Specific initiatives to develop high quality research include:
Developing an Agri-technology Research Centre (ARC), to develop the next generation of devices (particularly sensing and data management), agri-business and entrepreneurship. This will help address the gaps identified in the Agri-technology Strategy document (BIS, 2013). The ARC will form a part of a wider vision (e.g. CTR and RIC below). It will be the first of its kind in the UK in the way it uses advanced digital technology together with the associated knowledge and understanding of its use and application to improve agricultural husbandry as well as business and supply chain productivity. A focus for the centre will be the recognition that technology cannot drive improved performance alone; farmer engagement and knowledge sharing are crucial elements. Research and teaching activities in areas of: Digital, Sensory and Communication: biosensors, wireless telemetry, digital communications, computing [for mathematical analysis], prototype and testing the latest equipment, such as new materials for soil drainage, sensors (plant nutrient and water) for use with agronomy;Sustainable Agri-Food Programmes: the development of sustainable global food supply chains through the development and implementation of Key Performance Indicators [KPIs].
The Centre for Translational Research (CTR) will promote effective knowledge exchange and agricultural and food chain innovation, entrepreneurship and human development in order to meet the challenges of a sustainable global food supply. The Centre will facilitate the translation global knowledge to local knowledge to create value for individual farmers, localities, countries and global regions; it will identify and cascade global best practice in knowledge exchange and diffusion of innovation to the agri-food supply chain; and it will develop and facilitate mechanisms of enhancing global human capital in the agri-food supply chain.