Dave Ross, CEO of Agri-EPI, Professor Leon Terry - Director of Environment and Agrifood, Environment Secretary George Eustice, Professor Sir Peter Gregson - Vice Chancellor, Professor Simon Pollard OBE - Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Water, Environment and Energy)  Image Cranfield University

Cranfield University’s new £3.2 million Agri-informatics facility has today (18 June 2021) been officially opened by Rt Hon. George Eustice MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Cranfield and its partners will use the facility to create innovative informatics to support novel business, management and policy approaches in the agricultural sector.

The Environment Secretary, George Eustice, said:

“Cranfield has a world-leading role in driving agricultural innovation and development and I was pleased to open the new facility today.

“Soil health is central to delivering our objectives on biodiversity and profitable agriculture and this new centre will ensure that the policies we plan are underpinned with world-leading science.”

The Agri-informatics facility will be shared with Agri-EPI Centre, and will focus on agri-tech research and innovation to accelerate the development and adoption of precision data agriculture and engineering technologies that boost sustainable productivity across the whole agri-food chain.

The new facility will also be the home of the National Reference Centre for Soils and associated land information system, LandIS.

Professor Leon A. Terry, director of environment and agrifood at Cranfield University, said:

“This new Agri-informatics facility will play a vital role in bringing forward digital innovations in agriculture. By utilising data science, we can create new technological interventions that will improve crop yields, improve soil health and reduce food waste. All of these are vital to reducing the environmental impact of agricultural production.

“In the year that the UK hosts COP26, we are proud of the role Cranfield continues to play in bringing forward technological solutions to mitigate environmental pressures.”

The new facility has been funded in partnership by Cranfield University, Innovate UK through Agri-EPI Centre Ltd, and the Wolfson Foundation.

In 2017, Cranfield University was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research and education in large-scale soil and environmental data for the sustainable use of natural resources in the UK and worldwide.

Professor Leon Terry and the Environment Secretary George Eustice and a framed copy of a soil map for his constituency Image Cranfield University