The Norfolk & Suffolk region leads the UK in the agricultural technology sector. Businesses, research and support extends from plant biotechnology and food and drink production to agricultural machinery, inputs and expertise.
Our scientists are working at the leading edge of new discoveries and technologies, in areas such as precision farming, animal health, crop disease control and prevention, and food in human health. They are exploiting the latest knowledge in gene editing, AI, data science, robotics and marine science to bringing these into commercial applications.
Some of the largest food and drink providers have chosen Norfolk and Suffolk for production facilities across a wide range of products including sugar, sauces, flavourings, snacks, peas, meats, seafood, petfood, malt, beer and cider, as well as ingredients, packaging and refrigeration. Through the Port of Felixstowe, we are well placed for efficient international supply chains.
Agriculture is changing fast and our companies are helping. Our region is home to innovators in farm machinery, harvesting, drones, animal health, fertilisers, seed and crop management.
The sector is supported by world-class research institutions on the Norwich Research Park, including the John Innes Centre, Earlham Institute, The Sainsbury Laboratory and Quadram Institute.
Specialist expertise is spread all over the region. The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) in Lowestoft, Suffolk is the UK’s most diverse centre for applied marine and freshwater science and research, providing innovative solutions for the aquatic environment, biodiversity and food security.
Animal health firms are clustered in and around Newmarket, Suffolk while several large pharmaceutical companies are in Haverhill, taking advantage of links to the Cambridge life sciences cluster.
The sector is brought together by Agri-Tech East, an independent, member-led organisation that facilitates knowledge transfer in agriculture and horticulture, and involves innovative farmers, food producers and processors, scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile our Agri-food Tech Sector Skills Plan aims to provide more than 7,000 new workers by 2024. In Suffolk the Orwell Food Enterprise Zone and the Stowmarket Enterprise Park offer advantageous locations for companies in the sector, as does the Easton Food Enterprise Zone in Norfolk.
Together, Norfolk & Suffolk has internationally recognised specialisations in these three sectors. Our region is home to major global companies, leading edge R&D, expert talent pools and supportive networks.