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Two high-tech agricultural businesses in Lincolnshire have been offered funding from a national £7.5 million pot to support innovation and growth.

An automated blueberry harvesting project led by Eyre Trailers in Coningsby, in partnership with the University of Lincoln, and a daffodil harvesting scheme at C Wright and Son in Gedney have each been offered around £300,000 as a share of £1.84m awarded to 12 projects across the east of England. The money has come from the new Launchpads programme managed by Innovate UK which offers small and medium enterprises (SMEs) grants from £25,000 to £300,000 for R&D and innovation projects that focus on agrifood. The Eastern England Launchpad is being supported by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils. Ten other successful projects across the area include novel biological defences against aphids, enhancing the fibre content of food and drink products, enhancements in crop breeding, and creating new types of plant-based food packaging. The objective of the Eyre Trailers automated blueberry harvesting project, which stands to secure £299,693, is to develop and demonstrate a fully automatic machine for harvesting blueberries, one of the UK’s most important

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