Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

REAP Conference 2018

November 7, 2018 @ 9:30 am - 5:30 pm

REAP Conference 2018

What is the future we want for agriculture and how can innovation help deliver it?

Is competitive, sustainable food production where agri-tech can make the most impact?

Or should we concentrate our resources on land use for something we can’t buy cheaper elsewhere? High value crops to support a bio-economy? Novel forms of food production? Enhanced ecosystem services?

Agri-Tech East’s fifth REAP conference comes at a time of unprecedented change, uncertainty and challenge for the industry.

We’ll be asking a number of technical experts with different perspectives what they think the future agri-food industry could look like and we will explore the exciting ideas and innovations that will take us there.

REAP Conference 2018

Programme highlights

Hear why you should come to REAP from previous attendees

Read the report from REAP 2018:

Agri-Tech for a Productive Future - Speakers

Welcome and Introduction

Paul Challinor, Jones Food Company

Paul Challinor

Co-founder and CTO, Jones Food Company

Dr. Paul Challinor is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of the Jones Food Company Ltd, which has developed a groundbreaking, high-care, fresh food, vertical crop production facility. The unit includes the latest innovations in intensive hydroponics, GE LED lighting and cropping system automation.

Dr. Challinor is a professionally qualified consultant, with wide-ranging agronomic and technical experience in the UK conventional and organic food crop production Industry. He holds broad experience encompassing intensive vegetable, fruit, flower and pharmaceutical crop production systems, with specialist knowledge of intensive hydroponics and substrate culture.

Ande Gregson, GreenLab

Ande Gregson

Founder and Director, Green Lab

Green Lab is an open innovation lab and ecosystem for individuals and organisations to design sustainable solutions to complex urban food, water and waste challenges.

Ande Gregson started out in IT and founded and conceived media140, Europe’s first real-time web-conference, and subsequently developed it into a global social media brand. Following the success of media140 he became involved in philanthropic ventures such as Science Rewired before establishing Green Lab in 2015 to work with entrepreneurs and businesses to design food production systems, processes and new foods that can be scaled from a bench-scale trial to world-wide impact.

Rob Wylie, WHEB

Rob Wylie

Chairman, Cambridge Agritech

Rob has focused on technology commercialisation and investment in the agri-tech and resource efficiency sectors for around 30 years. He is Chairman of Cambridge Agritech and Five Seasons VC, investment firms focused on agri/foodtech, and Chairman of 3 Agritech companies.

Kate Hofman, GrowUp Farms

Kate Hofman

CEO, GrowUp Farms

GrowUp Farms is a Controlled Environment Production (CEP) business that specialises in high-care and highly automated production facilities to grow that is safer, more sustainable and tastier than traditional produce.

Kate Hofman is responsible for the commercial aspects of GrowUp, having founded the company six years ago with CTO Tom Webster. In her spare time she runs around after her toddler and dog.

Rhydian Beynon-Davies, Stockbridge Technology Centre

Rhydian Beynon-Davies

Head of Novel Growing Systems, Stockbridge Technology Centre

Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC) was launched to ensure continued technological developments for the horticultural industry.

Rhydian Beynon-Davies initially joined STC after his PhD at Lancaster University, investigating the influence of environment on rooting systems. At STC he headed up a project looking into the use of LED lighting for protected crops such as tomatoes. He then moved to G’s Growers to manage the development of G’s burgeoning indoor farming operations, before returning to STC as head of the novel growing systems division.

Ben Barnes, Gs

Ben Barnes

Innovation & Research Associate, G’s Fresh

G’s Growers Ltd is an independent producer organisation with 20 grower members in the UK and Spain. G’s Growers’ crop range includes wholehead and babyleaf salad, celery, radish, onions, salad onions, beetroot, mushrooms, Chinese leaf and leeks. Collectively G’s Growers farm over 7,500 hectares of specialist crop which they harvest, process or pack for sale onto their end customers.

Ben Barnes has recently joined G’s and heads up the research into controlled environment cropping.

Arnoud Witteveen, Saturn Bioponics

Arnoud Witteveen

CTO, Saturn Bioponics

Saturn Bioponics is an advanced hydroponic science and technology company delivering sustainable solutions with a rapid payback.

Arnoud Witteveen joined Saturn Bioponics in 2015 to take forward the R&D with particular focus on hydroponic science. His work focuses on controlling the variables delivering consistent crop yields and quality including phytochemicals, shelf-life and overall nutritional values.

David May

Senior Project Manager, LIAT

David joined the University of Lincoln in January 2018 as a Senior Project Manager for LIAT (Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology).

David May is an agronomist by training, having studied Horticulture at the University of Reading and worked for ADAS as a crop advisor. David runs his own consultancy business alongside his work for LIAT, providing expert advice on food, flowers and plant quality.  David specialises in the impact of supply chains on product quality and in particular, temperature management and damages through handling. He has extensive experience in QA and supply chain processes. He helps business optimise quality whilst using their resources efficiently.

Jaz Singh, Innovating Agri-Tech

Jaz Singh

CEO, Innovation Agri-Tech

Innovation Agri-Tech Group (IAG) provides state-of-the-art agricultural technologies and solutions to help open up new food markets globally.

CEO Jaz Singh joined Innovation Agri-Tech in 2015. A dynamic entrepreneur, Jaz has extensive knowledge in the financial and agriculture sectors and has spent the last 10 years enhancing performance and delivering growth for small, medium and large businesses. His areas of expertise include vertical farming, indoor farming, hydroponics, aeroponics and aquaponics.

Chris Roberts, Cambridge Consultants

Chris Roberts

Head of Industrial Robotics, Cambridge Consultants

Cambridge Consultants is a global product development and technology consultancy firm providing outsourced research and development services.

Chris Roberts is a physicist with a broad technology background encompassing robotics, machine vision, security, cryptography and authentication, digital electronic engineering, algorithm design and system engineering, with an emphasis on low power solutions.

GroPod

Dan Hewitt

CEO, GroPod

GroPod is developing next generation growing systems that use aeroponics techniques for root vegetables and research crops. Aeroponics is a plant-cultivation technique where the plant roots are exposed in the air while nutrient solution is delivered to them in the form of a fine mist.

Dan Hewitt is the owner, founder and CEO of GroPod, and has two decades of agricultural experience which has included roles such as head of agriculture for Kettle Foods UK, running Grower Groups and sitting on the Board of the AHDB Potatoes Sector.

Adam Dixon, Phytoponics

Adam Dixon

CEO, Phytoponics

Phytoponics has developed a novel approach to deep-water hydroponics that incorporates deep-water culture, ebb and flood system, aeration, ventilation and plant support, all within an innovative growing module design. The flexible system provides an affordable entry into hydroponics and is quick to install.

Co-founder and CEO Adam Dixon was chosen to be a UN Young Champion of the Earth 2017 following his work evaluating establishing a hydroponic farm next to a refugee camp.

Lindsay Hargreaves, Frederick Hiam

Lindsay Hargreaves 

MD, Frederick Hiam

Frederick Hiam is a Suffolk based farming and fresh produce business specialising in root vegetables for retail, wholesale and food service sectors.

Lindsay grew up on farms on the Welsh Borders and North Lincolnshire and has significant experience of managing large farming businesses in East Anglia. In 2010 he was awarded a Nuffield Arden Scholarship to look at new science with the potential to transform agriculture and food; this was when he first gained an interest in vertical farming.

Jason Hawkins-Row, Aponic

Jason Hawkins-Row

CEO, Aponic

Aponic Ltd have designed and manufacture a vertical aeroponic farming system for growing fruit, vegetables, flowers, salad crops and herbs on a commercial scale 365 days a year. It uses 90% less water, offers much faster growth and much higher yields than traditional growing methods. Being vertical, it maximises ground usage by turning acreage into volume, and it uses very little energy to run.

Jason Hawkins-Row is an engineer and programmer with a passion for empowering people to grow highly nutritious, truly sustainable food anywhere in the world in a simple and predictable manner.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser

Director, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University

Director, Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University Ottoline Leyser DBE FRS is Professor of Plant Biology at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory.

Ottoline’s research interests are in the genetics of plant development and the role of plant hormones in plant developmental plasticity. She made significant contributions to understanding the mechanism of action of the plant hormone ‘auxin’ as well as to the identification of a second group of plant hormones known as strigolactones.

She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to plant science, science in society, and equality and diversity in science. Her BA and PhD in Genetics were awarded by the University of Cambridge.

Ben Rayner

Ben Rayner

Senior Advisor, Food Chain Innovation Team, Defra

Ben leads on “pre-farm gate” agri-tech innovation and works across several Government departments to ensure that current and future policy meets the needs of the UK agri-tech sector.

Prior to starting at Defra he spent several years working for the Environment Agency where he delivered Defra’s “Catchment Based Approach”. It involved worked closely with farmers, water companies and other stakeholders to develop novel solutions to elevated nitrate levels and other water quality issues in surface and ground waters due to diffuse agricultural pollution. He was also a Secretary of State appointed member of the Peak District National Park Authority (NPA) this involved ensuring that NPA plans and policy reflected the needs of businesses and residents. As part of this he worked with farmers to develop and promote funding schemes to enable farm business to diversify.

Andrew Blenkiron, Euston Estate

Andrew Blenkiron

Estate Director, Euston Estate

Suffolk’s Euston Estate has approximately 6,260 acres which are farmed ‘in-hand’ by Euston Farms, on which wheat, barley, oil seed rape, forage maize and sugar beet are grown, alongside the management of cattle and sheep. The land is also used for free-range pig and poultry farming, in addition to potato, onion, carrot and parsnip production by agreement with other producers.

Andrew Blenkiron became Estate Director in 2011, managing a total of 11,000 acres. He oversees all aspects of the Estate, including farming, let land, diverse enterprises, the historic house, shoot and woodland. Prior to this, he was Managing Director of Crichel Farms in Dorset. Andrew graduated from Harper Adams University in 1987.

David Purdy, John Deere

David Purdy

Territory Manager, John Deere

Territory Manager David Purdy has been with John Deere for 28 years, communicating the benefits of precision farming, agronomics and technology.

John Deere is a NYSE-listed manufacturer of agricultural equipment, founded in 1837. John Deere UK & Ireland started trading from Langar, Nottinghamshire in 1966, celebrating its 50th anniversary last year.

Phil Le Grice

Chair: Dr Phil Le Grice

Principal, Bicton College and Director of Rural Economy and Food, The Cornwall College Group

Dr Phil Le Grice is Director of Rural Economy and Food at the Cornwall College Group and Principal of Bicton and Duchy College. His vision is to inspire future generations to choose a career in farming and food.

Phil grew up on a farm in Morchard Bishop, Devon before undertaking a PhD at Seale-Hayne College, studying the impact of frost protection systems on potato crops. He joined the Agricultural Training Board, before becoming Director of Trials and Research at Duchy College. He is also a Member of the Board of Trustees for the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow, Cornwall.

Poul Hoveson, Salle Farms

Chair: Poul Hoveson

Director of Farming, Salle Estate, and Vice-Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

The Holkham Estate on the north Norfolk coast is made up of approximately 7,000 hectares of tenanted land, plus 3,000 hectares that is farmed ‘in-hand’ by the Holkham Farming Company. Cropping is done on a six course rotation with sugar beet, salad potatoes, and oil seed rape with a combinable crop in between. The livestock enterprises consist of a herd of 190 suckler beef cattle, plus a herd of Belted Galloway grazing the nature reserve in an environmentally sensitive area.

Originally from Denmark, Poul moved to the UK in 1987 to become Farms & Estate Manager for Salle Farms Company and continues to hold this position in addition to becoming Director of Farming for Holkham Farming Company in 2011. He is a past Director of Aylsham Growers, Morley Research and The Arable Group and is currently a member of the local Catchment Sensitive Farming Steering Group.

An early adopter of precision farming technology, catchment sensitive farming techniques and environmental stewardship schemes, Poul believes that environmental practices can complement modern intensive agriculture.

In 2014 the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association awarded Poul the Sir Timothy Colman prize for “his outstanding contribution towards promoting the interests and understanding of food, farming and the countryside in Norfolk”. In the same year Poul was also awarded Arable Farmer and Farmer of the Year by Farmers Weekly.

Sachin Schende, KisanHub

Sachin Shende

Co-founder and CEO, KisanHub

Sachin holds a Ph.D. in Computational Hydraulics from Loughborough University, and prior to founding KisanHub in 2012, managed the development of bond trading and research analytics platform for Barclays Global Investors and BlackRock.

KisanHub is a decision support system and data analytics tool for farmers. The core idea is to bring in disparate data sources which are external to the farm system and integrate with internal farm data to build an intelligent system which will assist farmers in decision making.

Matt O'Hagan, M&S

Matt O’Hagan

Senior Agronomist, Marks & Spencer

Matt O’Hagan is a Senior Agronomist at Marks and Spencers’ vegetable division. He graduated from Harper Adams University, before moving to Lincolnshire to work in the brassica industry. Matt was Technical Development Director at DPS Plc, where he helped develop its exotic fruit business. He was also Technical Director at Utopia/Total Exotics, importing exotic fruit and vegetables for major UK retailers and food processors.

Marks & Spencer is a major British multinational retailer, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It specialises in selling clothing, home products and luxury food products.

Philip Garford, Garford Farm Machinery

Philip Garford

Managing Director, Garford Farm Machinery

Garford Farm Machinery is a development, manufacturing and distribution company supplying high quality products to the UK and world agricultural market. Garford are recognised for their Robocrop Precision Guided Hoes and Robocrop Inter-Row Weeders.

Managing Director Philip Garford initially farmed on the Garford family farm, before establishing the machinery business in 1986. Garford Farm Machinery began by developing a sugar beet harvester, incorporating their skew bar topper (designed to achieve higher yield) and a Spiroll Cleaning System, removing clods of soil from sugar beet.

Ruth Bailey, AEA

Chair: Ruth Bailey

Director General/CEO, The Agricultural Engineers Association

Ruth Bailey was appointed Director General/CEO of The Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) in September 2014, with experience in the mining equipment supply sector.

She has a farming background from South Yorkshire, and holds a BA Honours degree in Modern Languages and Politics, studying Spanish and Russian at Wolverhampton Polytechnic and the University of Navarre, Spain and the Institute of Foreign Languages, Kiev, Ukraine

The Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) was established in 1875 to promote the technical, trade and commercial interests of British manufacturers and suppliers of agricultural machinery.

Calum Murray, Innovate UK

Chair: Calum Murray

Head of Agriculture and Food, Innovate UK

Calum Murray is Head of Agriculture and Food at Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency.

He represents Innovate UK within the UK Research Council’s “Global Food Security Initiative”, the LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) advisory board and the Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group and has been appointed to the N8 (group of Northern England Universities) AgriFood external advisory board. He was also a member of the X-Whitehall working group developing the “UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies” and currently provides input to the AgriFood Technology Council.

Calum studied agriculture at Aberdeen University and started his career with the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food’s extension service “ADAS” in England in 1982. In 1995 he was appointed by Bank of Scotland as national agricultural specialist becoming a Regional Director of the joint venture NFU Mutual Finance in 2006.

Calum joined Innovate UK in February 2010.

Ian Crute

Response by: Professor Ian Crute

Former Chief Scientist at AHDB

Professor Ian Crute has had an involvement in agricultural research since the early 1970s and was, until his recent retirement, Chief Scientist of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB); this position required him to take a high-level strategic overview of both crop and livestock production in the UK, from an industry perspective, including priorities for research, innovation and knowledge exchange.

Ian’s primary expertise is in plant pathology and genetics and he has a particular interest in the science of sustainability as applied to agricultural systems. Prior to joining AHDB in 2009, Ian was Director of Rothamsted Research for 10 years and this followed 25 years in Horticulture Research International (culminating in Directorship of the organisation’s laboratory at Wellesbourne).

Ian’s scientific work is recorded in over 170 papers and he has contributed to the production of several influential publications concerning science strategy and the future direction of agriculture. These include: the Royal Society’s “Reaping the Benefits” report; the Foresight report on “Global Future of Food and Farming”; the EASAC report on “Opportunities and Challenges for Using Crop Genetic Improvement Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture”; and the UK government’s “Strategy for Agricultural Technologies”.

Ian is now a Non-Executive Director of AHDB and serves on several other Boards and Committees connected with science and innovation including: the Agri-Food Technology Council.

Maria Beatriz Giraudo

Keynote Speaker: María Beatriz Giraudo

Argentinian Farmer and Winner of the Kleckner Award 2016

REAP 2017’s keynote speaker, María ‘Pilu’ Giraudo, is the 10th winner of the annual Kleckner Award from the Global Farmer Network. The award is presented to a global farmer who exemplifies strong leadership, vision and resolve in advancing the rights of farmers to choose technology and tools that will improve the quality, quantity and availability of agricultural products around the world.

Prof Jonathan Jones, Sainsburys Lab

Chair: Professor Jonathan Jones FRS

Group Leader, The Sainsbury Laboratory

Professor Jonathan Jones is a senior scientist at The Sainsbury Laboratory on Norwich Research Park. He investigates how plants resist disease, and how resistance is overcome by pathogens. Jonathan has isolated and characterised many resistance (R) genes that encode plant immune receptors, revealing how certain intracellular receptors recognise pathogen molecules and activate defence.

Before joining The Sainsbury Laboratory in 1988, Jonathan worked for a start-up agbiotech company, exploiting developments in molecular biology for crop improvement. He holds a BSc and PhD from the University of Cambridge and is a Professor at the University of East Anglia.

Richard Anscombe, Fram Farmers

Richard Anscombe

Chief Executive Officer of FramFarmers, and Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

Richard is chief executive of FramFarmers and is based at Framlingham.

FramFarmers is the UK’s leading farmer-owned cooperative for purchasing and grain marketing. It purchases more than £190m of products and services annually on behalf of more than 1,060 members who farm more than 275,000 hectares throughout the UK.

After studying at agricultural college, Richard began his career with Norsk Hydro Fertilisers before moving into the technology sector where he went on to co-found IT business Active Web Solutions.

Since joining what was then AtlasFram in 2010, he has developed a strategy to make FramFarmers the UK’s foremost farmer-owned purchasing and marketing co-operative.

Dr Belinda Clarke, Agri-Tech East

Dr Belinda Clarke

Director, Agri-Tech East

Belinda has led the development and growth of Agri-Tech East from its conception and brings significant experience of science and its translation into business opportunities. Originally trained as a plant scientist, Belinda is a Nuffield Scholar, an Associate of The Royal Agricultural Societies, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Chartered Biologist.

Belinda has held senior positions in a number of innovation driven organisations including the role of Lead Technologist for Biosciences at Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board). She is a council member for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and a trustee of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

Her first degree was in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and her PhD was awarded from the John Innes Centre through the University of East Anglia.

Dr Belinda Clarke

Director, Agri-Tech East

Under Belinda’s direction the membership of Agri-Tech East has grown to encompass businesses at every stage of the agrifood value chain and representatives from the leading academic and research organisations. Its international profile is growing and so is its influence with policymakers.

Originally trained as a plant scientist, Belinda is a Nuffield Scholar, an Associate of The Royal Agricultural Societies, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Chartered Biologist, a council member of the UKRI-BBSRC Council and a trustee of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

Ande Gregson, GreenLab

Ande Gregson

Founder and Director, Green Lab

Ande is the founder of Green Lab, an open innovation lab and ecosystem for individuals and organisations to design sustainable solutions to complex urban food, water and waste challenges. Encouraging creativity, collaboration, experimentation and play, it incubates ideas that make food systems more productive and resilient, and that can put more natural and healthy food on our tables.

Guy Poppy

Professor of Ecology, Centre for Biological Sciences University of Southampton, and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Food Standards Agency

Guy is Chief Scientific Adviser to the Food Standards Agency (UK Govt) and a Professor of Ecology in the Centre for Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton. As Chief Scientific Adviser to the FSA, Guy is responsible for the integrity of the processes used to source scientific evidence and ensure expert scientific advice is available to the agency, as well as representing the agency in the community of departmental Chief Scientific Advisers and the wider scientific community, and championing science within the agency through developing its scientists’ expertise.

Guy’s research is on global food security where he has led major research programmes on sustainably producing and protecting crops, and more recently the safety and standards of food. He has published more than 100 research papers, many of which have influenced policy or scientific thinking across the world, such as his early work on the risk assessment of GM crops.

William Cracroft-Eley

Lincolnshire farmer and Chairman, Terravesta

William established Terravesta in 2012 to deliver a secure and reliable national contract-based supply chain and develop the market for Miscanthus (elephant grass) as the UK’s number one energy crop.

Since planting Miscanthus at home in 2006 and realising its excellent potential as a highly profitable and high yielding perennial crop, William has made it his mission to bring order and transparency to Miscanthus supply.

Miscanthus grows over three metres tall and has the potential to yield 12-17 tonnes per hectare annually. It is planted once with a life span of over 20 years, it thrives on lower-grade, marginal land and it offers farmers a secure long-term income.

William comments that the environmental benefits of the crop are well documented: it can sequester carbon into the earth, which helps to alleviate CO2 pollution, it improves soil health and it encourages on-farm biodiversity.

Andrew Spicer

CEO, Algenuity

Andrew leads Algenuity, a global leader in algal biotechnology that is developing innovative solutions and technologies.

He also sits on several Advisory boards related to microalgal biotechnology and has provided consultancy for Proctor & Gamble and Novozymes.

Tony Bambridge

Managing Director, B&C Farming, and NFU Norfolk Chairman

Tony Bambridge is in full day-to-day control of B&C Farming and is the NFU County Chair for Norfolk. He is a Member of the Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee at the Potato Council and has won awards for his potato farming.

Tony argues that the biggest threat to food production in the UK is trade agreements. If, for example, countries with lower welfare standards and labour costs dump their chicken on the UK market this would damage the home market for both wheat and chicken.

