Press release

Boost for agricultural innovations in Wales from UK government fund

Three organisations in Wales will benefit from a share of £5 million of funding from the UK government.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Photograph by Christopher Guither

Three organisations in Wales will benefit from a share of £5 million of funding from the UK government and industry to develop innovations to solve some of the world’s greatest agricultural challenges such as food security and sustainability, weed control and livestock disease.

Of the thirteen awards being made across the UK, three are being awarded to projects with Welsh organisations at the helm. These are:

  • Exploring pearl millet variation to produce improved bread products for diabetics (lead by Aberystwyth University)

  • Decreasing food waste through the control of fruit flies in Asia and Africa (lead by Russell IPM Ltd. UK, Flintshire

  • Developing rice resistant to two major diseases to help food security in Asia (Bangor University)

This is the second round of funding to be distributed through the £70 million Agri-Tech Catalyst, announced as part of the UK Industrial Strategy for Agricultural Technologies in July 2013. The Agri-Tech Catalyst is designed to support collaborative research between scientists and businesses to springboard projects from the lab to the market place.

Wales Office minister Baroness Randerson said:

Wales has a proud farming tradition and it is wonderful to see that we remain at the forefront of agricultural development. These three Welsh projects benefiting from this UK government funding are exciting ones which will result in very real benefits for people across the world and, by selling these products worldwide, we can maintain Wales’ position at the heart of global innovation.

This is all part of our plan to build a stronger economy and a fairer society in Wales.

We are very proud to be supporting such worthwhile and innovative ventures.

Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark said:

Investing in agricultural technology today will bring commercial rewards tomorrow, taking the critical steps from lab to marketplace. It’s all part of the UK government’s long term economic plan to create more jobs and promote growth through industrial strategy.

Published 22 October 2014