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How to take an agritech idea from prototype to manufacture

By Toby Neal | Farming | Published:

As a new method to engage with members, Farm491, located at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester, hosts frequent webinars to share topical discussion, provoke thought and provide a platform for bringing the agritech community together.

Gavin Allen, of Glideology – service provider for Farm491.

"Prototyping to manufacturing" has been a successful topical area for members and one that addresses fundamental elements for business growth within the wider agritech community.

As a service provider to Farm491 members, Glideology’s team of experienced engineers encompass the complete development lifecycle from proof of concept, prototyping and design for manufacture.

From the initial idea formation, you then need to prove the concept. This is the realisation of a process or idea in order to demonstrate its feasibility or a demonstration in principle with the aim of verifying that some concept or theory has practical potential.

The further step is to develop the prototype – an early sample, model, or release of a solution that is built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from.

Prototyping serves to provide specifications for a real, working system rather than a theoretical one. A working prototype should ideally represent all or nearly all of the functionality of the final product.

The final stage is production – a process of combining various material inputs and immaterial inputs (plans, know-how) in order to make something for consumption (the output). It is the act of creating output, a good or service which has value and contributes to the utility of businesses and individuals.

It’s easy to always be thinking forwards, but entrepreneurs should take time to “think backwards”. Often companies will try and create a solution and try to prove it works without knowing if and how it will work in a real-life situation. Thinking backwards helps you focus. It reduces the chances of failure and you get your solution ready sooner. It helps keep the end goal in mind.

Gavin Allen, of Glideology – service provider for Farm491. Farm491 supports agribusinesses in growing and helps entrepreneurs trial new ideas.

Toby Neal

By Toby Neal
Feature Writer

A journalist in Shropshire for 40 years, mainly writes features and columns, especially about aspects of Shropshire history. Lives in Telford and is based at the Ketley headquarters.

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