N8 AgriFood combines strong interdisciplinary research expertise with stakeholder engagement to drive innovation and economic growth in the agrifood bioeconomy.

We draw on the business development, engagement and innovation communities across the N8 universities. This provides a network of expertise and enables businesses of all sizes from different sectors to connect with research capabilities and facilities, such as our university farms, as well as secure funding.

Drawing on our partnerships, we have a strong focus on commercialisation, investment and entrepreneurship. The innovation support services below provide growth hub activities, entrepreneurship support and kick start funding. They involve two or more of the N8 universities:

Our areas of focus

We’re in a position to build a critical mass of academics and businesses to secure funds on a large scale, building on the innovation of our pump priming projects, and initiating and driving key partnerships. Two of our major initiatives are:

Another example of our partnership building is our involvement in the development of the North West Agri-Food and Nutrition HortiTech Growth Hub (NW Hub). The N8 universities are collaborating with the agrifood industry and other North West universities and land based colleges to support delivery of the central government strategy for economic regeneration and net zero carbon emissions across the UK by 2050.

This NW Hub is feeding into the N8 Research Partnership’s Net Zero North ‘Grow smarter’ activity and working with regional local economic partnerships to secure funding to deliver its objectives.

Finally, a key part of our innovation activity is identifying, promoting and developing collaborative initiatives across the N8 AgriFood community and industry. Recent projects have received funding from the sources below.

  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • British Academy
  • Innovate UK
  • White Rose University Consortium