cornwall Project provides a unique funding opportunity for businesses to develop new products, services and solutions around all aspects of grazing and pasture management. This an opportunity for Cornwall to lead and innovate, with the potential to apply such solutions both nationally and internationally in the future.

Date: 24th November
Time: 10am-4pm
Location: Pool Innovation Centre, Redruth, TR15 3PL

Topics will include; quality produce from forage, the potential to identify any unique attributes of Cornish pastures and pasture management.

Attendees will be able to:

  • Identify key business opportunities and challenges for research
  • Meet with researchers and business advisers
  • Understand how to access the funding
  • Network with other small to medium sized Cornish enterprises


Soils Innovation Workshop

Are you a business with an interest in soils?
Do you have a research idea or innovation that you would like to develop?
Have you identified a soil-related problem to which there is not a satisfactory solution?

The Agri-tech Cornwall Project provides a unique funding opportunity for businesses to develop new products and services, working with leading research institutions, to safeguard Cornish soils for the future and, if it works here, to apply such solutions nationally and internationally.
This free Soils Innovation workshop on 22nd September at Waterside Cornwall, Lanivet will cover fabricating, replenishing and analysing soils plus other soil-related issues.

  • Identify key business opportunities and challenges for research
  • Meet with researchers and business advisors
  • Understand how to access the funding
Date: 22nd September 2017
Time: 11:00 – 15:00

Location: Waterside Cornwall, Old Coach Road, Cornwall, PL30 5J

Contact Us

For more information on the project or the application process, please contact us.

Agri-Tech Cornwall
Duchy College
Stoke Climsland
PL17 8PB

T: 0845 458 7485
E: info@agritechcornwall.co.uk