The Food Security and Search Alliance, which is also based here complements these growing networks. This organisation works across disciplines and collaborates with institutions with a strong background in relevant areas of research. It also maintains funding relationships with research councils, government departments, and the private sector. The economic successes driven by innovation suggest that Bristol & Bath’s food and drink sector will be at the forefront globally in the coming years.
The region is home to two internationally-renowned agricultural institutions: the Royal Agricultural University and Hartpury University. It’s also home to the Rural Enterprise Centre, which is integral to the region’s educational and business growth. Once refurbishments to this centre are completed, it will be the ideal venue for businesses and academics. The centre will feature a conference and seminar area, as well as modern test kitchens and office space for agri-food-related businesses. It will offer a valuable facility to support the development of agricultural business and micro food and drink companies. It will also provide relevant skills training.
The West of England’s agricultural business landscape also comprises a vast network of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and some of the world’s most iconic names in the agri-food sector, such as LettUs Grow.
LettUs Grow is an award-winning Bristol start-up that develops technology for aeroponics (or growing crops without soil in large vertical racks). The crops include herbs, strawberries, and small trees grown under LED lights with nutrients provided by a mist of water. As light can be tuned to specific plants’ needs, the process is both water- and energy-efficient.
North Somerset’s Food Enterprise Zone will act as a central hub that brings together expertise in bio-technology, food engineering and design, food research, production, and resource efficiency. The hub will be known as The Food Works.
North Somerset’s Food Enterprise Zone at Junction 21 Enterprise Area (J21EA) will provide an ideal base to develop a cluster of food-related businesses. This ten-acre site at Weston-Super-Mare will provide manufacturers and related businesses with research and development (R&D), packaging, and logistics in one location.