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Featuring Green Tech: Farm491

As part of our “Featuring Green Tech” initiative, we like to increase the awareness of local “disruptive” green technology businesses.

In this context, we caught up with Farm491; a space for innovators to grow their businesses by applying technology to growing environments.

ADLIB: For some background information, who is Farm491 and what makes your business offering unique?

Farm491: We are a leading AgriTech membership organisation based at the Royal Agricultural University – an incubator and innovation space enabling entrepreneurs to turn technologies into successful businesses and scale to be market leaders.

We provide high-spec facilities created to foster entrepreneurship, ideas generation and collaboration. We are unique in that we are currently the only AgriTech specific University-based incubator in the UK and so are able to offer our members access to academic collaboration as well as the 491 hectares that the RAU owns for testing and trials.

ADLIB: Can you share a few key areas where AgriTech has seen the most success/made the biggest impact?

Farm491: We would say there are four main areas where AgriTech is making the biggest impact at the moment. Firstly, increasing profits for farmers is an important area and something that many AgriTech companies are addressing. Other main areas include reducing emissions (i.e carbon negative farming and producing green energy), reducing nutrient pollution (reducing toxicity of chemicals and their use) and finally, but crucially, reducing food waste.

ADLIB: From your perspective, what can businesses be doing to make themselves more sustainable and reduce their impact on the environment?

Farm491: Technology allows us to adopt better practices at the same or lower costs, therefore using tech where possible is something we see as a way of becoming more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

ADLIB: Can you tell us a bit more about the Inspiring AgriTech Innovation Programme?

Farm491: The Inspiring AgriTech Innovation Programme is partly financed by GFirst LEP and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Through the programme, we hold free two-day workshops to provide business support to AgriTech innovators, start-ups and existing AgriTech enterprises.

The workshops are designed to provide the bespoke support, tools, knowledge and networks that innovators need to turn their AgriTech concept into a transformative product or service. Over the two days, we will focus on the meaning and vision behind your business, and in doing so help you to communicate your concept, product or service to the right market with a clear vision in how you will disrupt or assist the agricultural industry. We have a number of workshops planned this year – more information here.

ADLIB: Can you tell us of any exciting green tech businesses that you’re working with?

Farm491: We are working with a number of fantastic green tech businesses including Weedingtech and RAW Energy.

Weedingtech has created an herbicide-free technology for managing outside spaces. Their product, Foamstream, is a cost-effective, versatile and environmentally safe solution for controlling unwanted vegetation on all surfaces all year round.

RAW Energy’s mission is to positively and significantly contribute to the transition of our energy supply network. They are leading the way in the development of renewable energy assets including anaerobic digestion, biomass, clean transport, solar and vertical farms.

ADLIB: And finally, what’s in the pipeline for Farm491? What’s on the horizon?

Farm491: Our primary aim is to scale our members to maximise impact in the sector. As well as this we want to continue growing the AgriTech ecosystem and cement our thought leadership position. We will achieve this largely through an increasing events portfolio. Following the success of our AgriTech Season and two-day showcase in April, we are keen to replicate this format again focussing on specific industry issues. We are also supporting KTN’s AgriTech Investment Showcase, alongside Rabobank. As well as reviewing pitches on the day we are hosting a “Markets and Valuation” workshop in August in preparation for the final. On top of this, we are community sponsors for FoodBytes!

We have a long list of exciting events in the pipeline so keep updated with what’s coming up on our website and social media channels!

Thanks so much for sharing!

Here at ADLIB, we take our environmental responsibilities seriously, we get involved, we feature, support and champion Green Tech businesses, those that disrupt and are on a similar journey. Please get in touch should you like to find out more or if you are on a similar mission, we’d love to collaborate to make a real difference.