For Investors

Agri-tech investment opportunities with Ceres

Ceres wants to work with technology and corporate investors to support longer term agri-tech innovation initiatives beyond the end of our initial Research England funding. 

The Ceres project pipeline is an ever-growing source of exciting new agri-tech investment opportunities. Our high-quality projects are embedded in the Ceres network, an unrivalled ‘one-stop shop’ for both research excellence and technical and commercial support. 

Ceres projects start with outstanding, robust science through the world-class research expertise of our university partners. The commercial experience and committed support from the Ceres Team accelerates project design and development, de-risking projects and getting them market-ready sooner.  

Ceres captures agri-tech innovation at an early stage, giving you a chance to be first in line for investing in quality-controlled projects with a high chance of commercial success. As Ceres moves away from grant-based funding in 2021 to a sustainable investment model, this will bring both longer-term returns on investment and real social and economic impact.

Interested in investing? Want to find out more?

Contact Louise Sutherland or Iain Thomas at info@ceresagritech.org.

Benefits of Ceres

Ceres’s simple investment model offers significant value add by identifying and supporting cutting-edge projects, from initial ideas all the way to commercialisation, providing a continuous source of agri-tech innovation.

First-in-line
investing

High quality
agri-tech pipeline

Early access to
leading technology

Licensing and spin-out
opportunities

Access to world-class university agri-tech

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.

https://www.cam.ac.uk

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.

http://uea.ac.uk

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

The University of Hertfordshire (UoH) is one of the UK’s top business-facing universities, leading in academia-small business collaboration across the country.

Its research impact has been influential in steering European agricultural and environmental policy, through the work of the Agriculture and Environment Research Unit (AERU) on the UoH Pesticides Properties Database. UoH takes an interdisciplinary approach to solving problems in agri-tech, advancing the state of the art in a wide range of areas from climate change modelling to detecting crop risk.

UoH is an integral part of multiple initiatives to enhance agricultural innovation. With Rothamsted Research, Cranfield University and UCL, UoH is a delivery partner of the £3.5m Société Generale UK Foundation-backed SHAKE Climate Change programme to support start-ups. UoH has partnered with the Royal Veterinary College, Rothamsted Research, and Oaklands College to set up the Centre for Agriculture, Food and Environmental Management (CAFEM), which delivers collaborative research and education in agricultural, agritech, and agri-environmental sciences.

UoH also runs the pioneering Hertfordshire Knowledge Exchange Partnership (HKEP) scheme, which has been commended by HEFCE as outstanding.

https://www.herts.ac.uk

The University of Lincoln (UoL) is ranked in the Top 200 globally for Agriculture and Forestry in the QS World University Rankings 2019. It 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 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 will deliver the world-class research and higher-level skills the UK’s agri-food industries need today and in the future.

UoL was recently awarded EPSRC funding to lead on the establishment of AgriFoRwArdS, in collaboration with the Universities of Cambridge and East Anglia. This is the world’s first Centre for Doctoral Training for Agri-Food Robotics, and is creating the largest ever cohort of Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) specialists for the global food and farming sectors.

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk

The University of Reading (UoR) is one of the UK’s top 40 universities. It has world-class expertise along the entire agri-food value chain, from sustainable land management and crops through to food science.

UoR oversees key agricultural resources, including international initiatives such as the International Cocoa Quarantine Centre, and national facilities and resources and facilities. The latter include the Brogdale National Fruit Collection, a UK-wide horticultural resource, and the Field Crop Research Unit at Sonning Farm, which spans 12 ha and has capacity for arable crop research from plot to field scale.

UoR’s strengths in food technology are supported by the University’s Centres for Food Processing, Sensory Science, and Flavour. The Food Processing Centre is one of the largest facilities of its kind across Europe, with a fully functional pilot processing line and £4 million worth of plant equipment, and can oversee projects all the way from concept to pilot-scale manufacturing.

Agri-tech research across the University has a strong multidisciplinary focus, ranging from precision agriculture and the use of on-farm sensors in crop management to the use of big data to improve efficiency in the food value chain. On a larger scale, UoR also has leading experts on agri-tech adoption, knowledge exchange, and the ethics of new agricultural technologies.

http://www.reading.ac.uk

Ceres project showcase

Explore a selection from the Ceres agri-tech pipeline here