On the positive side he believes that farmers are producing products that the market wants. If input costs were more competitively priced and technology used to increase efficiency then there is considerable scope to improve productivity.

Claire Domoney

Head, Metabolic Biology Department, John Innes Centre

Claire works on the molecular and genetic control of seed traits in pea using mutant populations and natural germplasm to provide novel genetic variation.

Her research is linked to understanding the impact of seed composition on human health, e.g. the digestibility of pea protein and increasing resistant starch, while determining the effects on plant growth, yield and pest tolerance.

Claire’s research also investigates the regulation of processes associated with senescence, specifically the loss of chlorophyll from seeds.

Claire comments that we need to consider food production, protection of the environment and human health in the same package. We have moved in a very short space of time from food shortage to considering food as a killer and a promoter of disease. Her research is showing the potential of resistant starch and improved protein profiles to deliver novel and healthier food products – the former to tackle obesity and Type 2 diabetes, the latter to provide novel and nutritious foods. We need to connect the production of healthy food with maintaining a healthy countryside and a healthy population.

Stuart Knight

Deputy Director, NIAB

Stuart Knight is the Deputy Director of NIAB in Cambridge and has over 25 years of experience as a research agronomist.

Stuart’s main interest is combinable crop husbandry and its impacts on crop performance (yield, quality, resource efficiency and profitability), including: management of soil and fertiliser nutrients; monitoring and control of fungal diseases; evaluation of crop protection chemicals; managing within-field variation; and decision support.

Stuart is a member of the Sustainable Intensification Research Network advisory board and was leader of Project 1 of the Defra and Welsh Government funded Sustainable Intensification Research Platform (SIP), looking at the impact of farming systems and management practices on the economic and environmental performance of farms.

Dr Dave Hughes

Head of Global Technology Scouting, Syngenta

As Global Head of Technology Scouting for Syngenta, Dave is responsible for seeking out strategic relationships with universities and other companies around the globe in order to collaborate and co-develop new technologies for use in agriculture.

This multidisciplinary approach is reflected in the collaboration portfolio, which encompasses chemistry, synthetic biology, AI, robotics as well as genomics and engineering.

He believes that greater understanding of fundamental biology is creating many opportunities for improving the sustainable production of food. Of particular interest is a new class of biocontrol agent based on RNA which can cause the pest to ‘self destruct’ by dialling down production of a protein of choice in the pest in a highly specific way.

Dave comments that a key challenge for the UK is how to support productivity of agriculture whilst ensuring the quality and safety of our food is maintained and the environmental impact of food production is reduced. He believes this is achievable, but that the best state-of-the-art technology will need to be embraced to succeed. It is vital that decisions impacting the UK’s ability to feed itself are based on sound scientific evidence, not as a reaction to a few strong voices.

Chair: Mark Suthern

Head of Agriculture, Barclays

Mark is Managing Director – National Head of Agriculture for Barclays Bank where he leads a team of 200 colleagues within the UK focused entirely on Farming, Landed Estates, Agri-Tech and Energy & Environment

Mark has been on secondment to India where he was impressed by the collaborative approach to problem solving. He also offers insights from South Africa where smart irrigation, soil science and cover crops are rigorously deployed to intensive production sustainably and the Netherlands, which invests heavily in agri-tech.

He believes the resilience and innovation of UK farmers should not be underestimated and sees greater transparency in the supply chain, robotics to remove dependence on cheap labour and greater use of data as key enablers.

Chair: Nicole Sadd

Executive Director, Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise

Nicole is Executive Director of Rothamstead Centre for Research and Enterprise; the hub promotes collaboration and innovation by partnering with commercial agricultural technology businesses to open up the research process.

Prof Gerard Parr MBE

Head, School of Computing Sciences, University of East Anglia

Gerard is a highly-regarded academic who has attracted several million pounds of research funding over his career and advised governments on the allocation of funding to large-scale projects worth more than £2.5 billion. A significant amount of his funding has been from companies in the ICT sector and UK Research Councils.

Gerard is driving force in the East of England Smart Emerging Technologies Institute (EoE SETI), which aims to design and implement a number of high-speed digital test beds to support innovation in AI, imaging, genomics, robotics and smart sensors for the agrifood industry.

Dr Zhenling Cui

China Agricultural University, Winner, Norman Borlaug Award

Zhenling Cui is internationally recognized for his scientific work in improving soil health and increasing crop production through innovative fertilizer management strategies. His work in China has led to improved nitrogen efficiency, resulting in higher maize and wheat yields and less soil degradation and water pollution.

Cui began his research in 2000, and has since published numerous papers in the journal Nature over the years. Through 269 on-farm experiments, Cui’s system significantly reduced nitrogen fertilizer application by as much as 60 percent for wheat and 40 percent for corn. This system was further refined to take into account the density and type of crop with a yield increase of 20 percent for wheat. Cui estimated that in the past 10 years, the system has been applied to a cumulative 80 million acres of China farmland, greatly reducing soil degradation and water pollution.

This work led to Dr Cui receiving in 2017 the prestigious Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application.

Chair: Dr Susannah Bolton

Knowledge Exchange Director, AHDB

Susannah is responsible for managing AHDB’s Cereals and Oilseed division’s portfolio of R&D projects and associated knowledge transfer activities, including the production and publication of the recommended lists of crop varieties.

Richard Anscombe

Chief Executive Officer of FramFarmers, and Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

Richard is chief executive of FramFarmers; over the last ten years he has led the development of the organisation to become the UK’s leading farmer-owned cooperative for purchasing and grain marketing.

A firm believer in the use of technology to meet the challenges of the industry, he identifies sensor technology, robotics and advances in weather prediction as examples of where our sector will continue its technological evolution.

Agri-tech offers new futures

Richard Anscombe

Chief Executive Officer of FramFarmers, and Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

Richard is chief executive of FramFarmers; over the last ten years he has led the development of the organisation to become the UK’s leading farmer-owned cooperative for purchasing and grain marketing.

A firm believer in the use of technology to meet the challenges of the industry, he identifies sensor technology, robotics and advances in weather prediction as examples of where our sector will continue its technological evolution.

Chair: Dr Susannah Bolton

Knowledge Exchange Director, AHDB

Susannah is responsible for managing AHDB’s Cereals and Oilseed division’s portfolio of R&D projects and associated knowledge transfer activities, including the production and publication of the recommended lists of crop varieties.

Dr Zhenling Cui

China Agricultural University, Winner, Norman Borlaug Award

Zhenling Cui is internationally recognized for his scientific work in improving soil health and increasing crop production through innovative fertilizer management strategies. His work in China has led to improved nitrogen efficiency, resulting in higher maize and wheat yields and less soil degradation and water pollution.

Cui began his research in 2000, and has since published numerous papers in the journal Nature over the years. Through 269 on-farm experiments, Cui’s system significantly reduced nitrogen fertilizer application by as much as 60 percent for wheat and 40 percent for corn. This system was further refined to take into account the density and type of crop with a yield increase of 20 percent for wheat. Cui estimated that in the past 10 years, the system has been applied to a cumulative 80 million acres of China farmland, greatly reducing soil degradation and water pollution.

This work led to Dr Cui receiving in 2017 the prestigious Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application.

Prof Gerard Parr MBE

Head, School of Computing Sciences, University of East Anglia

Gerard is a highly-regarded academic who has attracted several million pounds of research funding over his career and advised governments on the allocation of funding to large-scale projects worth more than £2.5 billion. A significant amount of his funding has been from companies in the ICT sector and UK Research Councils.

Gerard is driving force in the East of England Smart Emerging Technologies Institute (EoE SETI), which aims to design and implement a number of high-speed digital test beds to support innovation in AI, imaging, genomics, robotics and smart sensors for the agrifood industry.

Chair: Nicole Sadd

Executive Director, Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise

Nicole is Executive Director of Rothamstead Centre for Research and Enterprise; the hub promotes collaboration and innovation by partnering with commercial agricultural technology businesses to open up the research process.

Chair: Mark Suthern

Head of Agriculture, Barclays

Mark is Managing Director – National Head of Agriculture for Barclays Bank where he leads a team of 200 colleagues within the UK focused entirely on Farming, Landed Estates, Agri-Tech and Energy & Environment

Mark has been on secondment to India where he was impressed by the collaborative approach to problem solving. He also offers insights from South Africa where smart irrigation, soil science and cover crops are rigorously deployed to intensive production sustainably and the Netherlands, which invests heavily in agri-tech.

He believes the resilience and innovation of UK farmers should not be underestimated and sees greater transparency in the supply chain, robotics to remove dependence on cheap labour and greater use of data as key enablers.

Dr Dave Hughes

Head of Global Technology Scouting, Syngenta

As Global Head of Technology Scouting for Syngenta, Dave is responsible for seeking out strategic relationships with universities and other companies around the globe in order to collaborate and co-develop new technologies for use in agriculture.

This multidisciplinary approach is reflected in the collaboration portfolio, which encompasses chemistry, synthetic biology, AI, robotics as well as genomics and engineering.

He believes that greater understanding of fundamental biology is creating many opportunities for improving the sustainable production of food. Of particular interest is a new class of biocontrol agent based on RNA which can cause the pest to ‘self destruct’ by dialling down production of a protein of choice in the pest in a highly specific way.

Dave comments that a key challenge for the UK is how to support productivity of agriculture whilst ensuring the quality and safety of our food is maintained and the environmental impact of food production is reduced. He believes this is achievable, but that the best state-of-the-art technology will need to be embraced to succeed. It is vital that decisions impacting the UK’s ability to feed itself are based on sound scientific evidence, not as a reaction to a few strong voices.

Stuart Knight

Deputy Director, NIAB

Stuart Knight is the Deputy Director of NIAB in Cambridge and has over 25 years of experience as a research agronomist.

Stuart’s main interest is combinable crop husbandry and its impacts on crop performance (yield, quality, resource efficiency and profitability), including: management of soil and fertiliser nutrients; monitoring and control of fungal diseases; evaluation of crop protection chemicals; managing within-field variation; and decision support.

Stuart is a member of the Sustainable Intensification Research Network advisory board and was leader of Project 1 of the Defra and Welsh Government funded Sustainable Intensification Research Platform (SIP), looking at the impact of farming systems and management practices on the economic and environmental performance of farms.

Claire Domoney

Head, Metabolic Biology Department, John Innes Centre

Claire works on the molecular and genetic control of seed traits in pea using mutant populations and natural germplasm to provide novel genetic variation.

Her research is linked to understanding the impact of seed composition on human health, e.g. the digestibility of pea protein and increasing resistant starch, while determining the effects on plant growth, yield and pest tolerance.

Claire’s research also investigates the regulation of processes associated with senescence, specifically the loss of chlorophyll from seeds.

Claire comments that we need to consider food production, protection of the environment and human health in the same package. We have moved in a very short space of time from food shortage to considering food as a killer and a promoter of disease. Her research is showing the potential of resistant starch and improved protein profiles to deliver novel and healthier food products – the former to tackle obesity and Type 2 diabetes, the latter to provide novel and nutritious foods. We need to connect the production of healthy food with maintaining a healthy countryside and a healthy population.

Tony Bambridge

Managing Director, B&C Farming, and NFU Norfolk Chairman

Tony Bambridge is in full day-to-day control of B&C Farming and is the NFU County Chair for Norfolk. He is a Member of the Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee at the Potato Council and has won awards for his potato farming.

Tony argues that the biggest threat to food production in the UK is trade agreements. If, for example, countries with lower welfare standards and labour costs dump their chicken on the UK market this would damage the home market for both wheat and chicken.

On the positive side he believes that farmers are producing products that the market wants. If input costs were more competitively priced and technology used to increase efficiency then there is considerable scope to improve productivity.

Andrew Spicer

CEO, Algenuity

Andrew leads Algenuity, a global leader in algal biotechnology that is developing innovative solutions and technologies.

He also sits on several Advisory boards related to microalgal biotechnology and has provided consultancy for Proctor & Gamble and Novozymes.

William Cracroft-Eley

Lincolnshire farmer and Chairman, Terravesta

William established Terravesta in 2012 to deliver a secure and reliable national contract-based supply chain and develop the market for Miscanthus (elephant grass) as the UK’s number one energy crop.

Since planting Miscanthus at home in 2006 and realising its excellent potential as a highly profitable and high yielding perennial crop, William has made it his mission to bring order and transparency to Miscanthus supply.

Miscanthus grows over three metres tall and has the potential to yield 12-17 tonnes per hectare annually. It is planted once with a life span of over 20 years, it thrives on lower-grade, marginal land and it offers farmers a secure long-term income.

William comments that the environmental benefits of the crop are well documented: it can sequester carbon into the earth, which helps to alleviate CO2 pollution, it improves soil health and it encourages on-farm biodiversity.

Guy Poppy

Professor of Ecology, Centre for Biological Sciences University of Southampton, and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Food Standards Agency

Guy is Chief Scientific Adviser to the Food Standards Agency (UK Govt) and a Professor of Ecology in the Centre for Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton. As Chief Scientific Adviser to the FSA, Guy is responsible for the integrity of the processes used to source scientific evidence and ensure expert scientific advice is available to the agency, as well as representing the agency in the community of departmental Chief Scientific Advisers and the wider scientific community, and championing science within the agency through developing its scientists’ expertise.

Guy’s research is on global food security where he has led major research programmes on sustainably producing and protecting crops, and more recently the safety and standards of food. He has published more than 100 research papers, many of which have influenced policy or scientific thinking across the world, such as his early work on the risk assessment of GM crops.

Ande Gregson, GreenLab

Ande Gregson

Founder and Director, Green Lab

Ande is the founder of Green Lab, an open innovation lab and ecosystem for individuals and organisations to design sustainable solutions to complex urban food, water and waste challenges. Encouraging creativity, collaboration, experimentation and play, it incubates ideas that make food systems more productive and resilient, and that can put more natural and healthy food on our tables.

Dr Belinda Clarke

Director, Agri-Tech East

Under Belinda’s direction the membership of Agri-Tech East has grown to encompass businesses at every stage of the agrifood value chain and representatives from the leading academic and research organisations. Its international profile is growing and so is its influence with policymakers.

Originally trained as a plant scientist, Belinda is a Nuffield Scholar, an Associate of The Royal Agricultural Societies, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Chartered Biologist, a council member of the UKRI-BBSRC Council and a trustee of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

Dr Belinda Clarke, Agri-Tech East

Dr Belinda Clarke

Director, Agri-Tech East

Belinda has led the development and growth of Agri-Tech East from its conception and brings significant experience of science and its translation into business opportunities. Originally trained as a plant scientist, Belinda is a Nuffield Scholar, an Associate of The Royal Agricultural Societies, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Chartered Biologist.

Belinda has held senior positions in a number of innovation driven organisations including the role of Lead Technologist for Biosciences at Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board). She is a council member for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and a trustee of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

Her first degree was in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and her PhD was awarded from the John Innes Centre through the University of East Anglia.

Richard Anscombe, Fram Farmers

Richard Anscombe

Chief Executive Officer of FramFarmers, and Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

Richard is chief executive of FramFarmers and is based at Framlingham.

FramFarmers is the UK’s leading farmer-owned cooperative for purchasing and grain marketing. It purchases more than £190m of products and services annually on behalf of more than 1,060 members who farm more than 275,000 hectares throughout the UK.

After studying at agricultural college, Richard began his career with Norsk Hydro Fertilisers before moving into the technology sector where he went on to co-found IT business Active Web Solutions.

Since joining what was then AtlasFram in 2010, he has developed a strategy to make FramFarmers the UK’s foremost farmer-owned purchasing and marketing co-operative.

Prof Jonathan Jones, Sainsburys Lab

Chair: Professor Jonathan Jones FRS

Group Leader, The Sainsbury Laboratory

Professor Jonathan Jones is a senior scientist at The Sainsbury Laboratory on Norwich Research Park. He investigates how plants resist disease, and how resistance is overcome by pathogens. Jonathan has isolated and characterised many resistance (R) genes that encode plant immune receptors, revealing how certain intracellular receptors recognise pathogen molecules and activate defence.

Before joining The Sainsbury Laboratory in 1988, Jonathan worked for a start-up agbiotech company, exploiting developments in molecular biology for crop improvement. He holds a BSc and PhD from the University of Cambridge and is a Professor at the University of East Anglia.

Maria Beatriz Giraudo

Keynote Speaker: María Beatriz Giraudo

Argentinian Farmer and Winner of the Kleckner Award 2016

REAP 2017’s keynote speaker, María ‘Pilu’ Giraudo, is the 10th winner of the annual Kleckner Award from the Global Farmer Network. The award is presented to a global farmer who exemplifies strong leadership, vision and resolve in advancing the rights of farmers to choose technology and tools that will improve the quality, quantity and availability of agricultural products around the world.

Ian Crute

Response by: Professor Ian Crute

Former Chief Scientist at AHDB

Professor Ian Crute has had an involvement in agricultural research since the early 1970s and was, until his recent retirement, Chief Scientist of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB); this position required him to take a high-level strategic overview of both crop and livestock production in the UK, from an industry perspective, including priorities for research, innovation and knowledge exchange.

Ian’s primary expertise is in plant pathology and genetics and he has a particular interest in the science of sustainability as applied to agricultural systems. Prior to joining AHDB in 2009, Ian was Director of Rothamsted Research for 10 years and this followed 25 years in Horticulture Research International (culminating in Directorship of the organisation’s laboratory at Wellesbourne).

Ian’s scientific work is recorded in over 170 papers and he has contributed to the production of several influential publications concerning science strategy and the future direction of agriculture. These include: the Royal Society’s “Reaping the Benefits” report; the Foresight report on “Global Future of Food and Farming”; the EASAC report on “Opportunities and Challenges for Using Crop Genetic Improvement Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture”; and the UK government’s “Strategy for Agricultural Technologies”.

Ian is now a Non-Executive Director of AHDB and serves on several other Boards and Committees connected with science and innovation including: the Agri-Food Technology Council.

Calum Murray, Innovate UK

Chair: Calum Murray

Head of Agriculture and Food, Innovate UK

Calum Murray is Head of Agriculture and Food at Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency.

He represents Innovate UK within the UK Research Council’s “Global Food Security Initiative”, the LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) advisory board and the Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group and has been appointed to the N8 (group of Northern England Universities) AgriFood external advisory board. He was also a member of the X-Whitehall working group developing the “UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies” and currently provides input to the AgriFood Technology Council.

Calum studied agriculture at Aberdeen University and started his career with the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food’s extension service “ADAS” in England in 1982. In 1995 he was appointed by Bank of Scotland as national agricultural specialist becoming a Regional Director of the joint venture NFU Mutual Finance in 2006.

Calum joined Innovate UK in February 2010.

Ruth Bailey, AEA

Chair: Ruth Bailey

Director General/CEO, The Agricultural Engineers Association

Ruth Bailey was appointed Director General/CEO of The Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) in September 2014, with experience in the mining equipment supply sector.

She has a farming background from South Yorkshire, and holds a BA Honours degree in Modern Languages and Politics, studying Spanish and Russian at Wolverhampton Polytechnic and the University of Navarre, Spain and the Institute of Foreign Languages, Kiev, Ukraine

The Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) was established in 1875 to promote the technical, trade and commercial interests of British manufacturers and suppliers of agricultural machinery.

Philip Garford, Garford Farm Machinery

Philip Garford

Managing Director, Garford Farm Machinery

Garford Farm Machinery is a development, manufacturing and distribution company supplying high quality products to the UK and world agricultural market. Garford are recognised for their Robocrop Precision Guided Hoes and Robocrop Inter-Row Weeders.

Managing Director Philip Garford initially farmed on the Garford family farm, before establishing the machinery business in 1986. Garford Farm Machinery began by developing a sugar beet harvester, incorporating their skew bar topper (designed to achieve higher yield) and a Spiroll Cleaning System, removing clods of soil from sugar beet.

Matt O'Hagan, M&S

Matt O’Hagan

Senior Agronomist, Marks & Spencer

Matt O’Hagan is a Senior Agronomist at Marks and Spencers’ vegetable division. He graduated from Harper Adams University, before moving to Lincolnshire to work in the brassica industry. Matt was Technical Development Director at DPS Plc, where he helped develop its exotic fruit business. He was also Technical Director at Utopia/Total Exotics, importing exotic fruit and vegetables for major UK retailers and food processors.

Marks & Spencer is a major British multinational retailer, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It specialises in selling clothing, home products and luxury food products.

Sachin Schende, KisanHub

Sachin Shende

Co-founder and CEO, KisanHub

Sachin holds a Ph.D. in Computational Hydraulics from Loughborough University, and prior to founding KisanHub in 2012, managed the development of bond trading and research analytics platform for Barclays Global Investors and BlackRock.

KisanHub is a decision support system and data analytics tool for farmers. The core idea is to bring in disparate data sources which are external to the farm system and integrate with internal farm data to build an intelligent system which will assist farmers in decision making.

Poul Hoveson, Salle Farms

Chair: Poul Hoveson

Director of Farming, Salle Estate, and Vice-Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

The Holkham Estate on the north Norfolk coast is made up of approximately 7,000 hectares of tenanted land, plus 3,000 hectares that is farmed ‘in-hand’ by the Holkham Farming Company. Cropping is done on a six course rotation with sugar beet, salad potatoes, and oil seed rape with a combinable crop in between. The livestock enterprises consist of a herd of 190 suckler beef cattle, plus a herd of Belted Galloway grazing the nature reserve in an environmentally sensitive area.

Originally from Denmark, Poul moved to the UK in 1987 to become Farms & Estate Manager for Salle Farms Company and continues to hold this position in addition to becoming Director of Farming for Holkham Farming Company in 2011. He is a past Director of Aylsham Growers, Morley Research and The Arable Group and is currently a member of the local Catchment Sensitive Farming Steering Group.

