Food waste research is central to the activity in Bioeconomy and Innovation Hub is dedicated to reducing crop and food waste and improving resource use efficiency in the horticultural and fresh produce supply chains

The Innovation Hub is a purpose-built facility in the heart of Cambridgeshire, facilitated by funding from the Eastern Agritech Growth Initiative. This unique centre has a particular focus on fresh produce and field vegetables generally. We welcome farmers and growers, food businesses, and other users wishing to engage in applied research work to reduce or re-use all forms of waste in the food supply chain and improve resource use efficiency in its production.

Research and trial activity includes:

  • Waste reduction — healthy soils, crop production, field and post harvest storage
  • Waste management — packing, processing and alternative uses and markets
  • Increase value or application potential for new products from waste streams
  • Identifying opportunities to recycle waste or generate energy and co-products
  • Target total and marketable field losses, due to weather, pests and diseases or other damage
  • Reduce loss of quality or specification in store due to crop physiology, disease or storage conditions

The Hub is also set up for technology transfer events and provides a centre for training and apprenticeships. Links are being forged with schools and colleges to support learning throughout the region and to develop the skills required for a thriving agri-industry.

Managed by NIAB and overseen by an independent non-executive Board, Innovation Hub includes project management, business development, research and technical personnel with specific knowledge related to crop science, waste management and field trials.

Innovation Hub hosts the 3rd EU Interreg 2 Seas Mers Zeeen BioBoost partners meeting

Innovation Hub hosts the 3rd EU Interreg 2 Seas Mers Zeeen BioBoost partners meeting

BioBoost and Interreg
BioBoost: the acceleration of transition to a bioeconomy in horticulture

Our new BioBoost project, funded by the EU Interreg 2 Seas programme, is all about using and reducing waste from fresh produce. We will use crop bi-products and waste crop materials as feedstocks for new higher value end-products, which otherwise would be wasted or used for lower value products. Here at Innovation Hub we are looking into more environmentally friendly solutions to minimise the impact of waste on our environment and improve the sustainability of production methods. This 3.5 year project includes scientists from industry and academia in the Netherlands, UK, and Belgium, seeking to learn from each other's innovations and to progress the best solutions through to the marketplace.

NIAB, together with the project partners, is seeking to accelerate the transition towards a more circular bioeconomy by implementing regional test and pilot projects for the development of new techniques, methods and products in the horticultural sector and supporting their development towards market-uptake. We will support SMEs towards the development of innovations and to accelerate their entry to the market. This collaborative project is co-ordinated by our Dutch colleagues in Westland in the west of The Netherlands.

Reducing wastage in UK agriculture is a key step in addressing the challenge of producing food in a more sustainable and efficient way. WRAP UK estimates that 16% of all food waste occurs before it arrives on retailers' shelves.

New opportunities at the Hub

We have recently won a Growth Fund award for refurbishment and to add green energy solutions at the Hub and are currently looking for new licensees to join our community. If you are a new or small business, or academic researcher working on an innovative idea in Agri-Tech or food/waste related, please and contact us if you are interested. Also see the following case studies from 2 of our current licensees AgriGrub and Cambond.



Past Events

Soil Health and Circular Economy: A Sustainable Future Agriculture
9 Nov 2018  |  Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Great attendance for Saving waste in horticulture: Optimising resources



Latest News

HUB LICENSEE CAMBOND SHORTLISTED FOR GREEN AWARD
Cambond are pleased to announce they have been shortlisted for the Innovation of the Year 2020 Award by Business Green Leaders at a virtual celebration on 14 October.

Cambond are also looking for an intern to work with them on a new IUK project: Innovative Bio-based Material Process Internship offered

Cambond Ltd and Evolve Packaging launch project to help solve the worlds biggest environmental and climate change problems

Cambond products

The Eastern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub welcomed Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP for a visit to the Hub on 24th May 2018. He listened to ways in which NIAB and the Hub are working with and linking with small businesses and farmers to minimise waste.

Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, Festival of Plants Day

A great day showcasing the work of NIAB and the Innovation Hub to the public at the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, Festival of Plants Day

Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, Festival of Plants Day

Mayor James Palmer and Cllr Charles Roberts visit and tour of the Eastern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub

Mayor James Palmer and Cllr Charles Roberts visit and tour of the Eastern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub

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