Access keys

Skip to content Accessibility Home News, events and publications Site map Search Privacy policy Help Contact us Terms of use

Research and innovation support the UK's leading agricultural event

Copyright free (Pexels/Creative Commons CC0)

The UK’s largest agricultural sector event kicks off tomorrow in Birmingham. The National Farmers Union’s (NFU) annual conference attracts thousands of visitors and sets the tone for the farming year ahead through political sessions and workshops focused on research, innovation and meeting the needs of the agriculture community.

The UK agri-tech sector contributes £14.3 billion to the UK economy, employing 500,000 people, with companies and researchers developing pioneering technologies from farming drones to 3D printing. The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) alongside Innovate UK will have an exhibition stand at the NFU conference showcasing the latest in research and innovation whilst highlighting the £90 million Transforming Food Production Challenge, part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, set to revolutionise how food is produced and dramatically reduce its environmental impact.

The 2019 NFU theme is “Our Food, Our Future”, with notable sessions and guest speakers to include the following:

  • Political session
    Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • The Future of Food - where are we going?
    Panel members include Jack Bobo, Intrexon Corporation
  • Game Changing Innovation
    Panel members include Jonathon Gill and Mark Rutter (Harper Adams) and Alison Bentley (NIAB)
  • Energy: The Alternative Income Stream
  • Political session II - Brexit: Where next?

For the full conference programme see National Farmers Union: NFU19: Conference programme.

From fundamental biology to the farm field, the UK is home to research and industries leading the world in understanding crops and livestock. The UK is a global leader in environmental management and earth observation, sensors, big data, artificial intelligence and robotics. The integration and application of these strengths can transform the agriculture industrial sector.

To find out more on how BBSRC is investing in the UK farming community, please visit: Agriculture and food security.

For more information on the ISCF Transforming Food Production challenge competition, please visit: Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund: Transforming Food Production.


About the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, delivered by UK Research and Innovation, is designed to develop UK industries that are fit for the future, driving progress in technologies where the UK can become a world-leader in their research and commercialisation.

It is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy, the long-term plan to raise productivity and earning power in the UK, and is a core pillar in the government’s commitment to increase funding in research and development by £4.7 billion over four years to strengthen UK science and business.


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by government, BBSRC invested £498 million in world-class bioscience in 2017-18. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

More information about UK Research and Innovation.
More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes.


UK Research and Innovation Media Office

Tags: BBSRC press release livestock innovation farming data crops animal health food security