The Royal Agriculture University (RAU), Cirencester, is a small specialist land-based Higher Education Institution (HEI). Our knowledge exchange strategy is central to our institutional mission to support the land-based sector, rural enterprises and agri-technology innovation. This strategy seeks to build a bridge between rural and urban areas through a dynamic integration of science, policy and practice.
Our knowledge exchange activity is driven by societal needs and is focused on collaborating expertly with government, industry, civil society and other academic institutions and involvement of students in real-world learning. We use evidence-based, practice-led approaches to support policy makers through thought leadership, provision of professional development programmes, business support and creating space for innovation and entrepreneurial, business acceleration. The RAU’s knowledge exchange strategy is focused on four key areas:
- Rural Collaborative Policy to initiate “thought leadership” activities that provide intellectual influence, unique collaborative strategic insight and innovative thinking to address the policy challenges facing government and rural industries.
- Rural Innovation Support to facilitate farm and land-based practitioner-led innovation and sharing of best practice
- Rural Enterprise Acceleration to accelerate the establishment and growth of rural enterprises and Gloucestershire based businesses through Farm 491, the Student Enterprise Programme and the Cirencester Growth Hub
- Rural Skills and Business Acumen to provide world-leading focused professional development programmes in rural, agricultural and agri-food supply chain management and leadership so that individuals develop the skills and strategic insight required to lead and manage businesses. To provide the skills essential to optimise and enhance food production and the management of land through our provision at the John Oldacre Rural Innovation Centre
The RAU was founded in 1845 to educate those who had to deliver the challenge of feeding an increasingly urban population at the time of the first industrial revolution. This strategic direction is as relevant today. Our vision is to be a leading, specialist HEI, focused on the land and food-supply sectors, collaborating expertly with government, industry, civil society and other academic institutions.