An early adopter of precision farming technology, catchment sensitive farming techniques and environmental stewardship schemes, Poul believes that environmental practices can complement modern intensive agriculture.

In 2014 the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association awarded Poul the Sir Timothy Colman prize for “his outstanding contribution towards promoting the interests and understanding of food, farming and the countryside in Norfolk”. In the same year Poul was also awarded Arable Farmer and Farmer of the Year by Farmers Weekly.

Phil Le Grice

Chair: Dr Phil Le Grice

Principal, Bicton College and Director of Rural Economy and Food, The Cornwall College Group

Dr Phil Le Grice is Director of Rural Economy and Food at the Cornwall College Group and Principal of Bicton and Duchy College. His vision is to inspire future generations to choose a career in farming and food.

Phil grew up on a farm in Morchard Bishop, Devon before undertaking a PhD at Seale-Hayne College, studying the impact of frost protection systems on potato crops. He joined the Agricultural Training Board, before becoming Director of Trials and Research at Duchy College. He is also a Member of the Board of Trustees for the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow, Cornwall.

David Purdy, John Deere

David Purdy

Territory Manager, John Deere

Territory Manager David Purdy has been with John Deere for 28 years, communicating the benefits of precision farming, agronomics and technology.

John Deere is a NYSE-listed manufacturer of agricultural equipment, founded in 1837. John Deere UK & Ireland started trading from Langar, Nottinghamshire in 1966, celebrating its 50th anniversary last year.

Andrew Blenkiron, Euston Estate

Andrew Blenkiron

Estate Director, Euston Estate

Suffolk’s Euston Estate has approximately 6,260 acres which are farmed ‘in-hand’ by Euston Farms, on which wheat, barley, oil seed rape, forage maize and sugar beet are grown, alongside the management of cattle and sheep. The land is also used for free-range pig and poultry farming, in addition to potato, onion, carrot and parsnip production by agreement with other producers.

Andrew Blenkiron became Estate Director in 2011, managing a total of 11,000 acres. He oversees all aspects of the Estate, including farming, let land, diverse enterprises, the historic house, shoot and woodland. Prior to this, he was Managing Director of Crichel Farms in Dorset. Andrew graduated from Harper Adams University in 1987.

Ben Rayner

Ben Rayner

Senior Advisor, Food Chain Innovation Team, Defra

Ben leads on “pre-farm gate” agri-tech innovation and works across several Government departments to ensure that current and future policy meets the needs of the UK agri-tech sector.

Prior to starting at Defra he spent several years working for the Environment Agency where he delivered Defra’s “Catchment Based Approach”. It involved worked closely with farmers, water companies and other stakeholders to develop novel solutions to elevated nitrate levels and other water quality issues in surface and ground waters due to diffuse agricultural pollution. He was also a Secretary of State appointed member of the Peak District National Park Authority (NPA) this involved ensuring that NPA plans and policy reflected the needs of businesses and residents. As part of this he worked with farmers to develop and promote funding schemes to enable farm business to diversify.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser

Director, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University

Director, Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University Ottoline Leyser DBE FRS is Professor of Plant Biology at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory.

Ottoline’s research interests are in the genetics of plant development and the role of plant hormones in plant developmental plasticity. She made significant contributions to understanding the mechanism of action of the plant hormone ‘auxin’ as well as to the identification of a second group of plant hormones known as strigolactones.

She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to plant science, science in society, and equality and diversity in science. Her BA and PhD in Genetics were awarded by the University of Cambridge.

Jason Hawkins-Row, Aponic

Jason Hawkins-Row

CEO, Aponic

Aponic Ltd have designed and manufacture a vertical aeroponic farming system for growing fruit, vegetables, flowers, salad crops and herbs on a commercial scale 365 days a year. It uses 90% less water, offers much faster growth and much higher yields than traditional growing methods. Being vertical, it maximises ground usage by turning acreage into volume, and it uses very little energy to run.

Jason Hawkins-Row is an engineer and programmer with a passion for empowering people to grow highly nutritious, truly sustainable food anywhere in the world in a simple and predictable manner.

Lindsay Hargreaves, Frederick Hiam

Lindsay Hargreaves 

MD, Frederick Hiam

Frederick Hiam is a Suffolk based farming and fresh produce business specialising in root vegetables for retail, wholesale and food service sectors.

Lindsay grew up on farms on the Welsh Borders and North Lincolnshire and has significant experience of managing large farming businesses in East Anglia. In 2010 he was awarded a Nuffield Arden Scholarship to look at new science with the potential to transform agriculture and food; this was when he first gained an interest in vertical farming.

Adam Dixon, Phytoponics

Adam Dixon

CEO, Phytoponics

Phytoponics has developed a novel approach to deep-water hydroponics that incorporates deep-water culture, ebb and flood system, aeration, ventilation and plant support, all within an innovative growing module design. The flexible system provides an affordable entry into hydroponics and is quick to install.

Co-founder and CEO Adam Dixon was chosen to be a UN Young Champion of the Earth 2017 following his work evaluating establishing a hydroponic farm next to a refugee camp.

GroPod

Dan Hewitt

CEO, GroPod

GroPod is developing next generation growing systems that use aeroponics techniques for root vegetables and research crops. Aeroponics is a plant-cultivation technique where the plant roots are exposed in the air while nutrient solution is delivered to them in the form of a fine mist.

Dan Hewitt is the owner, founder and CEO of GroPod, and has two decades of agricultural experience which has included roles such as head of agriculture for Kettle Foods UK, running Grower Groups and sitting on the Board of the AHDB Potatoes Sector.

Chris Roberts, Cambridge Consultants

Chris Roberts

Head of Industrial Robotics, Cambridge Consultants

Cambridge Consultants is a global product development and technology consultancy firm providing outsourced research and development services.

Chris Roberts is a physicist with a broad technology background encompassing robotics, machine vision, security, cryptography and authentication, digital electronic engineering, algorithm design and system engineering, with an emphasis on low power solutions.

Jaz Singh, Innovating Agri-Tech

Jaz Singh

CEO, Innovation Agri-Tech

Innovation Agri-Tech Group (IAG) provides state-of-the-art agricultural technologies and solutions to help open up new food markets globally.

CEO Jaz Singh joined Innovation Agri-Tech in 2015. A dynamic entrepreneur, Jaz has extensive knowledge in the financial and agriculture sectors and has spent the last 10 years enhancing performance and delivering growth for small, medium and large businesses. His areas of expertise include vertical farming, indoor farming, hydroponics, aeroponics and aquaponics.

David May

Senior Project Manager, LIAT

David joined the University of Lincoln in January 2018 as a Senior Project Manager for LIAT (Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology).

David May is an agronomist by training, having studied Horticulture at the University of Reading and worked for ADAS as a crop advisor. David runs his own consultancy business alongside his work for LIAT, providing expert advice on food, flowers and plant quality.  David specialises in the impact of supply chains on product quality and in particular, temperature management and damages through handling. He has extensive experience in QA and supply chain processes. He helps business optimise quality whilst using their resources efficiently.

Arnoud Witteveen, Saturn Bioponics

Arnoud Witteveen

CTO, Saturn Bioponics

Saturn Bioponics is an advanced hydroponic science and technology company delivering sustainable solutions with a rapid payback.

Arnoud Witteveen joined Saturn Bioponics in 2015 to take forward the R&D with particular focus on hydroponic science. His work focuses on controlling the variables delivering consistent crop yields and quality including phytochemicals, shelf-life and overall nutritional values.

Ben Barnes, Gs

Ben Barnes

Innovation & Research Associate, G’s Fresh

G’s Growers Ltd is an independent producer organisation with 20 grower members in the UK and Spain. G’s Growers’ crop range includes wholehead and babyleaf salad, celery, radish, onions, salad onions, beetroot, mushrooms, Chinese leaf and leeks. Collectively G’s Growers farm over 7,500 hectares of specialist crop which they harvest, process or pack for sale onto their end customers.

Ben Barnes has recently joined G’s and heads up the research into controlled environment cropping.

Rhydian Beynon-Davies, Stockbridge Technology Centre

Rhydian Beynon-Davies

Head of Novel Growing Systems, Stockbridge Technology Centre

Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC) was launched to ensure continued technological developments for the horticultural industry.

Rhydian Beynon-Davies initially joined STC after his PhD at Lancaster University, investigating the influence of environment on rooting systems. At STC he headed up a project looking into the use of LED lighting for protected crops such as tomatoes. He then moved to G’s Growers to manage the development of G’s burgeoning indoor farming operations, before returning to STC as head of the novel growing systems division.

Kate Hofman, GrowUp Farms

Kate Hofman

CEO, GrowUp Farms

GrowUp Farms is a Controlled Environment Production (CEP) business that specialises in high-care and highly automated production facilities to grow that is safer, more sustainable and tastier than traditional produce.

Kate Hofman is responsible for the commercial aspects of GrowUp, having founded the company six years ago with CTO Tom Webster. In her spare time she runs around after her toddler and dog.

Rob Wylie, WHEB

Rob Wylie

Chairman, Cambridge Agritech

Rob has focused on technology commercialisation and investment in the agri-tech and resource efficiency sectors for around 30 years. He is Chairman of Cambridge Agritech and Five Seasons VC, investment firms focused on agri/foodtech, and Chairman of 3 Agritech companies.

Ande Gregson, GreenLab

Ande Gregson

Founder and Director, Green Lab

Green Lab is an open innovation lab and ecosystem for individuals and organisations to design sustainable solutions to complex urban food, water and waste challenges.

Ande Gregson started out in IT and founded and conceived media140, Europe’s first real-time web-conference, and subsequently developed it into a global social media brand. Following the success of media140 he became involved in philanthropic ventures such as Science Rewired before establishing Green Lab in 2015 to work with entrepreneurs and businesses to design food production systems, processes and new foods that can be scaled from a bench-scale trial to world-wide impact.

Paul Challinor, Jones Food Company

Paul Challinor

Co-founder and CTO, Jones Food Company

Dr. Paul Challinor is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of the Jones Food Company Ltd, which has developed a groundbreaking, high-care, fresh food, vertical crop production facility. The unit includes the latest innovations in intensive hydroponics, GE LED lighting and cropping system automation.

Dr. Challinor is a professionally qualified consultant, with wide-ranging agronomic and technical experience in the UK conventional and organic food crop production Industry. He holds broad experience encompassing intensive vegetable, fruit, flower and pharmaceutical crop production systems, with specialist knowledge of intensive hydroponics and substrate culture.

Start-Up Showcase

Richard Anscombe

Chief Executive Officer of FramFarmers, and Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

Richard is chief executive of FramFarmers; over the last ten years he has led the development of the organisation to become the UK’s leading farmer-owned cooperative for purchasing and grain marketing.

A firm believer in the use of technology to meet the challenges of the industry, he identifies sensor technology, robotics and advances in weather prediction as examples of where our sector will continue its technological evolution.

Chair: Dr Susannah Bolton

Knowledge Exchange Director, AHDB

Susannah is responsible for managing AHDB’s Cereals and Oilseed division’s portfolio of R&D projects and associated knowledge transfer activities, including the production and publication of the recommended lists of crop varieties.

Dr Zhenling Cui

China Agricultural University, Winner, Norman Borlaug Award

Zhenling Cui is internationally recognized for his scientific work in improving soil health and increasing crop production through innovative fertilizer management strategies. His work in China has led to improved nitrogen efficiency, resulting in higher maize and wheat yields and less soil degradation and water pollution.

Cui began his research in 2000, and has since published numerous papers in the journal Nature over the years. Through 269 on-farm experiments, Cui’s system significantly reduced nitrogen fertilizer application by as much as 60 percent for wheat and 40 percent for corn. This system was further refined to take into account the density and type of crop with a yield increase of 20 percent for wheat. Cui estimated that in the past 10 years, the system has been applied to a cumulative 80 million acres of China farmland, greatly reducing soil degradation and water pollution.

This work led to Dr Cui receiving in 2017 the prestigious Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application.

Prof Gerard Parr MBE

Head, School of Computing Sciences, University of East Anglia

Gerard is a highly-regarded academic who has attracted several million pounds of research funding over his career and advised governments on the allocation of funding to large-scale projects worth more than £2.5 billion. A significant amount of his funding has been from companies in the ICT sector and UK Research Councils.

Gerard is driving force in the East of England Smart Emerging Technologies Institute (EoE SETI), which aims to design and implement a number of high-speed digital test beds to support innovation in AI, imaging, genomics, robotics and smart sensors for the agrifood industry.

Chair: Nicole Sadd

Executive Director, Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise

Nicole is Executive Director of Rothamstead Centre for Research and Enterprise; the hub promotes collaboration and innovation by partnering with commercial agricultural technology businesses to open up the research process.

Chair: Mark Suthern

Head of Agriculture, Barclays

Mark is Managing Director – National Head of Agriculture for Barclays Bank where he leads a team of 200 colleagues within the UK focused entirely on Farming, Landed Estates, Agri-Tech and Energy & Environment

Mark has been on secondment to India where he was impressed by the collaborative approach to problem solving. He also offers insights from South Africa where smart irrigation, soil science and cover crops are rigorously deployed to intensive production sustainably and the Netherlands, which invests heavily in agri-tech.

He believes the resilience and innovation of UK farmers should not be underestimated and sees greater transparency in the supply chain, robotics to remove dependence on cheap labour and greater use of data as key enablers.

Dr Dave Hughes

Head of Global Technology Scouting, Syngenta

As Global Head of Technology Scouting for Syngenta, Dave is responsible for seeking out strategic relationships with universities and other companies around the globe in order to collaborate and co-develop new technologies for use in agriculture.

This multidisciplinary approach is reflected in the collaboration portfolio, which encompasses chemistry, synthetic biology, AI, robotics as well as genomics and engineering.

He believes that greater understanding of fundamental biology is creating many opportunities for improving the sustainable production of food. Of particular interest is a new class of biocontrol agent based on RNA which can cause the pest to ‘self destruct’ by dialling down production of a protein of choice in the pest in a highly specific way.

Dave comments that a key challenge for the UK is how to support productivity of agriculture whilst ensuring the quality and safety of our food is maintained and the environmental impact of food production is reduced. He believes this is achievable, but that the best state-of-the-art technology will need to be embraced to succeed. It is vital that decisions impacting the UK’s ability to feed itself are based on sound scientific evidence, not as a reaction to a few strong voices.

Stuart Knight

Deputy Director, NIAB

Stuart Knight is the Deputy Director of NIAB in Cambridge and has over 25 years of experience as a research agronomist.

Stuart’s main interest is combinable crop husbandry and its impacts on crop performance (yield, quality, resource efficiency and profitability), including: management of soil and fertiliser nutrients; monitoring and control of fungal diseases; evaluation of crop protection chemicals; managing within-field variation; and decision support.

Stuart is a member of the Sustainable Intensification Research Network advisory board and was leader of Project 1 of the Defra and Welsh Government funded Sustainable Intensification Research Platform (SIP), looking at the impact of farming systems and management practices on the economic and environmental performance of farms.

Claire Domoney

Head, Metabolic Biology Department, John Innes Centre

Claire works on the molecular and genetic control of seed traits in pea using mutant populations and natural germplasm to provide novel genetic variation.

Her research is linked to understanding the impact of seed composition on human health, e.g. the digestibility of pea protein and increasing resistant starch, while determining the effects on plant growth, yield and pest tolerance.

Claire’s research also investigates the regulation of processes associated with senescence, specifically the loss of chlorophyll from seeds.

Claire comments that we need to consider food production, protection of the environment and human health in the same package. We have moved in a very short space of time from food shortage to considering food as a killer and a promoter of disease. Her research is showing the potential of resistant starch and improved protein profiles to deliver novel and healthier food products – the former to tackle obesity and Type 2 diabetes, the latter to provide novel and nutritious foods. We need to connect the production of healthy food with maintaining a healthy countryside and a healthy population.

Tony Bambridge

Managing Director, B&C Farming, and NFU Norfolk Chairman

Tony Bambridge is in full day-to-day control of B&C Farming and is the NFU County Chair for Norfolk. He is a Member of the Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee at the Potato Council and has won awards for his potato farming.

Tony argues that the biggest threat to food production in the UK is trade agreements. If, for example, countries with lower welfare standards and labour costs dump their chicken on the UK market this would damage the home market for both wheat and chicken.

On the positive side he believes that farmers are producing products that the market wants. If input costs were more competitively priced and technology used to increase efficiency then there is considerable scope to improve productivity.

Andrew Spicer

CEO, Algenuity

Andrew leads Algenuity, a global leader in algal biotechnology that is developing innovative solutions and technologies.

He also sits on several Advisory boards related to microalgal biotechnology and has provided consultancy for Proctor & Gamble and Novozymes.

William Cracroft-Eley

Lincolnshire farmer and Chairman, Terravesta

William established Terravesta in 2012 to deliver a secure and reliable national contract-based supply chain and develop the market for Miscanthus (elephant grass) as the UK’s number one energy crop.

Since planting Miscanthus at home in 2006 and realising its excellent potential as a highly profitable and high yielding perennial crop, William has made it his mission to bring order and transparency to Miscanthus supply.

Miscanthus grows over three metres tall and has the potential to yield 12-17 tonnes per hectare annually. It is planted once with a life span of over 20 years, it thrives on lower-grade, marginal land and it offers farmers a secure long-term income.

William comments that the environmental benefits of the crop are well documented: it can sequester carbon into the earth, which helps to alleviate CO2 pollution, it improves soil health and it encourages on-farm biodiversity.

Guy Poppy

Professor of Ecology, Centre for Biological Sciences University of Southampton, and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Food Standards Agency

Guy is Chief Scientific Adviser to the Food Standards Agency (UK Govt) and a Professor of Ecology in the Centre for Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton. As Chief Scientific Adviser to the FSA, Guy is responsible for the integrity of the processes used to source scientific evidence and ensure expert scientific advice is available to the agency, as well as representing the agency in the community of departmental Chief Scientific Advisers and the wider scientific community, and championing science within the agency through developing its scientists’ expertise.

Guy’s research is on global food security where he has led major research programmes on sustainably producing and protecting crops, and more recently the safety and standards of food. He has published more than 100 research papers, many of which have influenced policy or scientific thinking across the world, such as his early work on the risk assessment of GM crops.

Ande Gregson, GreenLab

Ande Gregson

Founder and Director, Green Lab

Ande is the founder of Green Lab, an open innovation lab and ecosystem for individuals and organisations to design sustainable solutions to complex urban food, water and waste challenges. Encouraging creativity, collaboration, experimentation and play, it incubates ideas that make food systems more productive and resilient, and that can put more natural and healthy food on our tables.

Dr Belinda Clarke

Director, Agri-Tech East

Under Belinda’s direction the membership of Agri-Tech East has grown to encompass businesses at every stage of the agrifood value chain and representatives from the leading academic and research organisations. Its international profile is growing and so is its influence with policymakers.

Originally trained as a plant scientist, Belinda is a Nuffield Scholar, an Associate of The Royal Agricultural Societies, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Chartered Biologist, a council member of the UKRI-BBSRC Council and a trustee of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

Dr Belinda Clarke, Agri-Tech East

Dr Belinda Clarke

Director, Agri-Tech East

Belinda has led the development and growth of Agri-Tech East from its conception and brings significant experience of science and its translation into business opportunities. Originally trained as a plant scientist, Belinda is a Nuffield Scholar, an Associate of The Royal Agricultural Societies, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Chartered Biologist.

Belinda has held senior positions in a number of innovation driven organisations including the role of Lead Technologist for Biosciences at Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board). She is a council member for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and a trustee of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

Her first degree was in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and her PhD was awarded from the John Innes Centre through the University of East Anglia.

Richard Anscombe, Fram Farmers

Richard Anscombe

Chief Executive Officer of FramFarmers, and Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

Richard is chief executive of FramFarmers and is based at Framlingham.

FramFarmers is the UK’s leading farmer-owned cooperative for purchasing and grain marketing. It purchases more than £190m of products and services annually on behalf of more than 1,060 members who farm more than 275,000 hectares throughout the UK.

After studying at agricultural college, Richard began his career with Norsk Hydro Fertilisers before moving into the technology sector where he went on to co-found IT business Active Web Solutions.

Since joining what was then AtlasFram in 2010, he has developed a strategy to make FramFarmers the UK’s foremost farmer-owned purchasing and marketing co-operative.

Prof Jonathan Jones, Sainsburys Lab

Chair: Professor Jonathan Jones FRS

Group Leader, The Sainsbury Laboratory

Professor Jonathan Jones is a senior scientist at The Sainsbury Laboratory on Norwich Research Park. He investigates how plants resist disease, and how resistance is overcome by pathogens. Jonathan has isolated and characterised many resistance (R) genes that encode plant immune receptors, revealing how certain intracellular receptors recognise pathogen molecules and activate defence.

Before joining The Sainsbury Laboratory in 1988, Jonathan worked for a start-up agbiotech company, exploiting developments in molecular biology for crop improvement. He holds a BSc and PhD from the University of Cambridge and is a Professor at the University of East Anglia.

Maria Beatriz Giraudo

Keynote Speaker: María Beatriz Giraudo

Argentinian Farmer and Winner of the Kleckner Award 2016

REAP 2017’s keynote speaker, María ‘Pilu’ Giraudo, is the 10th winner of the annual Kleckner Award from the Global Farmer Network. The award is presented to a global farmer who exemplifies strong leadership, vision and resolve in advancing the rights of farmers to choose technology and tools that will improve the quality, quantity and availability of agricultural products around the world.

Ian Crute

Response by: Professor Ian Crute

Former Chief Scientist at AHDB

Professor Ian Crute has had an involvement in agricultural research since the early 1970s and was, until his recent retirement, Chief Scientist of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB); this position required him to take a high-level strategic overview of both crop and livestock production in the UK, from an industry perspective, including priorities for research, innovation and knowledge exchange.

