£74m pumped into new virtual agri-tech hub

The investment aims to transform the scale and impact of agricultural technology
The investment aims to transform the scale and impact of agricultural technology

The government has helped invest £74m into a new virtual agri-tech hub to improve the efficiency and output of agricultural technology.

The Easter Bush AgriTech Hub will be centred at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies’ Easter Bush Campus – Europe’s largest concentration of animal science research expertise.

The virtual centre will foster collaboration between researchers and companies to advance food production, work with new tech and move toward net zero goals.

Experts will use data to develop genetics and health innovations for agricultural science and business, and to build initiatives and novel systems of production, such as robotics.

Work in innovative areas, such as data-driven breeding and aquaculture, will enable data generation and analysis that will improve the agriculture industry worldwide.

Investment comprised £27 million from the UK government, including £1.3 million from the Scottish government, as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

Professor Bruce Whitelaw, Interim Director at Roslin Institute, said the new hub was a very exciting time for agri-science.

"The City Region Deal will drive an innovation pipeline nucleated from Easter Bush campus in Midlothian, with reach both across our country and internationally."

Iain Stewart, UK Government Minister for Scotland, added: "The Easter Bush Agritech Hub will be a great boost to Scotland’s world-leading agri-food and drink industries, promoting cutting-edge innovation and sustainability.

"This new facility will attract new businesses and jobs and help us to build back better for Midlothian communities."