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

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 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.

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 PhosField testing kit could make real-time, in-the-field phosphorus testing a reality for growers. Breakthroughs could see them move away from a prophylactic approach to fertilizer application, with measurement and usage of this critical nutri

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Cell Grazing

A project testing the potential of a system of precisely managed, intensive ‘cell grazing’ popular in New Zealand. This approach to grassland management sees dairy and beef cattle moved between ‘cells’, based on pasture availability and quality, a

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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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The Soil Carbon Project

The Soil Carbon Project is an innovative project that aims to help Cornish farmers manage soils in a more sustainable and profitable way. Interest in soils has risen dramatically in recent years, with the prospect of farmers receiving payments for en

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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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Plant Factory

This new Agri-tech Cornwall initiative is harnessing developments in lighting technology to grow salad and medicinal crops in multi-tier, hydroponic systems under super-smart LED lights. The research could herald a huge step forward in both multi-

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