Ian’s primary expertise is in plant pathology and genetics and he has a particular interest in the science of sustainability as applied to agricultural systems. Prior to joining AHDB in 2009, Ian was Director of Rothamsted Research for 10 years and this followed 25 years in Horticulture Research International (culminating in Directorship of the organisation’s laboratory at Wellesbourne).

Ian’s scientific work is recorded in over 170 papers and he has contributed to the production of several influential publications concerning science strategy and the future direction of agriculture. These include: the Royal Society’s “Reaping the Benefits” report; the Foresight report on “Global Future of Food and Farming”; the EASAC report on “Opportunities and Challenges for Using Crop Genetic Improvement Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture”; and the UK government’s “Strategy for Agricultural Technologies”.

Ian is now a Non-Executive Director of AHDB and serves on several other Boards and Committees connected with science and innovation including: the Agri-Food Technology Council.

Calum Murray, Innovate UK

Chair: Calum Murray

Head of Agriculture and Food, Innovate UK

Calum Murray is Head of Agriculture and Food at Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency.

He represents Innovate UK within the UK Research Council’s “Global Food Security Initiative”, the LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) advisory board and the Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group and has been appointed to the N8 (group of Northern England Universities) AgriFood external advisory board. He was also a member of the X-Whitehall working group developing the “UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies” and currently provides input to the AgriFood Technology Council.

Calum studied agriculture at Aberdeen University and started his career with the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food’s extension service “ADAS” in England in 1982. In 1995 he was appointed by Bank of Scotland as national agricultural specialist becoming a Regional Director of the joint venture NFU Mutual Finance in 2006.

Calum joined Innovate UK in February 2010.

Ruth Bailey, AEA

Chair: Ruth Bailey

Director General/CEO, The Agricultural Engineers Association

Ruth Bailey was appointed Director General/CEO of The Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) in September 2014, with experience in the mining equipment supply sector.

She has a farming background from South Yorkshire, and holds a BA Honours degree in Modern Languages and Politics, studying Spanish and Russian at Wolverhampton Polytechnic and the University of Navarre, Spain and the Institute of Foreign Languages, Kiev, Ukraine

The Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) was established in 1875 to promote the technical, trade and commercial interests of British manufacturers and suppliers of agricultural machinery.

Philip Garford, Garford Farm Machinery

Philip Garford

Managing Director, Garford Farm Machinery

Garford Farm Machinery is a development, manufacturing and distribution company supplying high quality products to the UK and world agricultural market. Garford are recognised for their Robocrop Precision Guided Hoes and Robocrop Inter-Row Weeders.

Managing Director Philip Garford initially farmed on the Garford family farm, before establishing the machinery business in 1986. Garford Farm Machinery began by developing a sugar beet harvester, incorporating their skew bar topper (designed to achieve higher yield) and a Spiroll Cleaning System, removing clods of soil from sugar beet.

Matt O'Hagan, M&S

Matt O’Hagan

Senior Agronomist, Marks & Spencer

Matt O’Hagan is a Senior Agronomist at Marks and Spencers’ vegetable division. He graduated from Harper Adams University, before moving to Lincolnshire to work in the brassica industry. Matt was Technical Development Director at DPS Plc, where he helped develop its exotic fruit business. He was also Technical Director at Utopia/Total Exotics, importing exotic fruit and vegetables for major UK retailers and food processors.

Marks & Spencer is a major British multinational retailer, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It specialises in selling clothing, home products and luxury food products.

Sachin Schende, KisanHub

Sachin Shende

Co-founder and CEO, KisanHub

Sachin holds a Ph.D. in Computational Hydraulics from Loughborough University, and prior to founding KisanHub in 2012, managed the development of bond trading and research analytics platform for Barclays Global Investors and BlackRock.

KisanHub is a decision support system and data analytics tool for farmers. The core idea is to bring in disparate data sources which are external to the farm system and integrate with internal farm data to build an intelligent system which will assist farmers in decision making.

Poul Hoveson, Salle Farms

Chair: Poul Hoveson

Director of Farming, Salle Estate, and Vice-Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

The Holkham Estate on the north Norfolk coast is made up of approximately 7,000 hectares of tenanted land, plus 3,000 hectares that is farmed ‘in-hand’ by the Holkham Farming Company. Cropping is done on a six course rotation with sugar beet, salad potatoes, and oil seed rape with a combinable crop in between. The livestock enterprises consist of a herd of 190 suckler beef cattle, plus a herd of Belted Galloway grazing the nature reserve in an environmentally sensitive area.

Originally from Denmark, Poul moved to the UK in 1987 to become Farms & Estate Manager for Salle Farms Company and continues to hold this position in addition to becoming Director of Farming for Holkham Farming Company in 2011. He is a past Director of Aylsham Growers, Morley Research and The Arable Group and is currently a member of the local Catchment Sensitive Farming Steering Group.

An early adopter of precision farming technology, catchment sensitive farming techniques and environmental stewardship schemes, Poul believes that environmental practices can complement modern intensive agriculture.

In 2014 the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association awarded Poul the Sir Timothy Colman prize for “his outstanding contribution towards promoting the interests and understanding of food, farming and the countryside in Norfolk”. In the same year Poul was also awarded Arable Farmer and Farmer of the Year by Farmers Weekly.

Phil Le Grice

Chair: Dr Phil Le Grice

Principal, Bicton College and Director of Rural Economy and Food, The Cornwall College Group

Dr Phil Le Grice is Director of Rural Economy and Food at the Cornwall College Group and Principal of Bicton and Duchy College. His vision is to inspire future generations to choose a career in farming and food.

Phil grew up on a farm in Morchard Bishop, Devon before undertaking a PhD at Seale-Hayne College, studying the impact of frost protection systems on potato crops. He joined the Agricultural Training Board, before becoming Director of Trials and Research at Duchy College. He is also a Member of the Board of Trustees for the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow, Cornwall.

David Purdy, John Deere

David Purdy

Territory Manager, John Deere

Territory Manager David Purdy has been with John Deere for 28 years, communicating the benefits of precision farming, agronomics and technology.

John Deere is a NYSE-listed manufacturer of agricultural equipment, founded in 1837. John Deere UK & Ireland started trading from Langar, Nottinghamshire in 1966, celebrating its 50th anniversary last year.

Andrew Blenkiron, Euston Estate

Andrew Blenkiron

Estate Director, Euston Estate

Suffolk’s Euston Estate has approximately 6,260 acres which are farmed ‘in-hand’ by Euston Farms, on which wheat, barley, oil seed rape, forage maize and sugar beet are grown, alongside the management of cattle and sheep. The land is also used for free-range pig and poultry farming, in addition to potato, onion, carrot and parsnip production by agreement with other producers.

Andrew Blenkiron became Estate Director in 2011, managing a total of 11,000 acres. He oversees all aspects of the Estate, including farming, let land, diverse enterprises, the historic house, shoot and woodland. Prior to this, he was Managing Director of Crichel Farms in Dorset. Andrew graduated from Harper Adams University in 1987.

Ben Rayner

Ben Rayner

Senior Advisor, Food Chain Innovation Team, Defra

Ben leads on “pre-farm gate” agri-tech innovation and works across several Government departments to ensure that current and future policy meets the needs of the UK agri-tech sector.

Prior to starting at Defra he spent several years working for the Environment Agency where he delivered Defra’s “Catchment Based Approach”. It involved worked closely with farmers, water companies and other stakeholders to develop novel solutions to elevated nitrate levels and other water quality issues in surface and ground waters due to diffuse agricultural pollution. He was also a Secretary of State appointed member of the Peak District National Park Authority (NPA) this involved ensuring that NPA plans and policy reflected the needs of businesses and residents. As part of this he worked with farmers to develop and promote funding schemes to enable farm business to diversify.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser

Director, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University

Director, Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University Ottoline Leyser DBE FRS is Professor of Plant Biology at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory.

Ottoline’s research interests are in the genetics of plant development and the role of plant hormones in plant developmental plasticity. She made significant contributions to understanding the mechanism of action of the plant hormone ‘auxin’ as well as to the identification of a second group of plant hormones known as strigolactones.

She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to plant science, science in society, and equality and diversity in science. Her BA and PhD in Genetics were awarded by the University of Cambridge.

Jason Hawkins-Row, Aponic

Jason Hawkins-Row

CEO, Aponic

Aponic Ltd have designed and manufacture a vertical aeroponic farming system for growing fruit, vegetables, flowers, salad crops and herbs on a commercial scale 365 days a year. It uses 90% less water, offers much faster growth and much higher yields than traditional growing methods. Being vertical, it maximises ground usage by turning acreage into volume, and it uses very little energy to run.

Jason Hawkins-Row is an engineer and programmer with a passion for empowering people to grow highly nutritious, truly sustainable food anywhere in the world in a simple and predictable manner.

Lindsay Hargreaves, Frederick Hiam

Lindsay Hargreaves 

MD, Frederick Hiam

Frederick Hiam is a Suffolk based farming and fresh produce business specialising in root vegetables for retail, wholesale and food service sectors.

Lindsay grew up on farms on the Welsh Borders and North Lincolnshire and has significant experience of managing large farming businesses in East Anglia. In 2010 he was awarded a Nuffield Arden Scholarship to look at new science with the potential to transform agriculture and food; this was when he first gained an interest in vertical farming.

Adam Dixon, Phytoponics

Adam Dixon

CEO, Phytoponics

Phytoponics has developed a novel approach to deep-water hydroponics that incorporates deep-water culture, ebb and flood system, aeration, ventilation and plant support, all within an innovative growing module design. The flexible system provides an affordable entry into hydroponics and is quick to install.

Co-founder and CEO Adam Dixon was chosen to be a UN Young Champion of the Earth 2017 following his work evaluating establishing a hydroponic farm next to a refugee camp.

GroPod

Dan Hewitt

CEO, GroPod

GroPod is developing next generation growing systems that use aeroponics techniques for root vegetables and research crops. Aeroponics is a plant-cultivation technique where the plant roots are exposed in the air while nutrient solution is delivered to them in the form of a fine mist.

Dan Hewitt is the owner, founder and CEO of GroPod, and has two decades of agricultural experience which has included roles such as head of agriculture for Kettle Foods UK, running Grower Groups and sitting on the Board of the AHDB Potatoes Sector.

Chris Roberts, Cambridge Consultants

Chris Roberts

Head of Industrial Robotics, Cambridge Consultants

Cambridge Consultants is a global product development and technology consultancy firm providing outsourced research and development services.

Chris Roberts is a physicist with a broad technology background encompassing robotics, machine vision, security, cryptography and authentication, digital electronic engineering, algorithm design and system engineering, with an emphasis on low power solutions.

Jaz Singh, Innovating Agri-Tech

Jaz Singh

CEO, Innovation Agri-Tech

Innovation Agri-Tech Group (IAG) provides state-of-the-art agricultural technologies and solutions to help open up new food markets globally.

CEO Jaz Singh joined Innovation Agri-Tech in 2015. A dynamic entrepreneur, Jaz has extensive knowledge in the financial and agriculture sectors and has spent the last 10 years enhancing performance and delivering growth for small, medium and large businesses. His areas of expertise include vertical farming, indoor farming, hydroponics, aeroponics and aquaponics.

David May

Senior Project Manager, LIAT

David joined the University of Lincoln in January 2018 as a Senior Project Manager for LIAT (Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology).

David May is an agronomist by training, having studied Horticulture at the University of Reading and worked for ADAS as a crop advisor. David runs his own consultancy business alongside his work for LIAT, providing expert advice on food, flowers and plant quality.  David specialises in the impact of supply chains on product quality and in particular, temperature management and damages through handling. He has extensive experience in QA and supply chain processes. He helps business optimise quality whilst using their resources efficiently.

Arnoud Witteveen, Saturn Bioponics

Arnoud Witteveen

CTO, Saturn Bioponics

Saturn Bioponics is an advanced hydroponic science and technology company delivering sustainable solutions with a rapid payback.

Arnoud Witteveen joined Saturn Bioponics in 2015 to take forward the R&D with particular focus on hydroponic science. His work focuses on controlling the variables delivering consistent crop yields and quality including phytochemicals, shelf-life and overall nutritional values.

Ben Barnes, Gs

Ben Barnes

Innovation & Research Associate, G’s Fresh

G’s Growers Ltd is an independent producer organisation with 20 grower members in the UK and Spain. G’s Growers’ crop range includes wholehead and babyleaf salad, celery, radish, onions, salad onions, beetroot, mushrooms, Chinese leaf and leeks. Collectively G’s Growers farm over 7,500 hectares of specialist crop which they harvest, process or pack for sale onto their end customers.

Ben Barnes has recently joined G’s and heads up the research into controlled environment cropping.

Rhydian Beynon-Davies, Stockbridge Technology Centre

Rhydian Beynon-Davies

Head of Novel Growing Systems, Stockbridge Technology Centre

Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC) was launched to ensure continued technological developments for the horticultural industry.

Rhydian Beynon-Davies initially joined STC after his PhD at Lancaster University, investigating the influence of environment on rooting systems. At STC he headed up a project looking into the use of LED lighting for protected crops such as tomatoes. He then moved to G’s Growers to manage the development of G’s burgeoning indoor farming operations, before returning to STC as head of the novel growing systems division.

Kate Hofman, GrowUp Farms

Kate Hofman

CEO, GrowUp Farms

GrowUp Farms is a Controlled Environment Production (CEP) business that specialises in high-care and highly automated production facilities to grow that is safer, more sustainable and tastier than traditional produce.

Kate Hofman is responsible for the commercial aspects of GrowUp, having founded the company six years ago with CTO Tom Webster. In her spare time she runs around after her toddler and dog.

Rob Wylie, WHEB

Rob Wylie

Chairman, Cambridge Agritech

Rob has focused on technology commercialisation and investment in the agri-tech and resource efficiency sectors for around 30 years. He is Chairman of Cambridge Agritech and Five Seasons VC, investment firms focused on agri/foodtech, and Chairman of 3 Agritech companies.

Ande Gregson, GreenLab

Ande Gregson

Founder and Director, Green Lab

Green Lab is an open innovation lab and ecosystem for individuals and organisations to design sustainable solutions to complex urban food, water and waste challenges.

Ande Gregson started out in IT and founded and conceived media140, Europe’s first real-time web-conference, and subsequently developed it into a global social media brand. Following the success of media140 he became involved in philanthropic ventures such as Science Rewired before establishing Green Lab in 2015 to work with entrepreneurs and businesses to design food production systems, processes and new foods that can be scaled from a bench-scale trial to world-wide impact.

Paul Challinor, Jones Food Company

Paul Challinor

Co-founder and CTO, Jones Food Company

Dr. Paul Challinor is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of the Jones Food Company Ltd, which has developed a groundbreaking, high-care, fresh food, vertical crop production facility. The unit includes the latest innovations in intensive hydroponics, GE LED lighting and cropping system automation.

Dr. Challinor is a professionally qualified consultant, with wide-ranging agronomic and technical experience in the UK conventional and organic food crop production Industry. He holds broad experience encompassing intensive vegetable, fruit, flower and pharmaceutical crop production systems, with specialist knowledge of intensive hydroponics and substrate culture.

Debate: “This house believes supporting land-use for competitive sustainable UK food production should be the priority for agri-tech innovations”

Richard Anscombe

Chief Executive Officer of FramFarmers, and Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

Richard is chief executive of FramFarmers; over the last ten years he has led the development of the organisation to become the UK’s leading farmer-owned cooperative for purchasing and grain marketing.

A firm believer in the use of technology to meet the challenges of the industry, he identifies sensor technology, robotics and advances in weather prediction as examples of where our sector will continue its technological evolution.

Chair: Dr Susannah Bolton

Knowledge Exchange Director, AHDB

Susannah is responsible for managing AHDB’s Cereals and Oilseed division’s portfolio of R&D projects and associated knowledge transfer activities, including the production and publication of the recommended lists of crop varieties.

Dr Zhenling Cui

China Agricultural University, Winner, Norman Borlaug Award

Zhenling Cui is internationally recognized for his scientific work in improving soil health and increasing crop production through innovative fertilizer management strategies. His work in China has led to improved nitrogen efficiency, resulting in higher maize and wheat yields and less soil degradation and water pollution.

Cui began his research in 2000, and has since published numerous papers in the journal Nature over the years. Through 269 on-farm experiments, Cui’s system significantly reduced nitrogen fertilizer application by as much as 60 percent for wheat and 40 percent for corn. This system was further refined to take into account the density and type of crop with a yield increase of 20 percent for wheat. Cui estimated that in the past 10 years, the system has been applied to a cumulative 80 million acres of China farmland, greatly reducing soil degradation and water pollution.

This work led to Dr Cui receiving in 2017 the prestigious Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application.

Prof Gerard Parr MBE

Head, School of Computing Sciences, University of East Anglia

Gerard is a highly-regarded academic who has attracted several million pounds of research funding over his career and advised governments on the allocation of funding to large-scale projects worth more than £2.5 billion. A significant amount of his funding has been from companies in the ICT sector and UK Research Councils.

Gerard is driving force in the East of England Smart Emerging Technologies Institute (EoE SETI), which aims to design and implement a number of high-speed digital test beds to support innovation in AI, imaging, genomics, robotics and smart sensors for the agrifood industry.

Chair: Nicole Sadd

Executive Director, Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise

Nicole is Executive Director of Rothamstead Centre for Research and Enterprise; the hub promotes collaboration and innovation by partnering with commercial agricultural technology businesses to open up the research process.

Chair: Mark Suthern

Head of Agriculture, Barclays

Mark is Managing Director – National Head of Agriculture for Barclays Bank where he leads a team of 200 colleagues within the UK focused entirely on Farming, Landed Estates, Agri-Tech and Energy & Environment

Mark has been on secondment to India where he was impressed by the collaborative approach to problem solving. He also offers insights from South Africa where smart irrigation, soil science and cover crops are rigorously deployed to intensive production sustainably and the Netherlands, which invests heavily in agri-tech.

He believes the resilience and innovation of UK farmers should not be underestimated and sees greater transparency in the supply chain, robotics to remove dependence on cheap labour and greater use of data as key enablers.

Dr Dave Hughes

Head of Global Technology Scouting, Syngenta

As Global Head of Technology Scouting for Syngenta, Dave is responsible for seeking out strategic relationships with universities and other companies around the globe in order to collaborate and co-develop new technologies for use in agriculture.

This multidisciplinary approach is reflected in the collaboration portfolio, which encompasses chemistry, synthetic biology, AI, robotics as well as genomics and engineering.

He believes that greater understanding of fundamental biology is creating many opportunities for improving the sustainable production of food. Of particular interest is a new class of biocontrol agent based on RNA which can cause the pest to ‘self destruct’ by dialling down production of a protein of choice in the pest in a highly specific way.

Dave comments that a key challenge for the UK is how to support productivity of agriculture whilst ensuring the quality and safety of our food is maintained and the environmental impact of food production is reduced. He believes this is achievable, but that the best state-of-the-art technology will need to be embraced to succeed. It is vital that decisions impacting the UK’s ability to feed itself are based on sound scientific evidence, not as a reaction to a few strong voices.

Stuart Knight

Deputy Director, NIAB

Stuart Knight is the Deputy Director of NIAB in Cambridge and has over 25 years of experience as a research agronomist.

Stuart’s main interest is combinable crop husbandry and its impacts on crop performance (yield, quality, resource efficiency and profitability), including: management of soil and fertiliser nutrients; monitoring and control of fungal diseases; evaluation of crop protection chemicals; managing within-field variation; and decision support.

Stuart is a member of the Sustainable Intensification Research Network advisory board and was leader of Project 1 of the Defra and Welsh Government funded Sustainable Intensification Research Platform (SIP), looking at the impact of farming systems and management practices on the economic and environmental performance of farms.

Claire Domoney

Head, Metabolic Biology Department, John Innes Centre

Claire works on the molecular and genetic control of seed traits in pea using mutant populations and natural germplasm to provide novel genetic variation.

Her research is linked to understanding the impact of seed composition on human health, e.g. the digestibility of pea protein and increasing resistant starch, while determining the effects on plant growth, yield and pest tolerance.

Claire’s research also investigates the regulation of processes associated with senescence, specifically the loss of chlorophyll from seeds.

Claire comments that we need to consider food production, protection of the environment and human health in the same package. We have moved in a very short space of time from food shortage to considering food as a killer and a promoter of disease. Her research is showing the potential of resistant starch and improved protein profiles to deliver novel and healthier food products – the former to tackle obesity and Type 2 diabetes, the latter to provide novel and nutritious foods. We need to connect the production of healthy food with maintaining a healthy countryside and a healthy population.

Tony Bambridge

Managing Director, B&C Farming, and NFU Norfolk Chairman

Tony Bambridge is in full day-to-day control of B&C Farming and is the NFU County Chair for Norfolk. He is a Member of the Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee at the Potato Council and has won awards for his potato farming.

Tony argues that the biggest threat to food production in the UK is trade agreements. If, for example, countries with lower welfare standards and labour costs dump their chicken on the UK market this would damage the home market for both wheat and chicken.

On the positive side he believes that farmers are producing products that the market wants. If input costs were more competitively priced and technology used to increase efficiency then there is considerable scope to improve productivity.

Andrew Spicer

CEO, Algenuity

Andrew leads Algenuity, a global leader in algal biotechnology that is developing innovative solutions and technologies.

He also sits on several Advisory boards related to microalgal biotechnology and has provided consultancy for Proctor & Gamble and Novozymes.

William Cracroft-Eley

Lincolnshire farmer and Chairman, Terravesta

William established Terravesta in 2012 to deliver a secure and reliable national contract-based supply chain and develop the market for Miscanthus (elephant grass) as the UK’s number one energy crop.

