Farm491 plays a key part in the RAU’s Knowledge Exchange Framework ranking
The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) has ranked in the top 20% in its Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) cluster for Public Engagement. This is a fantastic achievement and highlights the positive impact that Farm491 and the Cirencester Growth Hub have had on these metrics.
“Our knowledge exchange strategy is central to our institutional mission to support the land-based sector, rural enterprises and agri-technology innovation. This strategy seeks to increase prosperity and build a bridge between rural and urban civic society through a dynamic integration of science, policy and practice.
The Farm491 programme (https://farm491.com) has been instrumental in supporting companies from local to international level to identify, share and engage with innovation opportunities in the agri-food sector. Following UK and EU funding, the RAU’s Farm491 was commissioned in mid-2016 as a specialist agri-technology business incubator to facilitate the launch of startups and the growth of SMEs in farming, food production, land-management and environmental sectors. Farm 491 is an exemplar of innovation-led knowledge exchange activity that has driven an increase in local employment and local growth through to international economic benefit.
Physical and virtual Farm491 business membership enables the sharing of global best practice with Gloucestershire based businesses, Farm491 tenants and further diffusion into the Cirencester Growth Hub, co-located in the Alliston Centre on the RAU campus. Farm491 organises physical and on-line webinars and workshops and a yearly AgriTech season. Farm491 has also hosted a number of inward investment and fact-finding visits to Gloucestershire. Recent examples include a DIT delegation of NZ agri-technology companies and FCO delegation visits. Farm491 activities ensure that RAU research and teaching activities are aligned with industry and societal research needs and innovation needs of smart food supply chains and entrepreneurial and ecopreneurial activities. A formal partnership has been established with Rothamsted Research and Enterprise with Farm491 providing support for research commercialisation programmes. Another partnership of note is with The Landing, the technology enterprise incubator for high-growth companies at the heart of MediaCity UK, Manchester. They offer workspace, business support, user experience testing-labs, maker-labs and events to their growing community of members.”