New opportunities for AgriTech in UK Life Sciences

The global life sciences industry is forecasted to grow to more than $2trillion by 2023. The UK government has set out their industrial strategy for the sector, highlighting the need for collaboration and convergence, in order to ensure that the UK continues to be integral globally. At SmithsonHill we believe that AgriTech is key to achieving this. Whilst at the UK Innovation Corridor Annual Conference, we were pleased to hear that Andy Williams, AstraZeneca, agrees with us.

Tweet saying AgriTech should be included in the Life Sciences Strategy

As the UK starts to look at post-Brexit options for the economy, the industrial strategy sets out the importance of clusters and the need to grow strategically.

Standing still is therefore not an option, the UK must deliver a whole new set of opportunities if it is keep existing companies and grow new ones.  – UK Life Sciences Strategy, 2017

Collaboration and convergence

The strategy also sets out the need for new areas of innovation, collaboration and convergence.

To lead globally… we need more integration and convergence across the board. – UK Life Sciences Strategy, 2017

We couldn’t agree more.

For many years, agriculture and farming have been working with life sciences companies to ensure secure, traceable, ethically produced raw materials and trials.  Emerging AgriTech creates an exciting opportunity to increase productivity and reliability in these crops. Other innovations in science, tech and agriculture as well as cross-overs with genomics could take life sciences products and production into the 22nd century. There are infinite opportunities for partnerships both with existing and emerging businesses.

Create new scale-ups

The Life Sciences strategy sets out a strategic goal to create at least four new UK companies with turnover greater than £20billion. It also highlights the UK’s expertise at creating great start-ups, but that scale-ups have had more challenges. Our proposed ARC facility is designed to meet the needs of AgriTech companies at all stages of their lifecycle, including start-ups, scale-ups and global head-quarters.

The UK has an internationally recognised life sciences cluster in the Golden Triangle, Cambridge has the largest array of science infrastructure and the agglomeration of all of this with the emerging AgriTech cluster locally means that the Cambridge area is at the heart of something really exciting.