Agri-Tech Week 2015
9-15th November 2015
The focus of Agri-Tech Week 2015 was about how a multi-disciplinary approach is addressing the challenges faced by the agri-food value chain.
The intention of the week was to promote a better understanding of the issues facing farmers and growers, to showcase some of the most interesting developments in Agri-Tech emerging from the region and facilitate knowledge transfer from the research to the wider community.
News stories relating to Agri-Tech Week 2015 can be found here.
Agri-Tech Week 2015 was sponsored by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership
Monday 09 November:
Big Data – what’s in it for farmers?
Hosted by: Rothamsted Research
Location: Rothamsted Research
The Centre of Agricultural Informatics and Metrics of Sustainability (AIMS) will provide a single portal to all of the publicly available and pre-competitive industry data relevant to the whole food system, drawn from datasets from around the world. The Centre will support the development of software tools that will allow potential users to integrate and manipulate the data according to their needs. This will include access to basic analytical tools and visualisation capability and support for more sophisticated analyses.
This event discussed the key themes and objectives of the centre, what it will provide and how its services can be accessed.
A report of the event is available here.
Tuesday 10 November:
Showcasing developments in agri-food technology
Hosted by: National Centre for Food Manufacturing, University of Lincoln
Location: Holbeach Technology Centre, University of Lincoln
The University of Lincoln lies within the centre of one of the most important agriculture and food production regions within the UK, with high levels of investment in leading research and teaching facilities. This event welcomed business representatives, leading academics, industry funders and students to a unique event exhibiting cutting-edge science and technology in the agri-food sector. The event also included a keynote speech from Garford Farm Machinery, the leading manufacturers of robotic crop weeding equipment.
More information can be found here.
Tuesday 10 November:
The business case for agri-tech innovation – Muntons site visit
Hosted by Muntons plc. in association with FramFarmers
Location: Muntons, Stowmarket
Muntons is a global Suffolk-based business with innovation at its heart. As major providers of malt and malted products, Muntons works closely with its growers who produce high quality grain for its brewing and malting business. Attendees of this event heard first-hand about the challenges and opportunities presented by new technologies – building a business case to invest in developing or adopting new approaches. There was also a site tour, discussions about the new AD facility, and a taster of their chocolate muffins.
A brief report is available here.
Wednesday 11 November:
REAP 2015 Realising our Economic and Agricultural Potential
Hosted by: Agri-Tech East
Location: Churchill College, Cambridge
Building on the success of the 2014 conference, REAP 2015 began with an engaging “Producers’ Panel” (sponsored by Savills) of leading farmers and growers from across the east of England, talking about the opportunities they see for new innovations in the field.
After lunch attendees heard from industry experts from across the agri-tech chain, from research to technology translation and retail, before the Start-Up Showcase (sponsored by RoCRE) highlighted innovative solutions to some of the challenges facing the agri-food industry.
The conference ended with a keynote speech by NFU Chairman Meurig Raymond about the need for an inclusive approach in the agri-food chain.
More information about the conference, including a full list of speakers and an introduction video, can be found here.
A full report will be available early in 2016.
Thursday 12 November:
RNAA thought leadership lecture
Hosted by: Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association and John Innes Centre
Location: John Innes Conference Centre, Norwich Research Park
To support Agri-Tech Week the RNAA sponsored a keynote lecture at the John Innes Conference Centre by Lord Haskins of Skidby (former Chairman, Northern Foods and Express Dairies), one of the most influential thinkers in the agri-food industry.
There was also a networking session hosted by the John Innes Centre which aimed to give farmers some answers to the question “who do I talk to in science?” by giving scientists and the farming community an opportunity to discuss their specialisations and discover common aims and objectives.
More information can be found on the RNAA website here.
Friday 13 November:
Developments at the NIAB AgriGate Research Hub
Hosted by: NIAB
Location: Hasse Fen, Cambridge
The new AgriGate Research Hub, located in the heart of the Fens, was officially opened by George Freeman MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Life Sciences and Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire.
AgriGate provides a facility for collaborative research aimed at reducing waste in the food supply chain and improving production efficiency. The hub supports technology transfer by housing both pilot and field scale research projects, with research ranging from soil health; field vegetable crop establishment; crop health; best practice for agronomy and rotation, right through to harvesting, post-harvest storage, processing and packaging.
Don’t forget to let us know what you thought, and if you want to get involved in Agri-Tech Week 2016 please do get in touch – we look forward to hearing from you!
Read more about Agri-Tech Week 2014 here, including a full report resulting from the discussions held at REAP 2014 available here.