Friday, June 6, 2014
Two Norfolk-based agri-tech firms developing new products have been boosted by a slice of a £250,000 innovations fund.
Dofygate Ltd, based at Calthorpe, near Norwich, and Pangaea Agrochemicals have received the cash from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative.
Dofygate, which stands for driver operated field and yard gate was awarded £47,900 to help develop the marketplace and processes for their automated solar powered farm gate system. The grant equates to 25pc of the costs to fund the growth element of the overall project.
Pangaea Agrochemicals, which also has a base in Cambridge concentrates on finding solutions to pests and weeds that have become resilient to existing pesticides. The team will use the £57,450 funding to develop a formulated product that can control resistant weed species using active ingredients that have had efficacy in the past. The funding, which is 50pc of the total cost of the R&D project, is set to waccelerate the development of this technology and allow the team to run further local trials.
Jim Alston from Dofygate, said: “We are aiming at the Livestock producer initially, but there are other areas where Dofygate will make the working day that much better, Agri-Tech will help us get there sooner.”
Michael Gifford from Pangaea Agrochemicals, said: “We have a really exciting technology that will prove vital in the battle against resistant black-grass. The support from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative will allow us to develop our solution to this national problem using the world-class facilities and expertise available in East Anglia.”
Two other projects also received some of the funding; Cambridge-based KisanHub, which has created a cloud-based, integrated software platform that allows farmers to make informed decisions about their day-to-day operations and markets and Suffolk-based Lane Farm Country Foods, which will upgrade its existing production operation to bring it under one roof.·
Mark Reeve, chairman of the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “Our funding has been designed to support a wide-range of businesses in the agri-tech sectors, from research and development of new products right through to food processing and packaging. The first round of successful grant applicants reflects the diversity of the funding we have available, and the significant positive impact it can have both on the businesses and the wider agri-tech community.
“I would encourage businesses in our local area to find out more about the grant funding we have available, and I look forward to making even more funding announcements in the near future.”
Ian Whitehead from Lane Farm Country Foods, said: “We are really thrilled to have been awarded this grant under the Agri-Tech programme. The money will kick start the next stage of our expansion plans creating new jobs as well as securing existing ones. We have always worked hard on the quality of our products and this grant will enable us to invest in new technology and infrastructure to help us maintain this together with the development of new lines.”
Giles Barker from KisanHub, said: “The Eastern Agri-tech grant could not have come at a better time for KisanHub. The grant will propel our R&D satellite project so we can bring innovative solutions to farmers at a field level. This will help to establish KisanHub as one of the leading companies in agriculture software. Helping farmers globally ‘grow more, using less’.”
Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership said: “We are delighted to be working with our colleagues at Greater Cambridge, Greater Peterborough LEP on this initiative and it is tremendous to see the first businesses in our area benefiting from these grants. We are fighting hard for the rural economy ensuring the availability of strong business support and expertise and this kind of initiative will help deliver the skills and growth that will drive the region forward.”
The funding has been provided by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund following a successful application submitted by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) alongside New Anglia LEP, Norfolk County Council, and Cambridgeshire County Council. In total, the partnership has secured £3.2 million of funding for the Agri-Tech sector that must be used by March 2015.
Businesses can find out more about the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative by visiting www.agritechgrants.co.uk or calling Project Manager Martin Lutman on 01480 277180 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative team will also be at Cereals 2014 on 11th and 12th June at Duxford, and will be happy to talk people through the application process.