Agri-tech companies strengthen ties at latest Ni.PARK event

Newport Innovation Park (Ni.PARK) companies teamed up for the latest networking event hosted by Telford & Wrekin Council in partnership with Harper Adams University earlier this month.

Newport Innovation Park (Ni.PARK) companies teamed up for the latest networking event hosted by Telford & Wrekin Council in partnership with Harper Adams University earlier this month.

Businesses based in council-owned units at the Newport site, as well as colleagues from the Agri PPE Center West Midlands hub, were able to share ideas and strengthen links with each other.

Attendees learned about innovation projects and funding opportunities from Harper Adams Head of Business Enterprise Services, Clare Keegan, and Liz Wakeham-Jones, Senior Account Manager for Telford & Wrekin Council’s Telford Company business support team.

Claire Critchell, Enterprise Telford Growth Hub Manager and Louise Harding, Council Trade Advisor for Foreign Investment and Business Support, Enterprise Telford Account Manager Elliot Payne and Sheila Dixon, Council Team Leader for regeneration and investment, were also on hand to offer business support and advice.

The first phase of Ni.PARK has been delivered by Telford & Wrekin Council and features a range of 24 new sustainable employment units at the site based on the outskirts of Newport.

Ni.PARK tenants all benefit from the knowledge exchange with Harper Adams University and project partners.

Agri EPI, based at Harper Adams University, supports the development of engineering and solutions for agri-tech companies in the agriculture and food sector.

Guests enjoyed drinks and freshly made pizzas at the event produced by Shropshire pizza company Sunflower Pizzas.

HCI Systems Ltd became the first company to move into Ni.PARK earlier this year and Managing Director Mike Tickner attended the event.

Mike said, “We are already working closely with other Ni.PARK companies to see how we can help and support each other, but events like this can only help bring us even closer together.

“We are truly grateful for the support we have received from Telford & Wrekin Council and Harper Adams since moving into the new unit and we are delighted to be here.”

Al Robinson, Principal at Yellow Hat Security Solutions, is one of the newest companies to open its doors at Ni.PARK.

Al said: “It’s great to be able to meet people from other companies and get to know them better, so these events are definitely worth it.”

At the event, companies also learned how to tap into a pool of new talent emerging from academia – through undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, apprenticeships, fellowships and student internships.

Tenants can use the Agri EPI networks to develop their knowledge and products – drawing on research that is at the forefront of the agri-tech world.

Ni.PARK companies were also encouraged to connect with each other via Hello Telford – a new trading platform and one-stop shop that gives businesses the opportunity to collaborate and buy or sell each other.

The web application makes it easy for local businesses to do business locally and get the most out of the products and services on their doorstep.

Councilor Lee Carter (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council Cabinet Member for Neighborhood Services, Regeneration and Main Street, said: “This latest networking event was a great opportunity to bring neighboring businesses together on Ni.PARK to collaborate and share ideas and expertise.

“Some companies moved in at the start of the year, while others are more recent additions, so it’s great to see them developing a strong business community.

“Companies on site are all committed to making Ni.PARK a center of excellence for the agri-tech industry and events like these can only benefit everyone.

Clare Keegan, Head of Corporate Services at Harper Adams University, said: “We are delighted to bring everyone together for these events with the support of Telford & Wrekin Council as our partner..

“It’s great to see Ni.PARK so comprehensive now and we’re happy to facilitate collaboration for companies that are committed to investing in the agri-tech sector.”

Lance B. Holton