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Sustainable agritech firm wastes no time with Innovate UK EDGE support

A close-up of man's upturned hand holding live insect larvae. More insect larvae in the background.

© Getty Images.

Innovate UK EDGE has helped an agritech company to find development funding for technology that uses insect larvae to turn farm bio-waste into valuable protein.

Innovation and growth specialist Abrar Jawaid helped Altar Ltd to find potential funders and sharpen its appeal by co-developing a pitch deck. The work paid off when Altar was awarded £140,000 from the SHAKE Climate Change fund operated by Rothamsted Research, a centre of excellence in agri-tech.

Accelerating the impact from Altar's agritech

Altar offers science and technology-based precision agriculture services to improve farmers’ efficiency and output and to help them plan for growth with more confidence.

It describes itself as a ‘tech-for-good’ business seeking to achieve economic, societal and environmental sustainability impact. 

Abrar had identified SHAKE as a potential source of funding and made the introduction. The fund supports entrepreneurs developing science or tech-based innovation in the areas of agriculture and food production, with the emphasis on reducing carbon emissions.

Each selected project receives up to £140k of investment, along with scientific support and business mentoring. The Altar-Entio project ( is currently building its first pilot in Colombia as a demonstration of rapid UK technology export.

Dr Rafael Cepeda-Lopez, CEO and co-founder of Altar, said: “Innovate UK EDGE and Abrar’s support helped Altar to keep a fast-developing pace to become investment and export ready.”

IP audit and entering new markets pursued through Innovate UK EDGE

Altar was enrolled on to Innovate UK EDGE’s growth support service in October 2019. It also took advantage of our IP audit service, carried out by the Intellectual Property Office

As innovation adviser, Abrar supported the company in a successful funding application and in engaging with the team carrying out the IP audit.

As well as converting crop and agricultural waste into other value-added products, power and heat, Altar is helping farmers increase crop yield and quality through sensor and drone technology.  

With support from Innovate UK EDGE, Altar has also connected with leading UK research centres to explore the technology’s potential in other sectors.

Innovate UK EDGE and Abrar’s support helped Altar to keep a fast-developing pace to become investment and export ready." Dr Rafael Cepeda-Lopez, CEO and co-founder of Altar

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