Norfolk’s research reputation boosted by £8m agri-tech fund
PUBLISHED: 00:10 17 July 2014 | UPDATED: 09:52 17 July 2014
The region’s global reputation for agricultural science has been handed a further boost with the launch of an £8m venture capital fund.
Norwich-based business consultants Adapt Low Carbon Group have joined forces with the Japanese commercial investors Tsukuba Technology Seed Co (TTS) to support businesses in the agri-tech sector.
The investment scheme – announced today at the House of Lords – will target small and medium-sized businesses that need a cash-injection to grow.
It will work alongside the government’s agri-tech strategy, which wants to nurture links between Norwich and Cambridge to create a cluster of innovative businesses.
Dr John French, chief executive of Adapt Low Carbon, based at the Norwich Research Park, said: “This Agri-Innovation Venture Capital Fund signifies the natural progression of our long term work in the agri-tech sector and innovation funding.
“And it’s the culmination of our strong relationship with Tsukuba Technology Seed Co, which will benefit innovative businesses here and in Japan.”
The scheme will offer support to businesses across a range of areas, including: water resource efficiency; energy efficiency; precision farming and improved farm management; sustainable production systems; disease; weed and pest control for animal and crop production; and irrigation, lighting and sensors for protected and field based agriculture.
Adapt said the first stage will see money invested into the agri-tech sector and the bioeconomy from the Low Carbon Innovation Fund and TTS, before a second phase of funding begins at the end of next year.
Yoshiki Sasaki, chief executive of TTS, said: “We believe it will really unlock the potential for innovative companies in the agri-tech sector to expand and grow through high quality international partnerships and provide access to new markets.”
The announcement is part of an event at the House of Lords to celebrate Norfolk’s world class research.
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