Since planting Miscanthus at home in 2006 and realising its excellent potential as a highly profitable and high yielding perennial crop, William has made it his mission to bring order and transparency to Miscanthus supply.

Miscanthus grows over three metres tall and has the potential to yield 12-17 tonnes per hectare annually. It is planted once with a life span of over 20 years, it thrives on lower-grade, marginal land and it offers farmers a secure long-term income.

William comments that the environmental benefits of the crop are well documented: it can sequester carbon into the earth, which helps to alleviate CO2 pollution, it improves soil health and it encourages on-farm biodiversity.

Guy Poppy

Professor of Ecology, Centre for Biological Sciences University of Southampton, and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Food Standards Agency

Guy is Chief Scientific Adviser to the Food Standards Agency (UK Govt) and a Professor of Ecology in the Centre for Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton. As Chief Scientific Adviser to the FSA, Guy is responsible for the integrity of the processes used to source scientific evidence and ensure expert scientific advice is available to the agency, as well as representing the agency in the community of departmental Chief Scientific Advisers and the wider scientific community, and championing science within the agency through developing its scientists’ expertise.

Guy’s research is on global food security where he has led major research programmes on sustainably producing and protecting crops, and more recently the safety and standards of food. He has published more than 100 research papers, many of which have influenced policy or scientific thinking across the world, such as his early work on the risk assessment of GM crops.

Ande Gregson, GreenLab

Ande Gregson

Founder and Director, Green Lab

Ande is the founder of Green Lab, an open innovation lab and ecosystem for individuals and organisations to design sustainable solutions to complex urban food, water and waste challenges. Encouraging creativity, collaboration, experimentation and play, it incubates ideas that make food systems more productive and resilient, and that can put more natural and healthy food on our tables.

Dr Belinda Clarke

Director, Agri-Tech East

Under Belinda’s direction the membership of Agri-Tech East has grown to encompass businesses at every stage of the agrifood value chain and representatives from the leading academic and research organisations. Its international profile is growing and so is its influence with policymakers.

Originally trained as a plant scientist, Belinda is a Nuffield Scholar, an Associate of The Royal Agricultural Societies, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Chartered Biologist, a council member of the UKRI-BBSRC Council and a trustee of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

Dr Belinda Clarke, Agri-Tech East

Dr Belinda Clarke

Director, Agri-Tech East

Belinda has led the development and growth of Agri-Tech East from its conception and brings significant experience of science and its translation into business opportunities. Originally trained as a plant scientist, Belinda is a Nuffield Scholar, an Associate of The Royal Agricultural Societies, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Chartered Biologist.

Belinda has held senior positions in a number of innovation driven organisations including the role of Lead Technologist for Biosciences at Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board). She is a council member for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and a trustee of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

Her first degree was in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and her PhD was awarded from the John Innes Centre through the University of East Anglia.

Richard Anscombe, Fram Farmers

Richard Anscombe

Chief Executive Officer of FramFarmers, and Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

Richard is chief executive of FramFarmers and is based at Framlingham.

FramFarmers is the UK’s leading farmer-owned cooperative for purchasing and grain marketing. It purchases more than £190m of products and services annually on behalf of more than 1,060 members who farm more than 275,000 hectares throughout the UK.

After studying at agricultural college, Richard began his career with Norsk Hydro Fertilisers before moving into the technology sector where he went on to co-found IT business Active Web Solutions.

Since joining what was then AtlasFram in 2010, he has developed a strategy to make FramFarmers the UK’s foremost farmer-owned purchasing and marketing co-operative.

Prof Jonathan Jones, Sainsburys Lab

Chair: Professor Jonathan Jones FRS

Group Leader, The Sainsbury Laboratory

Professor Jonathan Jones is a senior scientist at The Sainsbury Laboratory on Norwich Research Park. He investigates how plants resist disease, and how resistance is overcome by pathogens. Jonathan has isolated and characterised many resistance (R) genes that encode plant immune receptors, revealing how certain intracellular receptors recognise pathogen molecules and activate defence.

Before joining The Sainsbury Laboratory in 1988, Jonathan worked for a start-up agbiotech company, exploiting developments in molecular biology for crop improvement. He holds a BSc and PhD from the University of Cambridge and is a Professor at the University of East Anglia.

Maria Beatriz Giraudo

Keynote Speaker: María Beatriz Giraudo

Argentinian Farmer and Winner of the Kleckner Award 2016

REAP 2017’s keynote speaker, María ‘Pilu’ Giraudo, is the 10th winner of the annual Kleckner Award from the Global Farmer Network. The award is presented to a global farmer who exemplifies strong leadership, vision and resolve in advancing the rights of farmers to choose technology and tools that will improve the quality, quantity and availability of agricultural products around the world.

Ian Crute

Response by: Professor Ian Crute

Former Chief Scientist at AHDB

Professor Ian Crute has had an involvement in agricultural research since the early 1970s and was, until his recent retirement, Chief Scientist of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB); this position required him to take a high-level strategic overview of both crop and livestock production in the UK, from an industry perspective, including priorities for research, innovation and knowledge exchange.

Ian’s primary expertise is in plant pathology and genetics and he has a particular interest in the science of sustainability as applied to agricultural systems. Prior to joining AHDB in 2009, Ian was Director of Rothamsted Research for 10 years and this followed 25 years in Horticulture Research International (culminating in Directorship of the organisation’s laboratory at Wellesbourne).

Ian’s scientific work is recorded in over 170 papers and he has contributed to the production of several influential publications concerning science strategy and the future direction of agriculture. These include: the Royal Society’s “Reaping the Benefits” report; the Foresight report on “Global Future of Food and Farming”; the EASAC report on “Opportunities and Challenges for Using Crop Genetic Improvement Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture”; and the UK government’s “Strategy for Agricultural Technologies”.

Ian is now a Non-Executive Director of AHDB and serves on several other Boards and Committees connected with science and innovation including: the Agri-Food Technology Council.

Calum Murray, Innovate UK

Chair: Calum Murray

Head of Agriculture and Food, Innovate UK

Calum Murray is Head of Agriculture and Food at Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency.

He represents Innovate UK within the UK Research Council’s “Global Food Security Initiative”, the LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) advisory board and the Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group and has been appointed to the N8 (group of Northern England Universities) AgriFood external advisory board. He was also a member of the X-Whitehall working group developing the “UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies” and currently provides input to the AgriFood Technology Council.

Calum studied agriculture at Aberdeen University and started his career with the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food’s extension service “ADAS” in England in 1982. In 1995 he was appointed by Bank of Scotland as national agricultural specialist becoming a Regional Director of the joint venture NFU Mutual Finance in 2006.

Calum joined Innovate UK in February 2010.

Ruth Bailey, AEA

Chair: Ruth Bailey

Director General/CEO, The Agricultural Engineers Association

Ruth Bailey was appointed Director General/CEO of The Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) in September 2014, with experience in the mining equipment supply sector.

She has a farming background from South Yorkshire, and holds a BA Honours degree in Modern Languages and Politics, studying Spanish and Russian at Wolverhampton Polytechnic and the University of Navarre, Spain and the Institute of Foreign Languages, Kiev, Ukraine

The Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) was established in 1875 to promote the technical, trade and commercial interests of British manufacturers and suppliers of agricultural machinery.

Philip Garford, Garford Farm Machinery

Philip Garford

Managing Director, Garford Farm Machinery

Garford Farm Machinery is a development, manufacturing and distribution company supplying high quality products to the UK and world agricultural market. Garford are recognised for their Robocrop Precision Guided Hoes and Robocrop Inter-Row Weeders.

Managing Director Philip Garford initially farmed on the Garford family farm, before establishing the machinery business in 1986. Garford Farm Machinery began by developing a sugar beet harvester, incorporating their skew bar topper (designed to achieve higher yield) and a Spiroll Cleaning System, removing clods of soil from sugar beet.

Matt O'Hagan, M&S

Matt O’Hagan

Senior Agronomist, Marks & Spencer

Matt O’Hagan is a Senior Agronomist at Marks and Spencers’ vegetable division. He graduated from Harper Adams University, before moving to Lincolnshire to work in the brassica industry. Matt was Technical Development Director at DPS Plc, where he helped develop its exotic fruit business. He was also Technical Director at Utopia/Total Exotics, importing exotic fruit and vegetables for major UK retailers and food processors.

Marks & Spencer is a major British multinational retailer, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It specialises in selling clothing, home products and luxury food products.

Sachin Schende, KisanHub

Sachin Shende

Co-founder and CEO, KisanHub

Sachin holds a Ph.D. in Computational Hydraulics from Loughborough University, and prior to founding KisanHub in 2012, managed the development of bond trading and research analytics platform for Barclays Global Investors and BlackRock.

KisanHub is a decision support system and data analytics tool for farmers. The core idea is to bring in disparate data sources which are external to the farm system and integrate with internal farm data to build an intelligent system which will assist farmers in decision making.

Poul Hoveson, Salle Farms

Chair: Poul Hoveson

Director of Farming, Salle Estate, and Vice-Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

The Holkham Estate on the north Norfolk coast is made up of approximately 7,000 hectares of tenanted land, plus 3,000 hectares that is farmed ‘in-hand’ by the Holkham Farming Company. Cropping is done on a six course rotation with sugar beet, salad potatoes, and oil seed rape with a combinable crop in between. The livestock enterprises consist of a herd of 190 suckler beef cattle, plus a herd of Belted Galloway grazing the nature reserve in an environmentally sensitive area.

Originally from Denmark, Poul moved to the UK in 1987 to become Farms & Estate Manager for Salle Farms Company and continues to hold this position in addition to becoming Director of Farming for Holkham Farming Company in 2011. He is a past Director of Aylsham Growers, Morley Research and The Arable Group and is currently a member of the local Catchment Sensitive Farming Steering Group.

An early adopter of precision farming technology, catchment sensitive farming techniques and environmental stewardship schemes, Poul believes that environmental practices can complement modern intensive agriculture.

In 2014 the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association awarded Poul the Sir Timothy Colman prize for “his outstanding contribution towards promoting the interests and understanding of food, farming and the countryside in Norfolk”. In the same year Poul was also awarded Arable Farmer and Farmer of the Year by Farmers Weekly.

Phil Le Grice

Chair: Dr Phil Le Grice

Principal, Bicton College and Director of Rural Economy and Food, The Cornwall College Group

Dr Phil Le Grice is Director of Rural Economy and Food at the Cornwall College Group and Principal of Bicton and Duchy College. His vision is to inspire future generations to choose a career in farming and food.

Phil grew up on a farm in Morchard Bishop, Devon before undertaking a PhD at Seale-Hayne College, studying the impact of frost protection systems on potato crops. He joined the Agricultural Training Board, before becoming Director of Trials and Research at Duchy College. He is also a Member of the Board of Trustees for the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow, Cornwall.

David Purdy, John Deere

David Purdy

Territory Manager, John Deere

Territory Manager David Purdy has been with John Deere for 28 years, communicating the benefits of precision farming, agronomics and technology.

John Deere is a NYSE-listed manufacturer of agricultural equipment, founded in 1837. John Deere UK & Ireland started trading from Langar, Nottinghamshire in 1966, celebrating its 50th anniversary last year.

Andrew Blenkiron, Euston Estate

Andrew Blenkiron

Estate Director, Euston Estate

Suffolk’s Euston Estate has approximately 6,260 acres which are farmed ‘in-hand’ by Euston Farms, on which wheat, barley, oil seed rape, forage maize and sugar beet are grown, alongside the management of cattle and sheep. The land is also used for free-range pig and poultry farming, in addition to potato, onion, carrot and parsnip production by agreement with other producers.

Andrew Blenkiron became Estate Director in 2011, managing a total of 11,000 acres. He oversees all aspects of the Estate, including farming, let land, diverse enterprises, the historic house, shoot and woodland. Prior to this, he was Managing Director of Crichel Farms in Dorset. Andrew graduated from Harper Adams University in 1987.

Ben Rayner

Ben Rayner

Senior Advisor, Food Chain Innovation Team, Defra

Ben leads on “pre-farm gate” agri-tech innovation and works across several Government departments to ensure that current and future policy meets the needs of the UK agri-tech sector.

Prior to starting at Defra he spent several years working for the Environment Agency where he delivered Defra’s “Catchment Based Approach”. It involved worked closely with farmers, water companies and other stakeholders to develop novel solutions to elevated nitrate levels and other water quality issues in surface and ground waters due to diffuse agricultural pollution. He was also a Secretary of State appointed member of the Peak District National Park Authority (NPA) this involved ensuring that NPA plans and policy reflected the needs of businesses and residents. As part of this he worked with farmers to develop and promote funding schemes to enable farm business to diversify.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser

Director, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University

Director, Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University Ottoline Leyser DBE FRS is Professor of Plant Biology at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory.

Ottoline’s research interests are in the genetics of plant development and the role of plant hormones in plant developmental plasticity. She made significant contributions to understanding the mechanism of action of the plant hormone ‘auxin’ as well as to the identification of a second group of plant hormones known as strigolactones.

She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to plant science, science in society, and equality and diversity in science. Her BA and PhD in Genetics were awarded by the University of Cambridge.

Jason Hawkins-Row, Aponic

Jason Hawkins-Row

CEO, Aponic

Aponic Ltd have designed and manufacture a vertical aeroponic farming system for growing fruit, vegetables, flowers, salad crops and herbs on a commercial scale 365 days a year. It uses 90% less water, offers much faster growth and much higher yields than traditional growing methods. Being vertical, it maximises ground usage by turning acreage into volume, and it uses very little energy to run.

Jason Hawkins-Row is an engineer and programmer with a passion for empowering people to grow highly nutritious, truly sustainable food anywhere in the world in a simple and predictable manner.

Lindsay Hargreaves, Frederick Hiam

Lindsay Hargreaves 

MD, Frederick Hiam

Frederick Hiam is a Suffolk based farming and fresh produce business specialising in root vegetables for retail, wholesale and food service sectors.

Lindsay grew up on farms on the Welsh Borders and North Lincolnshire and has significant experience of managing large farming businesses in East Anglia. In 2010 he was awarded a Nuffield Arden Scholarship to look at new science with the potential to transform agriculture and food; this was when he first gained an interest in vertical farming.

Adam Dixon, Phytoponics

Adam Dixon

CEO, Phytoponics

Phytoponics has developed a novel approach to deep-water hydroponics that incorporates deep-water culture, ebb and flood system, aeration, ventilation and plant support, all within an innovative growing module design. The flexible system provides an affordable entry into hydroponics and is quick to install.

Co-founder and CEO Adam Dixon was chosen to be a UN Young Champion of the Earth 2017 following his work evaluating establishing a hydroponic farm next to a refugee camp.

GroPod

Dan Hewitt

CEO, GroPod

GroPod is developing next generation growing systems that use aeroponics techniques for root vegetables and research crops. Aeroponics is a plant-cultivation technique where the plant roots are exposed in the air while nutrient solution is delivered to them in the form of a fine mist.

Dan Hewitt is the owner, founder and CEO of GroPod, and has two decades of agricultural experience which has included roles such as head of agriculture for Kettle Foods UK, running Grower Groups and sitting on the Board of the AHDB Potatoes Sector.

Chris Roberts, Cambridge Consultants

Chris Roberts

Head of Industrial Robotics, Cambridge Consultants

Cambridge Consultants is a global product development and technology consultancy firm providing outsourced research and development services.

Chris Roberts is a physicist with a broad technology background encompassing robotics, machine vision, security, cryptography and authentication, digital electronic engineering, algorithm design and system engineering, with an emphasis on low power solutions.

Jaz Singh, Innovating Agri-Tech

Jaz Singh

CEO, Innovation Agri-Tech

Innovation Agri-Tech Group (IAG) provides state-of-the-art agricultural technologies and solutions to help open up new food markets globally.

CEO Jaz Singh joined Innovation Agri-Tech in 2015. A dynamic entrepreneur, Jaz has extensive knowledge in the financial and agriculture sectors and has spent the last 10 years enhancing performance and delivering growth for small, medium and large businesses. His areas of expertise include vertical farming, indoor farming, hydroponics, aeroponics and aquaponics.

David May

Senior Project Manager, LIAT

David joined the University of Lincoln in January 2018 as a Senior Project Manager for LIAT (Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology).

David May is an agronomist by training, having studied Horticulture at the University of Reading and worked for ADAS as a crop advisor. David runs his own consultancy business alongside his work for LIAT, providing expert advice on food, flowers and plant quality.  David specialises in the impact of supply chains on product quality and in particular, temperature management and damages through handling. He has extensive experience in QA and supply chain processes. He helps business optimise quality whilst using their resources efficiently.

Arnoud Witteveen, Saturn Bioponics

Arnoud Witteveen

CTO, Saturn Bioponics

Saturn Bioponics is an advanced hydroponic science and technology company delivering sustainable solutions with a rapid payback.

Arnoud Witteveen joined Saturn Bioponics in 2015 to take forward the R&D with particular focus on hydroponic science. His work focuses on controlling the variables delivering consistent crop yields and quality including phytochemicals, shelf-life and overall nutritional values.

Ben Barnes, Gs

Ben Barnes

Innovation & Research Associate, G’s Fresh

G’s Growers Ltd is an independent producer organisation with 20 grower members in the UK and Spain. G’s Growers’ crop range includes wholehead and babyleaf salad, celery, radish, onions, salad onions, beetroot, mushrooms, Chinese leaf and leeks. Collectively G’s Growers farm over 7,500 hectares of specialist crop which they harvest, process or pack for sale onto their end customers.

Ben Barnes has recently joined G’s and heads up the research into controlled environment cropping.

Rhydian Beynon-Davies, Stockbridge Technology Centre

Rhydian Beynon-Davies

Head of Novel Growing Systems, Stockbridge Technology Centre

Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC) was launched to ensure continued technological developments for the horticultural industry.

Rhydian Beynon-Davies initially joined STC after his PhD at Lancaster University, investigating the influence of environment on rooting systems. At STC he headed up a project looking into the use of LED lighting for protected crops such as tomatoes. He then moved to G’s Growers to manage the development of G’s burgeoning indoor farming operations, before returning to STC as head of the novel growing systems division.

Kate Hofman, GrowUp Farms

Kate Hofman

CEO, GrowUp Farms

GrowUp Farms is a Controlled Environment Production (CEP) business that specialises in high-care and highly automated production facilities to grow that is safer, more sustainable and tastier than traditional produce.

Kate Hofman is responsible for the commercial aspects of GrowUp, having founded the company six years ago with CTO Tom Webster. In her spare time she runs around after her toddler and dog.

Rob Wylie, WHEB

Rob Wylie

Chairman, Cambridge Agritech

Rob has focused on technology commercialisation and investment in the agri-tech and resource efficiency sectors for around 30 years. He is Chairman of Cambridge Agritech and Five Seasons VC, investment firms focused on agri/foodtech, and Chairman of 3 Agritech companies.

Ande Gregson, GreenLab

Ande Gregson

Founder and Director, Green Lab

Green Lab is an open innovation lab and ecosystem for individuals and organisations to design sustainable solutions to complex urban food, water and waste challenges.

Ande Gregson started out in IT and founded and conceived media140, Europe’s first real-time web-conference, and subsequently developed it into a global social media brand. Following the success of media140 he became involved in philanthropic ventures such as Science Rewired before establishing Green Lab in 2015 to work with entrepreneurs and businesses to design food production systems, processes and new foods that can be scaled from a bench-scale trial to world-wide impact.

Paul Challinor, Jones Food Company

Paul Challinor

Co-founder and CTO, Jones Food Company

Dr. Paul Challinor is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of the Jones Food Company Ltd, which has developed a groundbreaking, high-care, fresh food, vertical crop production facility. The unit includes the latest innovations in intensive hydroponics, GE LED lighting and cropping system automation.

Dr. Challinor is a professionally qualified consultant, with wide-ranging agronomic and technical experience in the UK conventional and organic food crop production Industry. He holds broad experience encompassing intensive vegetable, fruit, flower and pharmaceutical crop production systems, with specialist knowledge of intensive hydroponics and substrate culture.

Closing remarks

Richard Anscombe

Chief Executive Officer of FramFarmers, and Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

Richard is chief executive of FramFarmers; over the last ten years he has led the development of the organisation to become the UK’s leading farmer-owned cooperative for purchasing and grain marketing.

A firm believer in the use of technology to meet the challenges of the industry, he identifies sensor technology, robotics and advances in weather prediction as examples of where our sector will continue its technological evolution.

Chair: Dr Susannah Bolton

Knowledge Exchange Director, AHDB

Susannah is responsible for managing AHDB’s Cereals and Oilseed division’s portfolio of R&D projects and associated knowledge transfer activities, including the production and publication of the recommended lists of crop varieties.

Dr Zhenling Cui

China Agricultural University, Winner, Norman Borlaug Award

Zhenling Cui is internationally recognized for his scientific work in improving soil health and increasing crop production through innovative fertilizer management strategies. His work in China has led to improved nitrogen efficiency, resulting in higher maize and wheat yields and less soil degradation and water pollution.

Cui began his research in 2000, and has since published numerous papers in the journal Nature over the years. Through 269 on-farm experiments, Cui’s system significantly reduced nitrogen fertilizer application by as much as 60 percent for wheat and 40 percent for corn. This system was further refined to take into account the density and type of crop with a yield increase of 20 percent for wheat. Cui estimated that in the past 10 years, the system has been applied to a cumulative 80 million acres of China farmland, greatly reducing soil degradation and water pollution.

This work led to Dr Cui receiving in 2017 the prestigious Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application.

