North West hatches scheme for ‘smart’ eggs and a digital-led boom
19 Aug 2019
A company planning to use Big Data and analytics to produce more efficient and happier egg-laying hens is among 11 north western companies set to benefit from the Government’s £20 million Made Smarter Programme.
Penrith-based Bell Mount Farming, headed by David and Helen Brass, aims to harness sensor technology to transform their operation and the industry as a whole.
David Brass said: “At present, there is no real time data collection system in place across the UK laying flock to monitor egg laying hens.
“The matched-funding from Made Smarter will enable our ambitions to invest in a free-range egg management system to monitor the health of hens using sensors to optimise welfare and egg production.
“This would will provide a first step in the collection of a unique data set that will be shared by industry stakeholders, improve performance, welfare and aid research into the industry’s most pressing problems.”
The company was one of 11 in the region named by business and industry minister Nadhim Zahawi for matching funding that will enable them to accelerate growth by better using digital technologies.
Said the minister: “The 11 new companies announced today will not only reap the benefits themselves, the investment will support a multi-million-pound boost to the local economy, keeping the region at the forefront of the latest innovations. They join 24 businesses who have received project funding to date, and I would urge others to follow in their footsteps.”
This would will provide a first step in the collection of a unique data set that will be shared by industry stakeholders, improve performance, welfare and aid research
David Brass, co-owner, Bell Mount Farming
The programme aims to improved productivity and revenues, increase export sales and job creation, provide new skills to workforces, integration with supply chains and reduce environmental impact.
Director of the Made Smarter North West pilot, Donna Edwards, said: “I am thrilled to welcome another tranche of SMEs to the Made Smarter pilot.
“Working with business we have found that they are enthusiastic about the benefits of adopting new digital technology. Often, they need funding support, but also the specialist advice and insight to help them select the right approach for their business.”