Rural Innovation Centre
The Rural Innovation Centre (RIC) was officially opened by Professor Sir John Beddington in March 2014, following a £1.2 million investment by the University and the Frank Parkinson Trust. Based at the University’s Harnhill Manor Farm, which covers 491 hectares, the centre encompasses teaching, training and event rooms, a laboratory research workshop, a machinery workshop, a demonstration hall and has extensive external training capacity.
The RIC is a multi-functional facility offering rural skills training to both RAU students and external clients. Courses on offer cover: arboriculture, crops and pesticides, estate maintenance, health and safety, livestock, machinery, pest control, vehicles and workshop practices.
All courses carry accreditations from awarding bodies such as: BASIS, LANTRA and NPTC City & Guilds. Courses are delivered to organisations ranging from the Cotswold Conservation Board, Natural England and The Wildlife Trust, to local councils, schools, farmers and agronomy companies.
This year the university introduced a timely series of new livestock short courses to be delivered at the RIC with a focus on the key issues around livestock welfare and the skills required to address them. The sessions are aimed at anyone with an interest in livestock – from farmers to feed, breeding and barn design consultants, vets and students. The courses include One-Day Calf Rearing, Safe Use of Veterinary Medicines on Farm and AI in Bovine Animals (DEFRA Approved) with accreditations from AMTRA, ROMs, UKRS and Cow Signals.
The RIC also hosts an array of research trials for private agronomic companies including BASF, NIAB and CCm. In addition, the centre provides an ideal location for events such as the RICS/SPAB Summer School, and for companies like NIAB TAG and Syngenta UK Ltd.
The Rural Innovation Centre plays a key role in encouraging individuals and communities to adopt an entrepreneurial attitude towards attaining business success, personal development and community growth.
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