Prof Gerard Parr MBE

Head, School of Computing Sciences, University of East Anglia

Gerard is a highly-regarded academic who has attracted several million pounds of research funding over his career and advised governments on the allocation of funding to large-scale projects worth more than £2.5 billion. A significant amount of his funding has been from companies in the ICT sector and UK Research Councils.

Gerard is driving force in the East of England Smart Emerging Technologies Institute (EoE SETI), which aims to design and implement a number of high-speed digital test beds to support innovation in AI, imaging, genomics, robotics and smart sensors for the agrifood industry.

Chair: Nicole Sadd

Executive Director, Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise

Nicole is Executive Director of Rothamstead Centre for Research and Enterprise; the hub promotes collaboration and innovation by partnering with commercial agricultural technology businesses to open up the research process.

Chair: Mark Suthern

Head of Agriculture, Barclays

Mark is Managing Director – National Head of Agriculture for Barclays Bank where he leads a team of 200 colleagues within the UK focused entirely on Farming, Landed Estates, Agri-Tech and Energy & Environment

Mark has been on secondment to India where he was impressed by the collaborative approach to problem solving. He also offers insights from South Africa where smart irrigation, soil science and cover crops are rigorously deployed to intensive production sustainably and the Netherlands, which invests heavily in agri-tech.

He believes the resilience and innovation of UK farmers should not be underestimated and sees greater transparency in the supply chain, robotics to remove dependence on cheap labour and greater use of data as key enablers.

Dr Dave Hughes

Head of Global Technology Scouting, Syngenta

As Global Head of Technology Scouting for Syngenta, Dave is responsible for seeking out strategic relationships with universities and other companies around the globe in order to collaborate and co-develop new technologies for use in agriculture.

This multidisciplinary approach is reflected in the collaboration portfolio, which encompasses chemistry, synthetic biology, AI, robotics as well as genomics and engineering.

He believes that greater understanding of fundamental biology is creating many opportunities for improving the sustainable production of food. Of particular interest is a new class of biocontrol agent based on RNA which can cause the pest to ‘self destruct’ by dialling down production of a protein of choice in the pest in a highly specific way.

Dave comments that a key challenge for the UK is how to support productivity of agriculture whilst ensuring the quality and safety of our food is maintained and the environmental impact of food production is reduced. He believes this is achievable, but that the best state-of-the-art technology will need to be embraced to succeed. It is vital that decisions impacting the UK’s ability to feed itself are based on sound scientific evidence, not as a reaction to a few strong voices.

Stuart Knight

Deputy Director, NIAB

Stuart Knight is the Deputy Director of NIAB in Cambridge and has over 25 years of experience as a research agronomist.

Stuart’s main interest is combinable crop husbandry and its impacts on crop performance (yield, quality, resource efficiency and profitability), including: management of soil and fertiliser nutrients; monitoring and control of fungal diseases; evaluation of crop protection chemicals; managing within-field variation; and decision support.

Stuart is a member of the Sustainable Intensification Research Network advisory board and was leader of Project 1 of the Defra and Welsh Government funded Sustainable Intensification Research Platform (SIP), looking at the impact of farming systems and management practices on the economic and environmental performance of farms.

Claire Domoney

Head, Metabolic Biology Department, John Innes Centre

Claire works on the molecular and genetic control of seed traits in pea using mutant populations and natural germplasm to provide novel genetic variation.

Her research is linked to understanding the impact of seed composition on human health, e.g. the digestibility of pea protein and increasing resistant starch, while determining the effects on plant growth, yield and pest tolerance.

Claire’s research also investigates the regulation of processes associated with senescence, specifically the loss of chlorophyll from seeds.

Claire comments that we need to consider food production, protection of the environment and human health in the same package. We have moved in a very short space of time from food shortage to considering food as a killer and a promoter of disease. Her research is showing the potential of resistant starch and improved protein profiles to deliver novel and healthier food products – the former to tackle obesity and Type 2 diabetes, the latter to provide novel and nutritious foods. We need to connect the production of healthy food with maintaining a healthy countryside and a healthy population.

Tony Bambridge

Managing Director, B&C Farming, and NFU Norfolk Chairman

Tony Bambridge is in full day-to-day control of B&C Farming and is the NFU County Chair for Norfolk. He is a Member of the Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee at the Potato Council and has won awards for his potato farming.

Tony argues that the biggest threat to food production in the UK is trade agreements. If, for example, countries with lower welfare standards and labour costs dump their chicken on the UK market this would damage the home market for both wheat and chicken.

On the positive side he believes that farmers are producing products that the market wants. If input costs were more competitively priced and technology used to increase efficiency then there is considerable scope to improve productivity.

Andrew Spicer

CEO, Algenuity

Andrew leads Algenuity, a global leader in algal biotechnology that is developing innovative solutions and technologies.

He also sits on several Advisory boards related to microalgal biotechnology and has provided consultancy for Proctor & Gamble and Novozymes.

William Cracroft-Eley

Lincolnshire farmer and Chairman, Terravesta

William established Terravesta in 2012 to deliver a secure and reliable national contract-based supply chain and develop the market for Miscanthus (elephant grass) as the UK’s number one energy crop.

Since planting Miscanthus at home in 2006 and realising its excellent potential as a highly profitable and high yielding perennial crop, William has made it his mission to bring order and transparency to Miscanthus supply.

Miscanthus grows over three metres tall and has the potential to yield 12-17 tonnes per hectare annually. It is planted once with a life span of over 20 years, it thrives on lower-grade, marginal land and it offers farmers a secure long-term income.

William comments that the environmental benefits of the crop are well documented: it can sequester carbon into the earth, which helps to alleviate CO2 pollution, it improves soil health and it encourages on-farm biodiversity.

Guy Poppy

Professor of Ecology, Centre for Biological Sciences University of Southampton, and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Food Standards Agency

Guy is Chief Scientific Adviser to the Food Standards Agency (UK Govt) and a Professor of Ecology in the Centre for Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton. As Chief Scientific Adviser to the FSA, Guy is responsible for the integrity of the processes used to source scientific evidence and ensure expert scientific advice is available to the agency, as well as representing the agency in the community of departmental Chief Scientific Advisers and the wider scientific community, and championing science within the agency through developing its scientists’ expertise.

Guy’s research is on global food security where he has led major research programmes on sustainably producing and protecting crops, and more recently the safety and standards of food. He has published more than 100 research papers, many of which have influenced policy or scientific thinking across the world, such as his early work on the risk assessment of GM crops.

Ande Gregson, GreenLab

Ande Gregson

Founder and Director, Green Lab

Ande is the founder of Green Lab, an open innovation lab and ecosystem for individuals and organisations to design sustainable solutions to complex urban food, water and waste challenges. Encouraging creativity, collaboration, experimentation and play, it incubates ideas that make food systems more productive and resilient, and that can put more natural and healthy food on our tables.

Dr Belinda Clarke

Director, Agri-Tech East

Under Belinda’s direction the membership of Agri-Tech East has grown to encompass businesses at every stage of the agrifood value chain and representatives from the leading academic and research organisations. Its international profile is growing and so is its influence with policymakers.

Originally trained as a plant scientist, Belinda is a Nuffield Scholar, an Associate of The Royal Agricultural Societies, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Chartered Biologist, a council member of the UKRI-BBSRC Council and a trustee of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

Dr Belinda Clarke, Agri-Tech East

Dr Belinda Clarke

Director, Agri-Tech East

Belinda has led the development and growth of Agri-Tech East from its conception and brings significant experience of science and its translation into business opportunities. Originally trained as a plant scientist, Belinda is a Nuffield Scholar, an Associate of The Royal Agricultural Societies, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Chartered Biologist.

Belinda has held senior positions in a number of innovation driven organisations including the role of Lead Technologist for Biosciences at Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board). She is a council member for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and a trustee of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

Her first degree was in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and her PhD was awarded from the John Innes Centre through the University of East Anglia.

Richard Anscombe, Fram Farmers

Richard Anscombe

Chief Executive Officer of FramFarmers, and Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

Richard is chief executive of FramFarmers and is based at Framlingham.

FramFarmers is the UK’s leading farmer-owned cooperative for purchasing and grain marketing. It purchases more than £190m of products and services annually on behalf of more than 1,060 members who farm more than 275,000 hectares throughout the UK.

After studying at agricultural college, Richard began his career with Norsk Hydro Fertilisers before moving into the technology sector where he went on to co-found IT business Active Web Solutions.

Since joining what was then AtlasFram in 2010, he has developed a strategy to make FramFarmers the UK’s foremost farmer-owned purchasing and marketing co-operative.

Prof Jonathan Jones, Sainsburys Lab

Chair: Professor Jonathan Jones FRS

Group Leader, The Sainsbury Laboratory

Professor Jonathan Jones is a senior scientist at The Sainsbury Laboratory on Norwich Research Park. He investigates how plants resist disease, and how resistance is overcome by pathogens. Jonathan has isolated and characterised many resistance (R) genes that encode plant immune receptors, revealing how certain intracellular receptors recognise pathogen molecules and activate defence.

Before joining The Sainsbury Laboratory in 1988, Jonathan worked for a start-up agbiotech company, exploiting developments in molecular biology for crop improvement. He holds a BSc and PhD from the University of Cambridge and is a Professor at the University of East Anglia.

Maria Beatriz Giraudo

Keynote Speaker: María Beatriz Giraudo

Argentinian Farmer and Winner of the Kleckner Award 2016

REAP 2017’s keynote speaker, María ‘Pilu’ Giraudo, is the 10th winner of the annual Kleckner Award from the Global Farmer Network. The award is presented to a global farmer who exemplifies strong leadership, vision and resolve in advancing the rights of farmers to choose technology and tools that will improve the quality, quantity and availability of agricultural products around the world.

Ian Crute

Response by: Professor Ian Crute

Former Chief Scientist at AHDB

Professor Ian Crute has had an involvement in agricultural research since the early 1970s and was, until his recent retirement, Chief Scientist of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB); this position required him to take a high-level strategic overview of both crop and livestock production in the UK, from an industry perspective, including priorities for research, innovation and knowledge exchange.

Ian’s primary expertise is in plant pathology and genetics and he has a particular interest in the science of sustainability as applied to agricultural systems. Prior to joining AHDB in 2009, Ian was Director of Rothamsted Research for 10 years and this followed 25 years in Horticulture Research International (culminating in Directorship of the organisation’s laboratory at Wellesbourne).

Ian’s scientific work is recorded in over 170 papers and he has contributed to the production of several influential publications concerning science strategy and the future direction of agriculture. These include: the Royal Society’s “Reaping the Benefits” report; the Foresight report on “Global Future of Food and Farming”; the EASAC report on “Opportunities and Challenges for Using Crop Genetic Improvement Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture”; and the UK government’s “Strategy for Agricultural Technologies”.

Ian is now a Non-Executive Director of AHDB and serves on several other Boards and Committees connected with science and innovation including: the Agri-Food Technology Council.

Calum Murray, Innovate UK

Chair: Calum Murray

Head of Agriculture and Food, Innovate UK

Calum Murray is Head of Agriculture and Food at Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency.

He represents Innovate UK within the UK Research Council’s “Global Food Security Initiative”, the LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) advisory board and the Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group and has been appointed to the N8 (group of Northern England Universities) AgriFood external advisory board. He was also a member of the X-Whitehall working group developing the “UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies” and currently provides input to the AgriFood Technology Council.

Calum studied agriculture at Aberdeen University and started his career with the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food’s extension service “ADAS” in England in 1982. In 1995 he was appointed by Bank of Scotland as national agricultural specialist becoming a Regional Director of the joint venture NFU Mutual Finance in 2006.

Calum joined Innovate UK in February 2010.

Ruth Bailey, AEA

Chair: Ruth Bailey

Director General/CEO, The Agricultural Engineers Association

Ruth Bailey was appointed Director General/CEO of The Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) in September 2014, with experience in the mining equipment supply sector.

She has a farming background from South Yorkshire, and holds a BA Honours degree in Modern Languages and Politics, studying Spanish and Russian at Wolverhampton Polytechnic and the University of Navarre, Spain and the Institute of Foreign Languages, Kiev, Ukraine

The Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) was established in 1875 to promote the technical, trade and commercial interests of British manufacturers and suppliers of agricultural machinery.

Philip Garford, Garford Farm Machinery

Philip Garford

Managing Director, Garford Farm Machinery

Garford Farm Machinery is a development, manufacturing and distribution company supplying high quality products to the UK and world agricultural market. Garford are recognised for their Robocrop Precision Guided Hoes and Robocrop Inter-Row Weeders.

Managing Director Philip Garford initially farmed on the Garford family farm, before establishing the machinery business in 1986. Garford Farm Machinery began by developing a sugar beet harvester, incorporating their skew bar topper (designed to achieve higher yield) and a Spiroll Cleaning System, removing clods of soil from sugar beet.

Matt O'Hagan, M&S

Matt O’Hagan

Senior Agronomist, Marks & Spencer

Matt O’Hagan is a Senior Agronomist at Marks and Spencers’ vegetable division. He graduated from Harper Adams University, before moving to Lincolnshire to work in the brassica industry. Matt was Technical Development Director at DPS Plc, where he helped develop its exotic fruit business. He was also Technical Director at Utopia/Total Exotics, importing exotic fruit and vegetables for major UK retailers and food processors.

Marks & Spencer is a major British multinational retailer, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It specialises in selling clothing, home products and luxury food products.

Sachin Schende, KisanHub

Sachin Shende

Co-founder and CEO, KisanHub

Sachin holds a Ph.D. in Computational Hydraulics from Loughborough University, and prior to founding KisanHub in 2012, managed the development of bond trading and research analytics platform for Barclays Global Investors and BlackRock.

KisanHub is a decision support system and data analytics tool for farmers. The core idea is to bring in disparate data sources which are external to the farm system and integrate with internal farm data to build an intelligent system which will assist farmers in decision making.

Poul Hoveson, Salle Farms

Chair: Poul Hoveson

Director of Farming, Salle Estate, and Vice-Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

The Holkham Estate on the north Norfolk coast is made up of approximately 7,000 hectares of tenanted land, plus 3,000 hectares that is farmed ‘in-hand’ by the Holkham Farming Company. Cropping is done on a six course rotation with sugar beet, salad potatoes, and oil seed rape with a combinable crop in between. The livestock enterprises consist of a herd of 190 suckler beef cattle, plus a herd of Belted Galloway grazing the nature reserve in an environmentally sensitive area.

Originally from Denmark, Poul moved to the UK in 1987 to become Farms & Estate Manager for Salle Farms Company and continues to hold this position in addition to becoming Director of Farming for Holkham Farming Company in 2011. He is a past Director of Aylsham Growers, Morley Research and The Arable Group and is currently a member of the local Catchment Sensitive Farming Steering Group.

An early adopter of precision farming technology, catchment sensitive farming techniques and environmental stewardship schemes, Poul believes that environmental practices can complement modern intensive agriculture.

In 2014 the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association awarded Poul the Sir Timothy Colman prize for “his outstanding contribution towards promoting the interests and understanding of food, farming and the countryside in Norfolk”. In the same year Poul was also awarded Arable Farmer and Farmer of the Year by Farmers Weekly.

Phil Le Grice

Chair: Dr Phil Le Grice

Principal, Bicton College and Director of Rural Economy and Food, The Cornwall College Group

Dr Phil Le Grice is Director of Rural Economy and Food at the Cornwall College Group and Principal of Bicton and Duchy College. His vision is to inspire future generations to choose a career in farming and food.

Phil grew up on a farm in Morchard Bishop, Devon before undertaking a PhD at Seale-Hayne College, studying the impact of frost protection systems on potato crops. He joined the Agricultural Training Board, before becoming Director of Trials and Research at Duchy College. He is also a Member of the Board of Trustees for the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow, Cornwall.

David Purdy, John Deere

David Purdy

Territory Manager, John Deere

Territory Manager David Purdy has been with John Deere for 28 years, communicating the benefits of precision farming, agronomics and technology.

John Deere is a NYSE-listed manufacturer of agricultural equipment, founded in 1837. John Deere UK & Ireland started trading from Langar, Nottinghamshire in 1966, celebrating its 50th anniversary last year.

Andrew Blenkiron, Euston Estate

Andrew Blenkiron

Estate Director, Euston Estate

Suffolk’s Euston Estate has approximately 6,260 acres which are farmed ‘in-hand’ by Euston Farms, on which wheat, barley, oil seed rape, forage maize and sugar beet are grown, alongside the management of cattle and sheep. The land is also used for free-range pig and poultry farming, in addition to potato, onion, carrot and parsnip production by agreement with other producers.

Andrew Blenkiron became Estate Director in 2011, managing a total of 11,000 acres. He oversees all aspects of the Estate, including farming, let land, diverse enterprises, the historic house, shoot and woodland. Prior to this, he was Managing Director of Crichel Farms in Dorset. Andrew graduated from Harper Adams University in 1987.

Ben Rayner

Ben Rayner

Senior Advisor, Food Chain Innovation Team, Defra

Ben leads on “pre-farm gate” agri-tech innovation and works across several Government departments to ensure that current and future policy meets the needs of the UK agri-tech sector.

Prior to starting at Defra he spent several years working for the Environment Agency where he delivered Defra’s “Catchment Based Approach”. It involved worked closely with farmers, water companies and other stakeholders to develop novel solutions to elevated nitrate levels and other water quality issues in surface and ground waters due to diffuse agricultural pollution. He was also a Secretary of State appointed member of the Peak District National Park Authority (NPA) this involved ensuring that NPA plans and policy reflected the needs of businesses and residents. As part of this he worked with farmers to develop and promote funding schemes to enable farm business to diversify.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser

Director, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University

Director, Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University Ottoline Leyser DBE FRS is Professor of Plant Biology at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory.

Ottoline’s research interests are in the genetics of plant development and the role of plant hormones in plant developmental plasticity. She made significant contributions to understanding the mechanism of action of the plant hormone ‘auxin’ as well as to the identification of a second group of plant hormones known as strigolactones.

She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to plant science, science in society, and equality and diversity in science. Her BA and PhD in Genetics were awarded by the University of Cambridge.

Jason Hawkins-Row, Aponic

Jason Hawkins-Row

CEO, Aponic

Aponic Ltd have designed and manufacture a vertical aeroponic farming system for growing fruit, vegetables, flowers, salad crops and herbs on a commercial scale 365 days a year. It uses 90% less water, offers much faster growth and much higher yields than traditional growing methods. Being vertical, it maximises ground usage by turning acreage into volume, and it uses very little energy to run.

Jason Hawkins-Row is an engineer and programmer with a passion for empowering people to grow highly nutritious, truly sustainable food anywhere in the world in a simple and predictable manner.

Lindsay Hargreaves, Frederick Hiam

Lindsay Hargreaves 

MD, Frederick Hiam

Frederick Hiam is a Suffolk based farming and fresh produce business specialising in root vegetables for retail, wholesale and food service sectors.

Lindsay grew up on farms on the Welsh Borders and North Lincolnshire and has significant experience of managing large farming businesses in East Anglia. In 2010 he was awarded a Nuffield Arden Scholarship to look at new science with the potential to transform agriculture and food; this was when he first gained an interest in vertical farming.

Adam Dixon, Phytoponics

Adam Dixon

CEO, Phytoponics

Phytoponics has developed a novel approach to deep-water hydroponics that incorporates deep-water culture, ebb and flood system, aeration, ventilation and plant support, all within an innovative growing module design. The flexible system provides an affordable entry into hydroponics and is quick to install.

Co-founder and CEO Adam Dixon was chosen to be a UN Young Champion of the Earth 2017 following his work evaluating establishing a hydroponic farm next to a refugee camp.

GroPod

Dan Hewitt

CEO, GroPod

GroPod is developing next generation growing systems that use aeroponics techniques for root vegetables and research crops. Aeroponics is a plant-cultivation technique where the plant roots are exposed in the air while nutrient solution is delivered to them in the form of a fine mist.

Dan Hewitt is the owner, founder and CEO of GroPod, and has two decades of agricultural experience which has included roles such as head of agriculture for Kettle Foods UK, running Grower Groups and sitting on the Board of the AHDB Potatoes Sector.

Chris Roberts, Cambridge Consultants

Chris Roberts

Head of Industrial Robotics, Cambridge Consultants

Cambridge Consultants is a global product development and technology consultancy firm providing outsourced research and development services.

Chris Roberts is a physicist with a broad technology background encompassing robotics, machine vision, security, cryptography and authentication, digital electronic engineering, algorithm design and system engineering, with an emphasis on low power solutions.

Jaz Singh, Innovating Agri-Tech

Jaz Singh

CEO, Innovation Agri-Tech

Innovation Agri-Tech Group (IAG) provides state-of-the-art agricultural technologies and solutions to help open up new food markets globally.

CEO Jaz Singh joined Innovation Agri-Tech in 2015. A dynamic entrepreneur, Jaz has extensive knowledge in the financial and agriculture sectors and has spent the last 10 years enhancing performance and delivering growth for small, medium and large businesses. His areas of expertise include vertical farming, indoor farming, hydroponics, aeroponics and aquaponics.

David May

Senior Project Manager, LIAT

David joined the University of Lincoln in January 2018 as a Senior Project Manager for LIAT (Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology).

David May is an agronomist by training, having studied Horticulture at the University of Reading and worked for ADAS as a crop advisor. David runs his own consultancy business alongside his work for LIAT, providing expert advice on food, flowers and plant quality.  David specialises in the impact of supply chains on product quality and in particular, temperature management and damages through handling. He has extensive experience in QA and supply chain processes. He helps business optimise quality whilst using their resources efficiently.

Arnoud Witteveen, Saturn Bioponics

Arnoud Witteveen

CTO, Saturn Bioponics

Saturn Bioponics is an advanced hydroponic science and technology company delivering sustainable solutions with a rapid payback.

