In days gone by scientists who studied crops in the lab may never have set foot on a farm and farmers may never have spoken to a crop scientist. Thankfully things have changed a lot since those days as the need for greater communication between the two is more widely acknowledged.

That is where we come in, at Agri-Tech East we recognised the need for opportunities for scientists and researchers to be able to meet farmers, growers and innovative start-ups.

Why I hear you ask?

Well, we appreciate how important it is that science makes an impact in the industry. We see countless examples of research being translated into practice with great success. On the other side, we speak to loads of innovative farmers who are keen to understand more about research that is going on and how they can apply this to their farm. So, that is why we created the Young Innovators’ Forum (YIF).

What is the Young Innovators’ Forum?

YIFAtElvedonYIF was formed to bring together farmers and scientists to understand more about each
other’s worlds, the innovation and challenges, as well as bridge the gap between research and production. Informal events are held across the East visiting working farms, agricultural businesses as well as university and research laboratories. You don’t have to be young; we welcome those young at heart and keen to bring innovation to their work. Over the last couple of years, we have visited a vegetable packing operation, a fully enclosed mushroom farm, a large commercial farm including their post-harvest produce stores, a research farm and an agri-tech start up hub (including vertical farming) to name just a few!

Once a year we also hold the YIF Conference, a day long event with a topical theme, key note speakers provide their insight followed by a collection of workshops and time for all attendees to network. Last years’ conference was on the theme of ‘Leading Change Through Innovation’ with speakers from NIAB, John Innes Centre and an innovative start-up app interrogating on farm data to provide actionable insights to farmers. To find out more visit our blog.  Also, watch the video below which will give you a feel for the YIF conference 2017:

What is in it for me?

The success of this group has been unprecedented and true meaningful opportunities have come out of people attending. Getting involved will provide you with the opportunity to meet other people within the industry and research communities, understand their work and make contacts which can benefit your work. Why not get out there now and start sharing what you do? Open yourself up to new ideas, contacts and maybe even future career possibilities.  In the past scientists have found places to go for their placement, hold field trials and even provided with opportunities to present their research as part of their Pathway to Impact at some of our wider Agri-Tech East events.

Below are just some of testimonials we have received:

  • ‘After attending your YIF event, I met a researcher and we are now in discussions around holding some farm-based trials’;
  • ‘I have come away YIF conference yesterday absolutely buzzing with new information and contacts aplenty’.
  • “Even one month after our visit to your farm we still talk about how interesting it was and how much we learned. With all the innovation that you do I am sure that there will be lots of opportunities to collaborate!”

How can I get involved?YIFChishill

The events are free to attend due to the generous sponsorship from The Morley Agricultural Foundation and will be published on our website, social media platforms and newsletter as well as here on your blog and shared through Shannon (Outreach and Communications, JIC SVC) so do keep your eyes peeled. It’s super easy to get involved, just sign up for our newsletter to get notifications of our events straight to your inbox and then sign-up on our website.

Who is Agri-Tech East?

Agri-Tech East is a networking organisation for scientists, farmers, technology developers, start-ups, Universities and agribusinesses. We help accelerate knowledge exchange and innovation in agriculture, using science communication to turn challenges into business opportunities.



Fiona Rust works for Agri-Tech East, Events & Young Innovators’ Forum, you can contact Fiona by email or visit the Agri-Tech East website, facebook, twitter, linkedin or youtube to find out more. 

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