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New DEFRA Secretary of State Visits Muddy Machines

Muddy Machines was delighted to welcome Steve Barclay, the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to our headquarters last Thursday. This visit allowed us to showcase the breakthroughs we've made in agricultural robotics, thanks to government support. We had a constructive discussion on ways the government can continue to support private enterprises to innovate in the agriculture and horticultural sectors. Our CTO, Chris, explained the problem that we're solving and how government support has helped us address it:




Celebrating Innovate UK and DEFRA

Our conversation centred around the vital support Muddy Machines has received from Innovate UK and DEFRA. Through strategic funding and grants, our technology has moved from concept to reality, creating a pivotal shift in how agricultural tasks, especially harvesting, can be approached. This support underscores a shared vision for a sustainable, technologically advanced future in farming.


Chris explaining how Sprout works to Secretary Barclay
Chris explaining how Sprout works to Secretary Barclay

A Glimpse into the Future

During the visit, Secretary Barclay witnessed our asparagus harvesting technology in action. The demonstration illustrated the precision and efficiency that robotics can bring to agriculture and how we are solving challenging manipulation tasks that only humans used to be capable of. These demonstrations provided tangible evidence of how government-backed funding has catalysed innovation within Muddy Machines.


Secretary Barclay observing robotic asparagus harvesting
Secretary Barclay observing robotic asparagus harvesting

Dialogue on Further Support for Startups

A significant part of our discussion was dedicated to exploring additional ways the government could assist early-stage startups like Muddy Machines to accelerating the delivery of robotic technology to growers. This remains a critical objective of both Muddy Machines and government so further support could vastly enhance accelerate our ability to scale and deliver meaningful impact. Suggestions included more targeted grants, tax incentives for research and development, and reducing regulatory hurdles through the use of regulatory sandboxes.


Founders discussing challenges and opportunities with Muddy Machines Team with Secretary Barclay
Founders discussing challenges and opportunities with Muddy Machines Team with Secretary Barclay

Looking Ahead

Secretary Barclay's visit was a great opportunity for Muddy Machines to demonstrate how government support is enabling us to make huge progress with limited resources. Our discussions highlighted the importance of collaboration between policymakers and innovators to drive the agricultural sector forward. As we continue to develop our technology, we remain committed to playing a key role in this evolving landscape, ensuring that the benefits of robotics reach farmers and the wider ecosystem as quickly as possible.


Muddy Machines Team with Secretary Barclay and Sprout
Muddy Machines Team with Secretary Barclay and Sprout

We are grateful for the support from Innovate UK and DEFRA and look forward to furthering our contribution to agricultural technology with the ongoing support of the UK government. Together, we're not just dreaming the future of farming; we're actively building it.

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