A university is set to create the UK's first 'Digital Innovation Farm' as a response to an increasingly online world with global demand for new technology in farming.
The agricultural industry is going through unprecedented change to meet the food demands of a growing global population.
New technologies are being integrated for their unrivalled ability to drive growth in a sustainable way.
With such swift changes happening in the industry, Hartpury University and College have announced the new development.
It will include the National Centre for Agricultural Data Management and Interpretation, to assist the industry in its advancement of agricultural technology, data and security.
It is part of a ten-year vision that will see the institution develop itself as a centre for agri-tech.
The first phase features the construction of a £2 million Agri-Tech Centre due to open this autumn.
It will aim to provide farmers, students and organisations with access to the latest commercial technology.
Using Hartpury’s on-site commercial working farm and new purpose-built facilities, they will be able to design and develop new products or systems.
Russell Marchant, Vice-Chancellor and CEO of Hartpury University, said: “These plans highlight the scale of our commitment and our ambition to be leaders in shaping the future of digital farming in the UK and beyond.
“Our aim is that, by 2030, the Digital Innovation Farm will have expanded and grown into a within a state-of-the-art complex at Hartpury attracting leading agri-tech companies and contributing to increased productivity in Gloucestershire and the UK.”
David Owen, Chief Executive of GFirst LEP, added: “Hartpury’s plans for a Digital Innovation Farm present a great opportunity to further bolster Gloucestershire’s unique position as a leader in agri-tech.
“It’s vital that Gloucestershire, and the UK, continues to improve productivity and develop our cyber and digital offer to compete globally.”