Arnoud Witteveen joined Saturn Bioponics in 2015 to take forward the R&D with particular focus on hydroponic science. His work focuses on controlling the variables delivering consistent crop yields and quality including phytochemicals, shelf-life and overall nutritional values.

Ben Barnes, Gs

Ben Barnes

Innovation & Research Associate, G’s Fresh

G’s Growers Ltd is an independent producer organisation with 20 grower members in the UK and Spain. G’s Growers’ crop range includes wholehead and babyleaf salad, celery, radish, onions, salad onions, beetroot, mushrooms, Chinese leaf and leeks. Collectively G’s Growers farm over 7,500 hectares of specialist crop which they harvest, process or pack for sale onto their end customers.

Ben Barnes has recently joined G’s and heads up the research into controlled environment cropping.

Rhydian Beynon-Davies, Stockbridge Technology Centre

Rhydian Beynon-Davies

Head of Novel Growing Systems, Stockbridge Technology Centre

Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC) was launched to ensure continued technological developments for the horticultural industry.

Rhydian Beynon-Davies initially joined STC after his PhD at Lancaster University, investigating the influence of environment on rooting systems. At STC he headed up a project looking into the use of LED lighting for protected crops such as tomatoes. He then moved to G’s Growers to manage the development of G’s burgeoning indoor farming operations, before returning to STC as head of the novel growing systems division.

Kate Hofman, GrowUp Farms

Kate Hofman

CEO, GrowUp Farms

GrowUp Farms is a Controlled Environment Production (CEP) business that specialises in high-care and highly automated production facilities to grow that is safer, more sustainable and tastier than traditional produce.

Kate Hofman is responsible for the commercial aspects of GrowUp, having founded the company six years ago with CTO Tom Webster. In her spare time she runs around after her toddler and dog.

Rob Wylie, WHEB

Rob Wylie

Chairman, Cambridge Agritech

Rob has focused on technology commercialisation and investment in the agri-tech and resource efficiency sectors for around 30 years. He is Chairman of Cambridge Agritech and Five Seasons VC, investment firms focused on agri/foodtech, and Chairman of 3 Agritech companies.

Ande Gregson, GreenLab

Ande Gregson

Founder and Director, Green Lab

Green Lab is an open innovation lab and ecosystem for individuals and organisations to design sustainable solutions to complex urban food, water and waste challenges.

Ande Gregson started out in IT and founded and conceived media140, Europe’s first real-time web-conference, and subsequently developed it into a global social media brand. Following the success of media140 he became involved in philanthropic ventures such as Science Rewired before establishing Green Lab in 2015 to work with entrepreneurs and businesses to design food production systems, processes and new foods that can be scaled from a bench-scale trial to world-wide impact.

Paul Challinor, Jones Food Company

Paul Challinor

Co-founder and CTO, Jones Food Company

Dr. Paul Challinor is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of the Jones Food Company Ltd, which has developed a groundbreaking, high-care, fresh food, vertical crop production facility. The unit includes the latest innovations in intensive hydroponics, GE LED lighting and cropping system automation.

Dr. Challinor is a professionally qualified consultant, with wide-ranging agronomic and technical experience in the UK conventional and organic food crop production Industry. He holds broad experience encompassing intensive vegetable, fruit, flower and pharmaceutical crop production systems, with specialist knowledge of intensive hydroponics and substrate culture.

Programme

 

08.30 Farmer Breakfast session – Engaging in the R&D Agenda (by invitation only)

Sponsored by Savills

 

09.30 Registration, Coffee and Networking

 

10.00 Growing the agri-tech innovation ecosystem

Welcome and introduction

Richard Anscombe, Chief Executive Officer of FramFarmers and Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

 

10.20 Agri-tech offers new futures

Sponsored by AHDB

Chair: Dr Susannah Bolton, Knowledge Exchange Director, AHDB

Decision-support systems and high speed computing infrastructures are two of the technologies that have the potential to increase productivity and shape the future of farming. Two exciting field-trials are discussed by:

Dr Zhenling Cui, China Agricultural University, Winner, Norman Borlaug Award

Prof Gerard Parr MBE, Head, School of Computing Sciences, University of East Anglia

 

11.30 Emerging Agri-Tech

Sponsored by BBSRC/UKRI

Chair: Kiryon Skippen, Hutchinsons

Speakers from leading universities and research institutes give lightning presentations about their research including: increasing efficiency of photosynthesis, how soil indicators can help inform land management decisions, and how radar data reveals new insights about crop growth.

 

12.30 Accelerating innovation

Sponsored by BASF

A hackathon brings together programmers from different disciplines with specialists offering deep-rooted industry knowledge. Agri-Tech East hosted its first hackathon this year and the outcomes in 48 hours were remarkable. Participants will discuss the learning points.

Paul Hughes, Director of Enterprise Support, Allia

Aaron Croucher, hackathon technical advisor

Charles Gentry, overall hackathon winning team

Richard Corden, Business Development Manager (Agricultural Solutions), BASF

 

12.45 Lunch

An opportunity to look around the technical exhibition and to network.

 

14.15 Start-Up Showcase

Sponsored by Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise

Chair: Nicole Sadd, Executive Director, RoCRE

Introducing some of the UK’s leading new agri-tech start-ups looking for investment, partnership, collaboration or industry insights.

 

15.30 Tea

 

16.15 Debate:

“This house believes supporting land-use for competitive sustainable UK food production should be the priority for agri-tech innovations”

Chair: Mark Suthern, Head of Agriculture, Barclays

For years the price paid for food has been disconnected from the cost of production; now, as the regulatory environment shifts, agriculture will be exposed to uncertain market forces. What future do we want for farming? Is food security and the supply of high quality, nutritional food incompatible with the demand for cheap food? Does higher productivity always mean compromising the environment or can agri-tech help achieve both? Should farmers go high-tech and automate to compete or instead diversify and produce premium products for the bioeconomy?

This is a chance to hear the views of diverse industry experts:

For:

Dr Dave Hughes, Head of Global Technology Scouting, Syngenta

Stuart Knight, Deputy Director, NIAB

Prof. Claire Domoney, Head, Metabolic Biology Department, John Innes Centre

Tony Bambridge, Managing Director, B&C Farming, former NFU Norfolk Chairman

Against:

Andrew Spicer, CEO, Algenuity

William Cracroft-Eley, Lincolnshire farmer and Chairman, Terravesta

Guy Poppy, University of Southampton, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Food Standards Agency

Ande Gregson, Founder and Director, Green Lab

 

17.30 Closing remarks

Dr Belinda Clarke, Director, Agri-Tech East

 

17.40 Networking reception

Sponsored by SmithsonHill

An opportunity to reflect on the outcomes of the day with colleagues while enjoying some agri-innovative drinks and nibbles!

 

18.30 Event close and depart

See some of the highlights of this year's exhibition:

This is one of the highlights in our calendar as a ‘must attend’ – it’s one of the only events where every interaction will add value for you.

– Antony Yousefian, Director UK, 30MHz

Exhibitors:

University of Lincoln

University of Lincoln

The University of Lincoln will be represented by Mr David May, Senior Project Manager from the Lincoln Institute of Agri Food Technology (LIAT). LIAT is embedded in the University’s College of Science and engages academic staff in a wide range of technology focused research and development projects in conjunction with the industry.

Key projects include the development of state of the art tracking and tracing techniques to monitor food borne pathogens (Campylobacter), the use of big data to control massive networks of machines (refrigeration systems), the development of novel sensors to monitor soil moisture and the application of robotics in agri food production, which includes processing, harvesting and weed control.

At REAP LIAT will be supported by Saga Robotics who will demonstrate Thorvald, a revolutionary platform with the capability to carry a wide range of sensors in an agricultural environment and also be deployed as an autonomous carrying system.

University of Hertfordshire

University of Hertfordshire

The University of Hertfordshire has recently launched the Hertfordshire Science Partnership which leverages the state-of-the-art facilities and academic expertise at the University to boost the dynamic agri-technology and life sciences sector in the UK. The scheme is funded by the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the European Regional Development Fund.

Organisations can benefit from subsidised rates when accessing our expertise:

– Hertfordshire Knowledge Exchange Partnerships (HKEPs) enable companies to benefit from tailored PhD level projects with input from academics throughout the 4-year programme
– Rent our facilities, or commission our dedicated scientists to carry out research on your behalf

We will exhibit research projects in areas including crop protection against pathogens, plant physiology and genomics, through interactive and visual forms such as video streaming, posters, and live demonstrations of plants with disease traits. We will also display outcomes from our applied degrees in agriculture subjects, including post graduate degrees in BSc Applied Plant and Animal Biology and MSc Environmental Management with Agriculture.

University of Essex REAP 2017

University of Essex

The University of Essex has a significant impact on the regional economy of the East of England, as well as on the rest of the UK.

The University has one of the UK’s leading plant productivity research groups, and impressive credentials in the area of plant research. Some potential applications of their research include: monitoring techniques to determine crop physiology, performance and plant health; technologies and know-how to manipulate plant growth and post-harvest performance; and genome-wide methods for discovering and exploiting traits for molecular breeding programmes. Furthermore, their specialist research can be applied to increase plant productivity and yield through improving photosynthesis, enhanced plant growth and yield, greater plant water use efficiency and the ability of plants to sense and respond to abiotic and biotic stresses.

The University is flexible and innovative in proposing ideas and working with you to find solutions to your problems. They aim to foster a professional relationship around R&D projects aimed at solving a specific problem or creating a new commercial opportunity.

Find out more at www.essex.ac.uk/business

University of Essex at REAP 2017

University of Essex

Our stand will showcase Robot-Fish – a robot which looks like a fish, can swim like a fish and is autonomous. It is fitted with various sensors that help Robot-Fish to move and also allow it to collect data. There will be videos of Robot-Fish ‘in action’ running in the background and the model will be available for delegates to see.

We will also be focusing on manipulating plant processes (photosynthesis, WUE, sensors, ability to with stand abiotic stress) to improve plant growth and crop yield and state-of-the art techniques for monitoring plant performance. This will include molecular biosensors and novel phenotyping approaches developed in-house at Essex, many of which are finding applications in industry.

Hands-on activities will include thermography for monitoring stomatal performance as well as hand-held instrumentation for monitoring photosynthetic efficiency and plant stress.

stable REAP 2017

Stable

Managing volatile prices is one of the biggest problems for the world’s farmers.

In the UK, we know that our productivity needs to improve to keep up with our international competitors. A once in a generation opportunity to improve our productivity is happening right now with the incredible growth of agritech. The opportunities are of course incredibly exciting and over the next 5-10 years they will transform our industry. However, a fundamental fact is often overlooked by developers, academics and policy makers.

Increasing use of technology requires increased investment by farmers; and investment requires confidence in the future.

As volatility increases, farmer confidence drops. Farmers need more predictable income to invest in new technology and bankers need reliable income to support a growing industry.

To break through this roadblock, farmers need a simple, affordable and low risk tool to help them manage the effects of volatile prices. A tool designed and built for farmers, rather than financiers.

Stable is a ground-breaking insurance company that uses AHDB indices, together with machine learning and AI to calculate the risk and premiums and then automatically replace a farmers lost income if the index drops.

The Stable initiative was designed by farmers to boost the financial confidence of British agriculture and enable family farms of every sector and size to take full advantage of the agritech revolution.

Soil Moisture Sense

Soil Moisture Sense

Soil Moisture Sense Ltd specialises in remote soil moisture and climate monitoring. Our experienced team work with growers to provide bespoke monitoring solutions for all types of production system. We offer a full service from installation to online data display with decision support.

We believe that data needs to be presented in a simple, easy to access format which is easy to interpret, so informed decisions can be made on the move.

We have been using Sentek soil moisture probes for over 20 years and these remain the core of our moisture monitoring systems.

Over the past two years we have developed our own irrigation automation system, which builds upon our existing tried and tested monitoring equipment.

Smith Institute

Smith Institute

The Smith Institute is an independent company that specialises in solving complex challenges for businesses and governments by applying mathematical techniques.

We work at the forefront of innovation in high value sectors including telecommunications, transport, defence, retail, energy, manufacturing and agri-business. We help clients develop new capabilities, design, manage and deliver innovation programs, from background research and definition of problem statement to bespoke methodology and models, proof of concept and implementation.

Our services can enable organisations in the agri-tech sector to respond more dynamically to market opportunities. For example, the Smith Institute has experience in translating your knowledge and data into models, algorithms or toolboxes for advanced visualisation, decision-making and operational optimisation. We have substantial experience in data science applications gained from numerous collaborations, organising data science workshops and delivering projects which have large data components.

At REAP we will exhibit a demo of a tool recently developed that turns historical observations and current weather forecasts into predictions on crop readiness. It allows the user to explore multiple scenarios before and during a growing season and perform “what if” analysis.

Small Robot Company

Small Robot Company

Small Robot Company aims to offer robots to farmers through a Farming as a Service (FaaS) model comprising hardware and a software service. Farmers would pay a per hectare subscription fee for a robotic hardware service which digitises the farm, and delivers crop care at per-plant precision.

The robots take care of all the feeding, seeding, and weeding. When one of these robots is needed, it turns up and does its job. When it is finished, it is taken away. This makes it very low risk for farmers to trial and adopt. It also means that farmers no longer have to worry about buying, storing or maintenance of most crop care machinery and equipment.

Find out more at smallrobotcompany.com

Rural Business Research

Rural Business Research

Rural Business Research combines the forces of some of Britain’s top researchers in the field of farming, the environment and rural business. We are valued suppliers to many organisations looking for rigorous fundamental and applied research and the powerful application of data.

RBR is totally independent, a consortium of leading academic units delivering projects for government, levy-funded research bodies, research councils, and commercial clients.

From our research teams around the country, RBR provides exceptional expertise with deep local knowledge, from specific regional studies, national data collection and analysis, economic and environmental modelling and assessments, to the largest survey of its kind in this country, the Farm Business Survey, carried out for Defra.

Use www.farmbusinesssurvey.co.uk to compare your business to farms in the Farm Business Survey (FBS). Or, make projections of business performance. Projections are made with accurate FBS data and forward market values.

For more information, please visit: www.farmbusinesssurvey.co.uk and www.ruralbusinessresearch.co.uk.

Rade

Rade

Rade is a digital agency, based in East Anglia, who specialise in creating complex corporate and ecommerce web sites and integrated mobile apps.

Rade started way back in 1996. Since then, we have worked on a huge variety of projects, for clients across many industry sectors but with a strong emphasis on agriculture.

Rade has delivered a wide range of technical solutions to the Agri sector including:

  • A mobile app and secure web portal for Clarity Biosolutions that uses Bluetooth to communicate with specialist test equipment
  • A sophisticated genetics database for dairy farmers and industry professionals
  • An award winning and innovative mobile app for the pig sector to deliver video training in the field
  • An agronomy app with interactive pest and disease reporting for the PGRO
  • A market data app for beef and sheep farmers built for AHDB.
  • A multi-website system for Opico’s six brands
  • An integrated corporate website, members extranet and back office system for FramFarmers

We understand that building strong relationships with our clients is key to our success. Our skilled team will work closely with you to ensure nothing is overlooked. We’ll be there in the long-term to help you increase productivity and achieve your desired results.

Prodata REAP 2017

ProData

ProData Weather Systems is an experienced specialist supplier of weather stations and environmental monitoring solutions and offers genuine expertise, highly competitive pricing and a commitment to the best possible service.

Based near to Ely, Cambridgeshire, the ProData weather experts offer an online information guide and, through their online shop, weather stations and accessories to suit every level of expertise.

ProData have added the impressive new Davis system, EnviroMonitor, to their customer-focused environmental management solutions. EnviroMonitor is a powerful, convenient and affordable system which serves as your reliable “eyes and ears” on the ground. Now you can have an affordable, flexible and rugged system that monitors and delivers the data you need to measure and manage the key environmental elements needed when making important decisions.

Prodata

ProData

Prodata Weather Systems have been supplying cost effective environmental and weather monitoring solutions to the agricultural market for nearly 25 years.

At REAP this year we will be showcasing the Davis EnviroMonitor solution. Since it came to market 12 months ago it has been very well received by growers and producers alike. Prodata prides itself on offering tailor made solutions and providing a customised service to surpass customer expectations.

POM REAP 2017

POM (Pollinator and Orchard Management)

POM is an agricultural technology company that creates next-generation farm management tools. Our technology is designed to enhance pollination rates, and therefore crop yields, by working with flies and other wild pollinators.

With populations of wild and domesticated pollinators declining worldwide, there is a pressing need to understand and supplement the role that these creatures play in our food systems. Bees have been far more closely studied compared to flies, and because of this, flies are often overlooked and undervalued as pollinators. Current experimental research is catching up however, and POM is working with leading agricultural research organisations in the UK, including Imperial College, Rothamstead Research, and NIAB-EMR.

POM’s product is an internet-of-things (IoT) system consisting of a network of small nodes spread throughout an orchard. The nodes collect data and curate the behaviour of flies in the field. POM works with natural systems to manage and support rather than exploit local ecosystems.

The start-up’s work originated from the RCA’s entry to the 2017 Biodesign Challenge and is led by RCA graduates Louis Alderson-Bythell, Tashia Tucker and Sam Roots, and current student Greg Swan.

Find out more at flypollination.com or follow them on Twitter: @flypollination

Plater Bio

Plater Bio

Plater Bio manufactures novel biostimulants and fertilizers for the agriculture and horticulture industries.

Plater Bio was founded in 2016 and all products are manufactured at our four-hectare factory in Glossop, Derbyshire.

Stand-out products from the Plater Bio portfolio include:

  • Gold Leaf – the world’s first fertilizer to contain every essential plant nutrient in a fully soluble form. Can be used as a ‘complete’ fertilizer on field crops, or as a ‘one part’ hydroponic fertilizer.
  • Fungal Chitosan – a potent elicitor of plant defence mechanism, used as a bio fungicide/bactericide under EU organic regulations. Plater Bio’s chitosan in manufactured from fungi, not animal waste (as is the industry norm).
  • Zinc ammonium citrate – unique chelated micronutrient. Reduced scorch compared to sulphate salts. Biorational, unlike EDTA chelates.
  • Liquid Gypsum – 2000 times more active than powdered gypsum. Solution, not a suspension (as is the industry norm).

Plater bio can also supply fertilizer raw materials and contract spray-drying of biological extracts and microbial products.

Find out more at www.platergroup.co.uk/plater-bio

Plater Bio

Plater Bio

The nutrition of hydroponic crops has traditionally depended upon the use of ‘two part’ or even ‘three part’ fertilizers. There is also an additional requirement for acids or alkali products to control the pH. For automated systems, this requires 4-5 Dosatrons and a dedicated computer. Such a system is expensive, takes up considerable space, and requires all users to be thoroughly trained.

In 2018 Plater Bio launched Gold Leaf, the world’s first fertilizer to contain every essential plant nutrient in a chelated and pH buffered form.

Gold Leaf radically simplifies hydroponic cultivation, and as such, it is now possible to take a crop from seed to harvest with just one product to fulfil your crops nutritional requirements!

Gold Leaf has been successfully tested on over 30 crop species in ebb and flood hydroponics.

Plater Bio are keen to talk to potential new partners to increase the use of Gold Leaf through trials in new regions, growing systems, and crops.

Plater Bio are an independent manufacturer of novel agro-chemical inputs, based in Derbyshire

Phytoponics REAP 2017

Phytoponics

Phytoponics is the UK based startup offing the first large scale deep water culture (DWC) hydroponic growing system to the commercial horticulture sector for growing vine crops such as tomatoes and peppers.

The patent-pending growing system combines many integrated growing features for precise growth control in a scalable flexible polymer design that can be efficiently mass-manufactured and installed for lower capital cost than existing systems.

Phytoponics is designed to improve crop yield levels and quality at lower operational and capital expenditure levels, resulting in improved profit and returns on investment for the customer. Phytoponics are currently raising a seed round for £500k and are looking for trial partners before commercial launch in Q4 2018.

PBD Biotech REAP 2017

PBD Biotech

PBD Biotech has developed a fast, effective and highly specific test for tuberculosis in animals that detects live bacteria in six hours, providing an unparalleled opportunity for infection control.

Following a presentation at REAP 2016, the technology is now being considered alongside the current ‘gold standard’ for TB testing and has secured significant seed investment. Recently the company won two awards in Canada for ‘innovative technology likely to transform animal health and disease management’.

The technology has great potential not only for the control of tuberculosis in the agricultural sector but also as a quality standard to ensure the absence of live bacteria in food and dairy products.

Ozo Innovations REAP 2017

Ozo Innovations

Ozo Innovations (Ozo) is innovating in post-harvest wash of key crops to: minimise loss; increase shelf life; improve food safety & nutritional value.

Ozo is the lead participant in JadooJal, an Innovate UK funded project with Edinburgh Napier University and University of Nottingham developing Ozo’s Electrolysed Water (EW) for post-harvest washing to reduce spoilage losses and microbial contamination of a variety of fresh produce types.

Ozo’s EW solutions have powerful, broad spectrum antimicrobial efficacy and are made in-situ from food approved salts and water. They significantly reduce the use of water, energy and chemicals in food production processes.

JadooJal will test the efficacy of EW against key spoilage/pathogenic microbes on valuable Indian food crops using advanced microbiological and metagenomics approaches to quantify the benefits of reduced spoilage, improved decontamination and shelf life extension.

This is the first stage of a significant programme of research into fresh produce hygiene that Ozo is undertaking as part of an international R&D collaboration.

Visit us on our stand at REAP 2017 to find out how we can help you with your post-harvest hygiene challenges.

Olombria

Olombria

Over 75% of agricultural crops worldwide rely on insects for pollination to ensure increased yields at harvest. In many cases farmers will rent or purchase commercial bee hives during the bloom season. However, the total demand for insect-pollinated crops is increasing five times as fast as available hives. Add to this that the number of wild pollinators is steadily declining, and there is a direct risk to many crops that threatens food security.

