• Media Release

Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited (TAFE) and UK based Harper Adams University
collaborate to develop sustainable agriculture solutions

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JUNE 12, 2018 | Chennai: Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited – TAFE has entered into a new international collaboration with UK based Harper Adams University to develop advanced technological, agronomic and educational solutions for the delivery of sustainable food production around the world.

The Harper Adams University (HAU) is an agriculture university established in 1901 in the United Kingdom. The Agriculture Engineering Precision and Innovation – Agri-EPI Centre is one of the four national Centres for Agricultural Innovation created as part of the £17.7m UK government investment from UK’s Strategy for Agricultural Technologies to help provide engineering and precision agriculture solutions for the agri-food industry.

The collaboration with HAU’s Agri-EPI Centre will include joint research projects and programmes, joint publications and staff exchanges. The areas of research will focus on agriculture, engineering and technology development programmes on autonomous farming and energy efficient implements, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems and sensor technologies, and the Hands free hectare project to be implemented at JFarm India – TAFE’s adaptive agriculture research centre.

TAFE President & COO – Mr. T R Kesavan said, “TAFE’s collaboration with Harper Adams – Agri-EPI Centre is a reaffirmation of TAFE’s commitment to its vision of ‘Cultivating the World’ as it aims to combine integrated farming techniques with precision agriculture and engineering to develop sustainable farming models that work for both marginal and large farms. This collaboration will provide opportunities for developing a range of advanced training skills, learning and the promotion of international technology transfer and exchange.”

Engineers from TAFE have moved into the new Agri-EPI Centre on the Harper Adams University campus to work on the centre’s first major research and development project. On the team’s arrival, Harper Adams University engineering lecturer, Kit Franklin said, “We at Harper Adams have been building contacts with TAFE for the last 18 months. It’s great to now have this young and enthusiastic team of engineers from TAFE’s Centre of Excellence here in the UK where we’re about to start our first collaborative engineering project. Along with the completion of the project, I hope the team will get a flavour of British agriculture, helping them to return with fresh new ideas.”

Welcoming them to the Agri-EPI Centre, Lee Williams - Newport Centre Hub Manager said, “We’re extremely excited about the first major R&D project coming into the centre, but even more so as it’s a large global tractor manufacturer that’s working in collaboration with Harper Adams.”

Set on a 635 hectare farm, Harper Adams is the UK’s leading specialist university tackling the future development of the world’s food production, animal sciences, engineering, land management and sustainable business.

Nearly all of the 2,800 undergraduate students at Harper undertake a sandwich placement year in industry, resulting not only in work-ready graduates, but also students who tackle real-world, industry relevant research projects in the final year of their studies.

Applied research is at the heart of the university’s activity, with the work of a thriving academic community underpinning both teaching and work with the industries allied to Harper. The 2014 Government Research Excellence Framework rated all of the university’s research as “of international quality”, and more than half was deemed “world leading” or “internationally excellent”.

Harper Adams University currently holds the following accolades:

  • The UK’s Best Modern University (those created since 1992) in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.
  • University of the Year 2016 and 2017, in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards – also best for student support, job prospects and courses & lecturers in the 2017 awards.
  • The UK’s Number 1 university for student experience, in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2017.
  • Rated Gold, the highest possible outcome, in the Government’s 2017 and 2018 Teaching Excellence Framework.

    • The Agri-EPI Centre is one of four Agri-Tech Centres (Agri-EPI Centre, CIEL, CHAP, and Agrimetrics) who focus on bridging the gap between industry and academia across different areas of agriculture. They work with UK businesses, scientists and engineers to turn ideas into new products and services that will generate economic growth.
    • The Agri-Tech centres were funded as part of the Agri-Tech Strategy that was launched in 2013 as part of a £150 million commitment to UK Agriculture by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Of this £150 million, £90 million was set aside for the centres and to fund specific infrastructure improvements. Funding is administered via Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency. Innovate UK is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. More information about Agri-Tech Centres can be found on www.agritechcentres.com

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