Agricultural technologies can be any innovation that makes agriculture more efficient and productive, more resilient and secure, more profitable, and better able to enhance and protect the natural environment and those that farm it.

Agri-tech can be derived from science, technology, engineering, mathematics or medicine – even social innovation – alone or in combination. It can be a product or service, chemical or material, hardware or software.

To be successful, Agri-tech does have to solve a tangible problem or fulfil a need.  It does not have to be directly targeted at farmers – it can add value to farm suppliers or consultants, to farmers, to processors, distributors and even retailers and consumers – so long as the innovation helps in sustainable production and getting produce to market.

The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is open to all small to medium-sized Cornish businesses. This is a unique opportunity to develop and apply new technologies assisted by project partners, research 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 – and the Cornwall Development Company. The project is also supported by Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

The Support Available

Free participation in larger research, development and innovation projects with the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, Rothamsted Research and the Rural Business School.

Innovation Grants have supported businesses with feasibility studies, commissioning specialist researchers, the purchase equipment for research, development or innovation development, to covering the consultancy costs to scope an RD&I project, undertake an RD&I feasibility study or employ specialists to undertake direct research. The Agri-tech Cornwall Project will not be taking any new Innovation Grant enquiries on from 1st September as we will be focusing on existing projects only . Existing grant applicants can still contact the Innovation Grant team at or phone 01872 322672.

Graduate Placement programme – to help the business deliver an agreed RDI project. Agri-tech Cornwall has supported businesses with the specification of the research and recruitment the graduates, their coaching and mentoring, and provided salary subsidies of £1,500 (6 months) or £2,250 (9 months). The Agri-tech Cornwall Project will not be taking any new Graduate Placements from 1st September as we will be focusing on existing projects only.

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

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

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

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

Case Studies

Case Studies


The Toolbox of Multi-species Swards project, otherwise known as TOMS, is a collaborative project between the Rural Business School at Duchy College and Rothamsted Research North Wyke. There is an increasing interest in the use of multi-species sward

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Future Farm

‘Future Farm’ to redefine dairy research and learning A £3m dairy research centre will open at Duchy College in autumn 2020, driving improvements in efficiency, technology, animal health and welfare, and environmental best practice. The two-acr

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The Farm Crap App Pro

The Farm Crap App Pro

The Farm Crap App Pro is a collaborative project between Duchy College and Rothamsted Research North Wyke to develop an easy to use, accurate and reliable way to manage and record slurry spreading information and data on manure. Working with waste

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Passive Cooling project

Precision Dairy Cow Welfare and production management

This project seeks to utilise new technologies to stimulate farmer knowledge development. (WP1) Precision Management of Dairy Cows Bolus Project Rumen temperature data will be linked with cow health and welfare, reproductive management and milk

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Circular and Low Impact Processed Food (CLIP)

Circular and Low Impact Processed Food (CLIP) is a project funded by ERDF through the Agritech Cornwall programme led by The Cornwall College Group/Duchy College. Food production is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and

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FIND project


A project studying photosynthesis-related activity and fluorescence in a bid to develop an ‘early warning system’ for plant disease. Using smart imaging techniques, scientists at the University of Plymouth are hoping the Fluorescence Imaging for N

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