Eastern Agri-tech innovation hub showcases research and investment in local businesses

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Councillors were given the opportunity to see first-hand how research is being used to reduce crop and food waste here in the East, when representatives from East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) were invited on a tour of the The Eastern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub.

The Eastern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub, headquartered in Cambridge, is a plant science organisation which has eleven regional centres across the UK. On Friday 1 December Councillors from ECDC were given a tour of the Innovation Centre in Hasse Fen. They enjoyed a presentation followed by a tour of the premises and the opportunity to meet tenants.

The centre supports local users to engage in applied research in reducing crop and food waste and improving resource use efficiency within the horticulture and fresh produce supply chains. It is estimated that 16 per cent of all food waste occurs before it arrives on retailers' shelves, so reducing wastage in agriculture in the UK and developing countries is a key step to the industry becoming more efficient and sustainable.

The Innovation Hub opened in 2015, with the help of capital investment from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (GCGP LEP).

Councillor Steve Cheetham, Service Delivery Champion for Economic Development at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Food waste is a big problem in the UK so it is heartening to see a business here in our region taking steps to put this right. The centre is a leader in innovation, research and development and we’re very proud to have them based in our district.”

Denise Elliott from NIAB said: “It was a pleasure to host the ECDC councillors for their visit to the Eastern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub. Also to introduce them to our resident businesses at the Hub: Entomics, Aponic and Celbius. These businesses are researching innovative ways of making higher value products from food waste or producing a more efficient production system to reduce waste.”

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