Pictured: L – R Alex Muxworth of PES and Andrew Bell, EpiCentre Centre Manager

A new agri-technology company that has moved to The EpiCentre in Haverhill will be music to the farming community of East Anglia and, indeed, farmers throughout the UK and globally.

The long and laborious task of soil testing to measure the health of the soil can now be consigned to history with a new handheld digital tool being launched by PES Technologies that gives results on site in seconds.

Alex Muxworthy of PES says: “The tool, comprising a small box, is controlled with the PES app on your phone and all you need is a teaspoon of soil. The tool can do the analysis in field while you wait, and it takes about five minutes.

“At the moment soil testing is quite a laborious process you have to take kilograms worth of soil, box it up, package it up and send it off to a lab” adds Muxworthy.

PES has taken the lab space at The EpiCentre to test soil samples it is collecting in order to continue improving its product.

Muxworthy says: “We have come to the EpiCentre because they have excellent lab facilities as well as good business expertise and have been really helpful and friendly. It’s a real struggle to get lab space in Cambridge, and as soon as you say that you are operating in Cambridge the price skyrockets.”

PES has its headquarters in Diss, Norfolk and was founded in 2017 by its CEO Andrej Porovic and CTO Jim Bailey. The idea for the tool came about as a result of a discussion that the founders had with the National Institute of Agricultural Botany which is based in Cambrige  about the difficulties that farmers have of getting their hands on soil health data in a timely manor.

The testing tool is being launched this year following funding rounds that raised £2.4m including angel funding arranged by Norfolk-based Anglia Capital Group who will be holding a whole day event at The EpiCentre in September including a seminar on how to get into angel investing, ‘why should you do it, risks, benefits’, and an actual pitching event afterwards.

Andrew Bell, Centre Manager at The EpiCentre, says: “We welcome PES Technologies to The EpiCentre, and the September event with Anglia Capital perfectly demonstrates the business eco-system we are creating here where companies, either occupying space in the building or not can be given business support that helps them to grow.”