Enabling Business

New intellectual property, technology and processes are drivers of commercial value in the bioeconomy. We aim to make sure that businesses have access to the latest information to grow and remain competitive.

We are linking businesses to these assets by facilitating peer-to-peer learning and sharing information.

We aim to improve support for businesses looking to innovate and improve resource efficiency through open access technology and unlocking business growth space.


The National Agri-Food Innovation Campus
World Class Agri-Food Research Facilities in our Patch


Innovation in agriculture and food received an enormous boost in 2016, thanks to government investing in two national centres of excellence at the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus in Sand Hutton, York.

There are only four of these centres nationally, and securing two in our patch has boosted us to the top of the league table for government investment in agriculture and food.

This further emphasises our competitive advantage in this sector, adding to our national and international pull for investors.

The Centre for Excellence in Livestock (CIEL) and the Centre for Applied Crop Science (CACS) are being developed by a consortium of private sector partners, leading research institutions and innovative small businesses.

They have together attracted £50 million to translate scientific agricultural innovation into commercial opportunities for the agri-food business sector.

CACS is brining industry and non-industry partners together to revolutionise how global farming deals with threats like pests, pathogens and weeds.

CIEL brings together leading industry and academic partners to share research and knowledge related to livestock production and product quality.

 These organisations place Yorkshire at the centre of a growing agri-food research and innovation community, enabling better access to the best people and investment as well as to new market opportunities, especially in Europe and other economies.


Stimulating Innovation in the Agri-food Sector 

Stimulating Innovation in the Agri-Food Sector (SIAFS) aims to help aspiring food & drink SMEs in North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire a­­nd the East Riding, to develop and grow. The project offers a free diagnostic tool which produces a report to show where SIAFS can best help your business.

Once the diagnostic tool has been used, SIAFS provides access to business workshops and master classes based on particular topics and themes such as packaging laws, business collaboration and encouraging innovation.

SIAFS also provides regular networking opportunities for the sector and voucher schemes of £2,000 and £5,000 to help eligible businesses overcome the challenges of bringing novel products and technologies to the market.

Vouchers will be redeemable against services, expertise and facilities at Fera, including access to specialised equipment and product testing.

You can find out more about what is involved and how to apply here


Sustainable Futures

In as fast a growing and vastly important industry as agri-food, collaboration is key. Especially where the communication between supply chains partners has traditionally been a bit patchy.

If we want to grow a sustainable future for food, we have to make sure the journey from farm to fork is a well-informed one with industry partners working together along the way.

Sustainable Futures is an initiative set up by Future Food Solutions Ltd. The project brings together global brands, national processors and forward-looking farmers on a multi-layered peer learning programme, to maximise inputs and minimise waste by strengthening collaboration between farmers and food manufacturers.

Through knowledge sharing and working together the initiative aims to:

  • Form ties throughout the supply chain for a holistic benefit
  • Promote current, sustainable farming techniques that offer competitive advantages
  • Enable farm and food business to access new markets
  • Improve competitiveness and logistics while reducing carbon footprints
  • Identify new ways of reducing waste, optimising resource use and recycling bi-products to improve supply chain efficiency
  • Identify the locations and costs of waste in the industry through ‘’value stream mapping’’ and using this to facilitate activity to reduce waste and capture its lost value

The project brings together partners and stakeholders throughout the supply chain to share, discuss and learn current techniques and new innovations. This involves events such as travel to learn, supply chain meetings, farm walks and fora, lectures and industry feedback sessions.

These events enable supply chain partners to visit innovative farms and facilities, communicate with stakeholders throughout the chain, compare and share information and promote more successful collaboration.

The LEP matched private sector funding for two years of the sustainable futures programme.


Yorkshire’s Food Capital: The Malton Agri-Food Park

Yorkshire’s First Food Enterprise Zone – making it easier for food & farming to expand.

In addition to supporting applied science, we are also making space to help the growth of the food and farming industry – a key aspect of our economy. We led on establishing Yorkshire’s first and only Food Enterprise Zone to create the Malton Agri-Food Park and supported the development via our Local Growth Fund.

Food Enterprise Zones are designed to support existing local businesses to expand, as well as to encourage new businesses to start up in the area. The new agri-food park will employ over 500 people.

This status, which was awarded by DEFRA enables a local development order to be put into place. This means that the zone will have a simplified planning process, which in turn will make it easier and cheaper for food and farming businesses that want to expand and easier for businesses to locate to the park.

The plans also include relocating Malton’s livestock market to a purpose-built facility. The Food Enterprise Zone will have close links to world-leading work at Fera Science Ltd in Sand Hutton and York’s Biorenewable Development Centre. We are also investing in local roads and junctions around the agri-food park, which will enable the developments to go ahead.

Malton is fast acquiring a reputation as the food capital of Yorkshire, with both small business and now larger players contributing to its prestige. The agri-food park provides a further geographic focus for the sector, helping us make the most of what we have and giving us a clear and prominent profile.