Agri-Tech Global: Universities of Lincoln, Cambridge and East Anglia

About Agri-Tech Global

Our Research England funded Agri-Tech Global programme is a novel mechanism designed to translate UK agri-tech research and build international academic and commercial links for partner Universities, Lincoln, Cambridge and UEA, to facilitate commercialisation.

Agri-Tech Global has two award streams:

Agri-Tech Global is heavily focussed on research translation, and will support academic teams from the three  partner Universities to develop and commercialise their agri-tech innovations using the established Ceres Agri-Tech model.

We will support impact delivery for plant agri-tech technologies , e.g. plant or crop sciences, as well as robotics, chemistry, computer science, etc, which support the crop-based production sector and its supply chains in Lincolnshire and the East of England

Projects must be internationally collaborative, preferably with Universities or businesses from the US, Australia and the Netherlands. Our secondary aim is to build international links that may enhance the economy and society in the Greater Lincolnshire and East Anglian region.


Our Partners

The University of Lincoln is home to the outstanding Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology (LIAT), which supports and enhances productivity, efficiency and sustainability in food and farming through research, education and technology. LIAT’s multi-disciplinary team brings together sector-leading expertise in a diverse range of areas such as: artificial intelligence, robotics, engineering, crop science, environmental sustainability, food manufacturing, product development and supply chains.

LIAT’s researchers are engaged in the development of technologies which solve challenges across the food chain, ‘from farm to fork’, collaborating with partners in industry, academia and their colleagues at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing in Holbeach, South Lincolnshire. Their work delivers the world-class research and higher-level skills the UK’s agri-food industries need today and in the future.

In November 2023, LIAT was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its work supporting the success and sustainability of the UK’s food and farming industries through innovations in research, education and technology. The Queen’s Anniversary Prize is the highest National Honour in UK further and higher education, recognising outstanding work by UK colleges and universities showing excellence, innovation and benefit to the wider world.

The University of Cambridge (UoC) is ranked in the UK’s top two universities and in the top three worldwide by the Times Higher Education 2020 Rankings. It draws on a long tradition of research excellence, spanning over 11 departments from Plant Sciences to Engineering, with key strengths in big data, biotechnology, and computing.

UoC supports interdisciplinary agricultural research through strategic research initiatives, such as Global Food Security and the CamBridgeSens network for sensor research, and forges close links with the UK’s leading institutes for agri-tech R&D. These include NIAB (via the Crop Science Centre) and the John Innes Centre and Earlham Institute (via the OpenPlant Synthetic Biology Research Centre). It has also collaborated with partner universities across England to help set up AgriFoRwArdS, the world’s first doctoral training centre in agri-food robotics, established at the University of Lincoln in conjunction with the University of East Anglia.

UoC is supported by the extensive commercialisation expertise and industrial networks of Cambridge Enterprise, its technology transfer arm, to connect Ceres academic partners with commercial opportunities in the East of England and beyond.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) is ranked by The Times in 2020 as one of the top 200 universities in the world and top 25 in the UK, as well as 10th in the country for the quality of its research.

UEA’s agri-food expertise spans multiple schools within the University, including Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computing and Environmental Science, and is supported by the outstanding commercial know-how of Norwich Business School. This has helped to build the University’s track record of successful industry collaboration with large multi-national companies, start-ups, and SMEs.

UEA also has strong collaborative links with internationally renowned research institutes in the region. The John Innes Centre and Sainsbury Laboratory lead the world in plant and microbial sciences, while the Quadram Institute has complementary strengths in food science and technology.

Interdisciplinary research programmes across UEA underpin the University’s innovation in agri-food. The Internet of Food Things Network Plus project brings together data scientists, chemists, and economists, ultimately to help shape digitisation of the future UK food supply chain. The Food for Thought Network connects over 200 companies, providing expert advice to agri-food businesses in the East of England, while the AgriFoRwArdS Agri-Food Robotics centre for doctoral training brings together the resources of the University of Cambridge, UEA and the University of Lincoln to teach the next generation of experts in this field.

Image © UEA 2020. External view of the Enterprise Centre.

Part of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge Enterprise supports academics, researchers, staff and students in achieving knowledge transfer and research impact. It does this by helping innovators, experts and entrepreneurs use commercial avenues to develop their ideas and expertise for the benefit of society, the economy, themselves and the university. Liaising with organisations both locally and globally, Cambridge Enterprise offers expert advice and support in commercialisation and social enterprise, including help with academic consultancy services, the protection, development and licensing of ideas, new company and social enterprise creation, and seed funding.


Agri-tech Global is funded by Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund RED (CCF-RED) programme, which aims to deliver a step change in identification and adoption of university commercialisation best practice, and hence in success, across 2 the university sector.

Visit this link to find out more

New funding will prepare the runway for commercialisation success – UKRI



Agri-Tech Global Type of Funding Call Open EOI Submission Deadline Final Pitchdeck  Submission Investment Committee
June 2024 Call Project & PoC Awards 14 June 2024 16 August 2024 15 November 2024 9 December 2024
April 2024 Project & PoC Awards 3 April 2024 29 May 2024 1 October 2024 22 October 2024
February 2024 Call Project & PoC Awards 2 February 2024 2 April 2024 21 May 2024 12 June 2024
November 2023 Call Project & PoC Awards 27 November 2023 18 December 2023 8 February 2024 28 February 2024