House of Commons event exploring AgriTech’s Contribution to the UK Industrial Strategy

30th October 2018: Westminster

In its quest to build a Britain fit for the future, the UK government puts AgriTech high up on its Industrial Strategy agenda. Today’s House of Commons event explored the key role of the Cambridge AgriTech cluster in the Industrial Strategy and the UK economy.


Cambridge AgriTech hosted the event, which was sponsored by SmithsonHill, and featured George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk who spoke about AgriTech’s Contribution to the Industrial Strategy, and why the unique Cambridge ecosystem is so critical to the evolving AgriTech cluster – locally, nationally and globally.

Emma Fletcher, George Freeman MP, Dr Sean Butler

George Freeman MP commented,

Having led both the launch of the Government’s AgriTech Industrial Strategy, and Agri-tech East as Minister, I’m delighted to see the development of this world-leading AgriTech Cluster: another sign of the huge potential of the region to create new businesses, jobs & prosperity.

The event explored the uniqueness of the Cambridge ecosystem and the ‘spark-effect’ that a dedicated Knowledge-Intensive AgriTech Cluster in Cambridge could have on the already successful food production cluster in the north of Cambridgeshire, as well as convergence from other technology and life-science sectors.

Dr Sean Butler, from Cambridge AgriTech and Cambridge Judge Business School spoke about the uniqueness of agglomeration in the innovation capital of the UK

The Cambridge ecosystem embodies a unique concentration of assets designed to encourage and support innovation – knowledge, experience, expertise, support and infrastructure – and makes the region one of the most enterprising and entrepreneurial areas in the world. It is a structure with a physical presence and a positive state of mind that is firmly established yet constantly evolving.

AgriTech accounts for £14.3 billion in value-added and 542,000 jobs in the UK. Emma Fletcher, MD of Smithson Hill saw the potential for this sector.

SmithsonHill have long held the vision that AgriTech will be key to the future economy in Cambridgeshire and beyond. It is exciting to take part in an event in Westminster with so many leading minds in this space, which highlights just how important the evolving cluster is, and that we potentially have a key role to play in it.

Also present at the event were, Lord Andrew Lansley, Cllr Charles Roberts, Deputy Mayor Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Angela Smith MP alongside numerous colleagues from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.

Rob Hall – Hill , Cllr Charles Roberts – Deputy Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Emma Fletcher – SmithsonHill , Richard Hobson – Herdsy

Industry representatives included, Dr Geoff Elliot (CERES AgriTech Knowledge Exchange), Belinda Clarke (Agri-tech East), Ravi Solanki (Primera Impact), Dr Bernhard Blob (Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge), Dr Berwyn Clarke (PBD Biotech), William and Jason Burgess (Produce World), Richard Hobson (Herdsy), Dr Duncan Robertson (DogtoothTechnologies) to name but a few.


If you would like to find out more about how AgriTech is helping to deliver the UK Industrial Strategy – have a look at our new report here.