In a keynote speech to the National Farmers’s Union Conference in February 2018, the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, announced new £90 million investment to bring together AI, robotics and earth observation to improve supply chain resilience in the agri-food sector.
He highlighted how new technology is boosting farmers’ earning power and making agri-businesses more productive and profitable than ever before.
The funding, delivered as part of the new the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, will make it easier for food and agri-business to embrace technology and innovation that will be critical to meeting the increasing food demands of a growing population, fuel rural growth and create high-skilled jobs.
The announcement followed the government committing, through the Industrial Strategy, to raise public and private investment in UK research and development to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. This will be the UK’s biggest ever increase in research and development investment and help to make Britain’s economy the most innovative in the world.