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Launch of Agri-Food Venture in Yorkshire - Fera takes the lead

Launch of Agri-Food Venture in Yorkshire - Fera takes the lead

The cash from the European Regional Development Fund Programme is intended to stimulate economic growth in the sector and will be available to businesses in the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnerships.

The project will enable businesses to engage with applied science research, innovation expertise and facilities based around Fera Science Ltd, based on the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus, at Sand Hutton, and Science City York, part of Make It York.

Accessing Fera’s scientific expertise should help local SMEs realise their potential and help them solve problems, resulting in new innovative products and increased revenues and employment.

By 2019, the project, led by Fera Science Ltd in partnership with Science City York, is expected to boost productivity of the region’s agri-food sector through an SME business support programme, delivering knowledge exchange, innovation capacity building and research funding.

Mike Wray, director of operations at Fera Science, said: “Yorkshire boasts many great agri-food businesses and is home to world-class applied science, working across the food chain, but research and innovation spend in the region is below the national average.

“Through this project we look forward to helping SMEs develop their businesses through stimulating innovations, from farm to fork.”

Heather Niven, head of Science City York, said: “This is a great opportunity for our Yorkshire businesses to find new ways of developing products and services, to improve the way they do business and to collaborate with others in the region.

“This fund will enable businesses to understand their innovation strengths and weaknesses and do something practical to improve and grow.”

The ERDF investment in this project follows the government’s £50 million commitment a new Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL) and a Centre for Crop Health and Protection (CHAP) which are based at the same site in Sand Hutton, further strengthening Yorkshire’s position as a leading regional agri-food base.