The FFIT centre and LIC at Myerscough College are designed to facilitate research and development that will enhance the Food and Farming industries through the application of innovation and technology. Research into efficient resource use (e.g. through best temporal and special distribution of resources or phenotype selection) will be possible. The development of new ‘value added’ products will be essential to support the farming industries in developing new end-products. Food manufacturing, marketing and catering taken together with primary production makes the biggest manufacturing sector in the UK. With the development of technology that allows continued monitoring, the ability to make continued automatic adjustments and better knowledge of this spatial and temporal variation, should lead to greater efficiencies in the industry.
The handling and interpretation of large quantities of data is also going to become an important skill in agriculture. This will be followed by determining the best use of this data in terms of the action to take with the new knowledge generated. It is likely that the construction of models to aid management decisions are going to be essential in the future precision agriculture.
A facility that allows both demonstration and development of such innovation and technology is vital to its adoption in the wider industry. The FFIT and LIC is such a facility. Whilst providing the laboratories and instrument rooms where data can be observed and stored, linked to sensors and wi-fi connectivity across the farms, it also has conference facilities and meeting rooms to allow for industrial conferences, meetings and developments to occur with the academic, commercial and research partners.
Three commercial companies have already approached us interested in the centre and its proposed offering.