Things you didn't know about Hartpury's Digital Innovation Farm Tech Box Park - Q&A with Catherine Briggs

Digital Innovation Farm Tech Box Park Manager | Hartpury Tech Box Park
25th May 2022
Member roleChamber member

With the second-highest rate of innovation activity in the UK and the largest and fastest-growing network of Agri-Tech SMEs to work with, it’s an exciting time to be working in Gloucestershire. We talk to Catherine Briggs, Centre Manager at Hartpury’s pioneering new Tech Box Park about how the new facility is enabling the growth and development of Gloucestershire’s agri-tech businesses.

 Q: What is the Digital Innovation Farm?

Hartpury’s vision is to radically develop our 360-hectare campus to create a pioneering Digital Innovation Farm providing excellent facilities, education, and research to meet the global demands associated with new technology and innovative practice within the agriculture sector.

Q: What is the Tech Box Park all about?

We’re in the business of supporting innovation and helping SMEs thrive.

The Tech Box Park Programme provides access to specialist, innovative workspace and FREE support to businesses looking to develop new or existing Agri-Tech products or services and help them accelerate to market.

 Q: What is the Tech Box offering?

We offer dedicated working space and support packages, access to Hartpury’s commercial farm, Home Farm, and an extended farming network for practical trials and feasibility testing across the county where businesses can explore, test, research, and develop new products, or enhance existing ones.

As well as all the FREE workshops, seminars, and networking events available through the Tech Box Park, once you’ve completed a minimum of 12 hours of engagement on the programme i.e., through our events or through the trialling, testing, and validation of your products - you can apply for an Innovation Voucher worth £5K to help accelerate the growth of your business.

Q: How will this facility benefit SMEs?

Our new development will allow you to cost-effectively test new technologies and build solid partnerships to grow your business.

We provide a base to attract and link Agri-Tech accelerator businesses with Hartpury’s academic expertise for cutting-edge research projects and trials.

Q: Why is agri-tech a priority area for Hartpury?

Hartpury is firmly committed to the advancement of Agri-Tech and supports the vision of HMGovernment that the UK becomes a worldleader in agriculturaltechnology, innovation, and sustainability.

The sector is valued at almost £1.5 billion and already supports more than 50,000 jobs in the wider economy.

It’s an exciting time to be shaping the future of digital farming at Hartpury, and working in Gloucestershire, a county leading the way in the innovation, development, and commercialisation of Agri-Tech.

To book a tour of the facility, or to find out more visit: hartpury.ac.uk/techboxpark

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