Olombria uses specific species of flies to supplement bees as primary pollinators. Flies already do about 30% of the world’s pollination, but the Olombria technology substantially increases their effectiveness. We use advanced, natural chemical signaling and mapping technologies to choreograph their behaviour, placing them just where the crops need them to be.

Find out more at flypollination.com

NIAB

NIAB

NIAB is the UK’s fastest growing crop science organisation, with rapidly expanding research capabilities in plant genetics, agronomy, farming systems and data science, the largest national field trials capability, and strong research links with industry, Government and academia.

With headquarters in Cambridge, and regional offices across the country, employing more than 400 people across the UK, NIAB provides scientific research, technical services and practical advice to improve the yield, efficiency and resilience of crop production across the arable, forage and horticulture sectors.

NIAB is at the forefront in the development of new and innovative products, services and research to ensure the best and most recent science and information is translated into practice. For example the online and interactive Potato Yield Modelling service from NIAB Digital, ensures on-farm and supply chain profitability is maximised by generating real-time forecasts of total and graded potato yield across the season.

NIAB is also working to improve disease diagnostic technologies for use in the laboratory, field and farm office. Examples showcased at REAP include MinION, the portable genome sequencing technology, and loop-mediated isothermal amplification, known as LAMP.

Martin-Lishman

Martin Lishman

Martin Lishman Ltd has over 40 years’ experience of designing and producing crop storage and quality control products. In the context of using agritech solutions to help solve huge post-harvest losses, we will be highlighting ways in which our products help customers reduce waste, increase quality and save time and money.

There will be a chance to look at how users of our Barn Owl Wireless remote monitoring and automatic fan control system make significant storage energy and time cost savings while avoiding costly rejections due to high temperatures or insects.

Preventing waste due to damage and bruising during production, handling and transport of fresh produce is a major benefit of our TuberLog electronic potato. This is now used worldwide in the potato industry. The concept has recently been extended with our latest innovation – ImpacTrack – a temperature and impact logger used to monitor and record damage to more delicate produce such as avocados, sweetcorn, apples and eggs. Advances in 3D printing technology mean that we can create a carrier shell for the logger in virtually any food shape. Users can track progress of produce through the entire post-harvest supply chain, leading to less waste and higher production yields.

LettUs Grow

LettUs Grow

By 2050 we’ll have 2 billion more mouths to feed. This will need to be done with less farmland, degraded soil and in an unstable climate. Indoor farming offers a climate-resilient solution to grow fresh produce consistently and sustainably.

LettUs Grow’s patent-pending technology represents a step-change in efficiency for the indoor farming sector. It can grow fresh produce without soil, all-year-round and in any environment – from cities to deserts – with minimal impact on the planet. The technology has shown growth rate increases of 70% over hydroponics and uses up to 95% less water than traditional agriculture. An easy-to-use software platform, Ostara®, provides data automation, optimisation and business planning tools to farmers, helping to maximise yields and minimise labour and resource use.

There are many applications for the technology including urban and traditional farms, food corporations and research centres. For example, farms could be located in food distribution centres to minimise food miles, keep food fresher for longer and reduce protective packaging. This would reduce the carbon footprint of fresh produce while simultaneously slashing both food and packaging waste.

GCiC REAP 2017

Global Crop Improvement Company

Global Crop Improvement Company (GCiC) supply biostimulants and speciality fertilizers bringing high quality products backed by technical research, field trials and the broad market knowledge of our experienced team of experts.

Viscofol Black is a new Humic acid product with unique properties. It is a high-load product with 25% Humate content, made up of 20.5% Humic acid + 4.5% Fulvic acid. The product is naturally extracted by a micronisation technique which means it has micro-particle size making it ideal for foliar uptake as well as being soil applied. Unlike most Humates on the market the product is pH 4.2 which makes it ideal for tank-mixing with pesticides or foliar fertilisers. It is an SC formulation, and humic acid is a natural chelating agent, making it a natural carrier, aiding uptake of the tank-mix partner.

We are also testing the product as a seed treatment, to aid early crop establishment and root growth, and early results on spring cereals in 2017 are very encouraging, with more vigorous crops, and deeper rooting easily evident in the trial plots.

Finally, as it is naturally extracted without chemicals, Viscofol Black also qualifies as an organic product and is certified by OF&G in the UK.

Express Weather REAP 2017

Farmneed

from Express Weather

An application to promote climate smart agriculture

An innovative, device agnostic platform to deliver bespoke data and content at farm level to deal with weather risk in agriculture. This application is developed through multidimensional research related to crop and weather relationships including disease infestation, agri input management etc. This interactive platform easily connects farmer/grower with other stakeholders in the agriculture value chain.

Farmneed works for all including the individual grower, contract farming entities, agri input companies, agri funding agencies, insurers and even for researchers and academics.

The application allows its subscriber to register themselves based on category including grower, corporate and expert. The simple registration system works on three basic inputs: personal information, location information (geo-tagging) and crop and plot level information. Based on this one-time input, the system gets activated automatically to deliver bespoke content on weather, early warning for disease and pest infestation and on-demand guidance on crop protection, agri input management, soil management etc.

Key benefits:

  • Crop protection
  • Crop management
  • Agri input management
  • Soil and water management
  • Overall sustainable practice in agriculture

Find out more at www.farmneed.com.

Farm-r REAP 2017

Farm-r

Farmer to farmer rental, on demand.

Our mission is to take inherent inefficiencies out of agriculture, allowing the industry as a whole to increase output from fewer resources. We easily connect farmers so they can share idle machinery without friction.

Farm-r is an online marketplace that allows farmers to rent out their unused farm machinery to farmers who need to use it. This results in improved efficiency and profitability for both businesses.

You can earn money by putting idle machinery to work and save money by renting from other farmers instead of buying. Owners can rent out their machine on its own or with an operator; this increases earning potential and adds a useful service.

You can also search for agricultural contractors on Farm-r, ensuring you always find the best service at the best price.

By creating a free marketplace for farm assets we will enable On Demand Farming, access to machinery at the click of a button. This empowers farm businesses to be lean and flexible and seek efficiency and profit rather than be encumbered by overheads that dictate the way they operate.

We look forward to meeting progressive farmers at REAP and showcasing our app.

University of Essex at REAP 2017

EPIC: Essex Plant Innovation Centre

The Essex Plant Innovation Centre – EPIC – is a new initiative of the University of Essex that brings together world-leading research in plant sciences, the environment, computer science, engineering, robotics and data analytics to address real-world challenges. EPIC’s internal and external collaborations have developed exciting IP across a diverse range of projects, including horticultural robotics, soil microbial diversity and optimizing horticultural LED lighting regimes. Their work has helped business partners meet their R&D goals through consultancy, research services and spin outs.

EnviroMonitors

EnviroMonitors

Affordable, quality technology to measure and record your climate and growing environment. This technology provides the data for sound decision making – for improving yields, crop quality and conserving water.

Whether you need to remotely monitor soil nutrients, rain, frost, sunlight or almost anything you can think of, our friendly team can configure the ideal monitoring system for your requirements.

We are the authorised and sole UK and Eire distributor for Onset HOBO, in addition to being a Platinum Dealer for Spectrum Technologies and Premium Dealer for Davis and RainWise weather stations.

EnviroMonitors is a division of Tempcon Instrumentation Ltd, established 1980.

Call us on 01243 558280, or email: info@enviromonitors.co.uk Find out more at www.enviromonitors.co.uk

Elsoms

Elsoms Seeds

Elsoms’ expert team, specialist facilities and strong relationships, develop breeding programmes that push boundaries, producing market leading varieties.

Creating successful new varieties takes significant time and investment. Our continued investments in our plant breeding team and facilities aim to help breed an even wider portfolio and bring new varieties to the market quicker. These major investments have seen our site develop into a major plant breeding station with state-of-the-art facilities.

Our specialist team produce quality seed and our knowledge of the market allows us to make informed selections and target relevant traits. Our portfolio of own-bred material is growing and it is our goal is to be global leaders in the crops in which we breed, including parsnip and swede. We work closely with growers, partners and institutions, developing our industry knowledge and understanding of what the market needs. We also participate in joint breeding programmes with Bejo for Brussels sprouts, purple sprouting broccoli and spring cabbage.

To learn more about Elsoms’ research and development, come and visit our stand and speak to our Research Manager, Dr Adrian Dunford.

DroneAG

DroneAG

Based on a 6000 acre farm, we are a UK based team of farmers, agronomists and drone operators developing and providing end-to-end drone solutions for agriculture. From crop mapping and analysis to spraying systems, we provide simple to use drone technology and training that makes farming more accurate and efficient.

DroneAG will be showcasing our new drone training courses aimed at farmers and crop consultants, as well as our crop-sensor upgrades for consumer drone systems.

Find out more at droneag.farm.

Earlham Institute

CropQuant

from the Earlham Institute

CropQuant aims to provide a robust and affordable crop monitoring platform for use within a working field environment. It can be used by crop breeders to evaluate crop lines and track their development through environmental changes and can provide a vital tool within the academic phenotyping pipeline.

Consus Fresh Solutions

Consus Fresh Solutions

Do you aspire to reduce your food waste, increase your profits and demonstrate advanced traceability? Take a look at Consus – A Fresher Solution

The Consus software solution has been written specifically for the Fresh Produce Supply Chain, focused on growing, packing and distribution operations serving the multiple retailers. Our cloud based multi-user infrastructure allows you to manage your packing processes, cut waste, increase profits and report on the traceability and quality of your products in real time.

With our fully integrated advanced traceability systems (including full packaging mass balance), you can trace a pallet from field to despatch, and from despatch back to field with full history and Quality Assurance visibility. This greatly assists with BRC audits, and customer compliance. The whole traceability process takes minutes to complete, greatly improving the efficiency of your auditing solutions.

With our pallet temperature alerting and predictive shelf life modelling systems, you can reduce your food waste and increase your profits. See your results using our integrated production costing module that gives full visibility of your production costs / profitability per pack instantly. Visit us on our stand at REAP 2018 for a demonstration to see if Consus is a solution for you.

Read more about Consus Fresh in our article, or find out more at www.consusfresh.co.uk

Clarity Biosolutions

Clarity Biosolutions

Next generation Quantitative Lateral Flow Reader and Data Management

Clarity Biosolutions discovers and develops novel technologies for both veterinary and clinical diagnostics. Clarity has developed a portable quantitative lateral flow reader which combines the high-resolution performance of laboratory-based readers with the convenience of a mobile phone app (ClariScan™) which allows:

  • Reader control via Bluetooth.
  • Data management and analysis.
  • User-friendly results display.
  • Upload of time-stamped and geo-tagged results to secure cloud database.

With precision lateral flow tests, the reader provides accurate, quantitative results necessary for biomarker analysis for a variety of tests developed both by Clarity and by third party LFD test manufacturers. It is hand-held for pen-side and point-of-sampling use and connects either by USB to a laptop (for charging) or via Bluetooth to a mobile phone, allowing results to be stored temporarily until data can be transmitted and stored securely on a cloud database. The reader is driven by the Clariscan™ App, which has been designed by RADE for both animal health and crop applications.

British Geological Survey REAP 2017

British Geological Survey

Founded in 1835, The British Geological Survey, the world’s oldest geological survey, is headquartered at Keyworth near Nottingham. It is the principal supplier of national capability in geoscience. It’s the UK’s premier provider of objective and authoritative geoscientific data, information and knowledge for wealth creation, sustainable use of natural resources, reducing risk and the impacts of environmental change.

Over time we’ve surveyed the landscape, producing and refining the geological map of Great Britain, currently in a digital format, with work taking place on 3D representation of Britain’s geology. Applying specialist knowledge and interpretation to the map, we have developed a wide variety of digital data products, addressing numerous social and economic issues facing society and the economy. BGS data is extensively used in property, insurance, construction and environmental management sectors.

However, we constantly seek to apply our knowledge to the new and evolving issues facing British society, environment and business. As such we are interested in understanding how our existing data products might assist the agricultural sector. If there are questions we cannot answer today what data products might we be able to develop going forward to help British agriculture address issues and meet the challenges that lie ahead?

Association for Vertical Farming

Association for Vertical Farming

The Association for Vertical Farming is a global network of individuals, companies, research institutions and universities focusing on leading and advancing the sustainable growth and development of the vertical farming movement and industry. The AVF was registered 2013 at Munich, Germany county court as a nonprofit association according to German law and acts according to its statutes.

The AVF supports by organizing events, workshops, and conferences the transfer of knowledge and raises awareness in the field of CEA/ indoor /vertical farming globally. The AVF initiates projects and builds consortia for national and international funding opportunities.

Analytik

Analytik

Analytik is a leading provider of innovative scientific instruments specialising in Molecular Spectroscopy, Spectral Imaging, Remote Sensing, Particle Characterisation, High Shear Homogenisation, Light Measurement and more.

Our solutions for agriculture include:

  • Hyperspectral Imaging – lab-based and UAV solutions for disease and weed mapping, monitoring crop growth rate and density, canopy cover, pigment concentration, and high-speed produce processing
  • Multispectral Imaging – patented technology for the identification of crop parasites and impurities, analysing meat muscle/fat content and colour, detecting adulteration and food fraud, and monitoring maturity, ripeness, disease, infections and freshness
  • Remote Sensing – for forestry, ecology, plant physiology, and crop and soil research

Our solutions are designed to enable maximisation of crop yields, inform effective decision-making, reduce environmental impact and lower costs surrounding use of pesticides, fertiliser, herbicides and water.

With in-house expertise and additional technical support available from our manufacturers, we are able to help commercial, academic and research organisations alike with a wide range agricultural challenges. We offer extensive consultation and support services to ensure customers get the most out of their investment and pride ourselves on the strong relationships we build with our customers, suppliers and partners.

Analytik is proud to be a member of Agri-tech East.

Alpha BioControl REAP 2017

AlphaBio Control

AlphaBio Control is a British/Italian company registered in the UK and with its headquarters in Cambridge. The company was founded in 2011 by four directors, each with significant agri-business industry experience in senior executive roles.

It operates at the forefront of agricultural science delivering effective, low impact sustainable crop protection solutions through innovations derived from forward edge developments in the science of natural chemistry and biology.

Flipper® is a game changing insecticide recently granted registration approval in the UK. It controls a wide range of economically important pests with minimal impact on beneficial insects and pollinators. Flipper’s® active ingredient is derived from the by-product of extra virgin olive oil via a new process that allows extraction of specific unsaturated carboxylic acids using only a process of distillation and fractionation.

Flipper® represents an important development in the challenge to find effective solutions for safer agriculture without impacting the natural environment. Flipper® leaves no detectable residues making it suitable for use at any time during the growing season.

AHDB

AHDB

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is a statutory levy board, funded by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain and managed as an independent organisation. Our role is to inspire and provide the tools for our farmers, growers and industry to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

We work with six sectors including cereals and oilseeds, dairy, beef and lamb, pork, potatoes and horticulture to provide industry leading information. We carry out extensive research and development programmes, provide market information and analysis, do export development work, run education programmes and carry out knowledge exchange work with our levy payers aimed at improving efficiency, productivity and sustainability.

You can get involved in our network of farms putting research into practice on-farm through our Strategic Farm programmes or our Monitor Farms, which bring together groups of like-minded farmers who wish to improve their businesses by sharing performance information and best practice.

Come and see us on our stand at REAP 2017 to have a look at and join in on the #soilmyundies underwear burying craze to discover more about your soil health, find out more about earthworms and pick up the latest soils and industry publications.

Agrimetrics REAP 2017

Agrimetrics

An easy to use benchmarking app, that allows farmers to compare the performance of their crops to others on similar land, and a dashboard for evaluating natural capital are two of the ways in which the Agrimetrics big data platform can be used by industry.

Agri-food data is held in many different formats and places across the industry, Agrimetrics is sourcing the best quality data and reshaping it so that it is in a consistent format and more easily available to those who want to use it.

The Agrimetrics big data platform offers the industry an opportunity to combine data in novel ways to improve performance and create new types of applications and services.

To show how this can be achieved, Agrimetrics has two demonstrators:

The first is an interactive app that pulls information from multiple datasets to create a confidential benchmarking tool for farmers.  The underlying data and principles could be used for other types of decision making across the industry.

The second is a dashboard that visualises data analysis so it easy for non-specialists to understand. This example was developed for Defra to show how natural capital indices can be applied to different parishes.

More information: agrimetrics.co.uk

Agrimetrics

Agrimetrics

Agrimetrics provides, connects and analyses complex data to drive greater productivity for agrifood businesses and deliver food sustainably. We aim to help solve the global challenges of economically, ethically and environmentally sustainable food production through the use of data, analytics and artificial intelligence.

Agrimetrics will be showcasing its new suite of products: Field Explorer is our new product line which allows you access to data on weather, cropping and soil for 1 or all 1.45 million fields in the UK.

It offers the food and farming industry access to critical field-level parameters in one place.

More information: agrimetrics.co.uk

ADAS

ADAS is the leading agricultural R&D and consultancy business in the UK, with over 60 specialisms including soil science, crop physiology, crop protection, nutrition, horticulture, sustainable supply chains, ecology, economics, policy, modelling, informatics, GIS, web and software development and chemical regulatory compliance.

We work with all parts of the industry to develop innovations and share best practice that improve efficiency, productivity, sustainability, quality and resilience for farmers and the supply chain. ADAS provides information and advice to growers through publications, workshops and one-to-one consultancy.

ADAS has developed its Agronōmics approach to work with groups of farmers utilising precision farming technologies to robustly test decisions and innovations in tramline trials, which we are now offering to clients to complement information from conventional plot trials.

ADAS initiated the Yield Enhancement Network (www.yen.adas.co.uk) to bring farmers, industry and scientists together with common concepts and metrics to share data and ideas for improving crop performance. The YEN is now growing internationally and provides a platform for engagement with farmers, advisers, scientists and industry.

ADAS applies digital technologies to challenges across the environmental, agricultural and rural sectors. We are developing Crop Intelligence Systems that integrate data streams including satellite data, weather data, modelling and smart phone digital images to provide meaningful crop metrics and algorithms for decision support. We are always seeking partners to develop new solutions that could benefit the industry and our clients.

ADAS

ADAS is the leading agricultural R&D and consultancy business in the UK, with over 60 specialisms including soil science, crop physiology, crop protection, nutrition, horticulture, sustainable supply chains, ecology, economics, policy, modelling, informatics, GIS, web and software development and chemical regulatory compliance.

ADAS applies digital technologies to challenges across the environmental, agricultural and rural sectors and will be showcasing a number of its current Agri-Tech initiatives:

  • Agronomics is a new approach for progress in agriculture, addressing questions that matter in networks of farmers, supporters and researchers utilising precision farming technologies, shared data and robust statistics to transform knowledge generation.
  • The ADAS Yield Enhancement Network or YEN (www.yen.adas.co.uk) connects agricultural organizations and farmers who are striving to improve crop yields. The YEN is now growing internationally and provides a platform for engagement with farmers, advisers, scientists and industry.
  • INNO-VEG is a new EU funded project investigating the potential for high resolution spatial crop data derived from farmer led research to drive innovation in the field vegetable and potato sectors.

30MHz

30MHz believes that with technology and real-time data, growers of any size can innovate to become more efficient, sustainable and profitable.

Using plug and play wireless sensors which power intuitive, customer-centric dashboards, 30MHz empowers businesses to turn data captured from the physical world into actionable insights at industrial-scale.

The 30MHz Sensor Toolkit works in any environment, the field, polytunnels, greenhouses to cold storage. Capture and manage your real-time data including soil moisture, crop surface temperature, humidity, temperature, light intensity and weather conditions. All it takes is a few minutes and an internet connection.

From cultivation to storage, transport to kitchen, 30MHz smart sensing technology helps agriculture businesses optimise operations across the chain. Customers include Syngenta, Ludvig Svensson, Bejo Zaden, Rijk Zwaan, Proeftuin Zwaagdijk and Kwekerij Moors.

30MHz

30MHz provides growers with everything they need to set up a wireless sensor network, and start monitoring their crops, growing environment and storage in a matter of minutes, all without any technical expertise.

Customers choose the combination of sensors for their context (capturing metrics including VPD, dewpoint, soil moisture, light intensity, temperature, humidity, windspeed, airflow and CO2). 30MHz provides a private, scalable mesh network (with the option to easily add more sensors at any time) and an intuitive analytics platform with real-time alerts, visualizations, heatmaps, charts and graphs. Data is easily exportable in CSV, analytics dashboards are easily shared with third parties (with adjustable permissions) and the 30MHz API allows users to connect external data sources (including weather and climate control data).

Real-time crop monitoring helps growers make quick, informed decisions with granular, accurate data. 30MHz customers have see quick payback, cases with ROI >1000%, 5% annual energy savings, labour producitivty and thousands in pesticide reduction too. We will showcasing and sharing these stories at REAP 18.

Some UK’s leading agribusiness Polybell Organic, Tangmere Peppers, Cottage Farms, Madestein, Vitacress Herbs, Wot-a-pollut and Thomas Thomson all work with smart sensing technology.

A big thanks to our sponsors...

AF

Bursary sponsor

The AF Group, the UK’s largest agricultural purchasing co-operative, is delighted to be supporting REAP 2018 with bursaries that allow farmers and growers to attend the conference for the discounted rate of £50 (+VAT) per delegate. Anyone in the UK who is a grower or farmer, or who is in full-time education in agriculture (or an agriculture-related discipline such as plant science, agri-engineering, environmental sciences etc) is eligible to apply.

As farming businesses adopt more and more technology, AF is pleased to work closely with Agri-Tech East to help them build a hub of global innovation in the east of England.

Jon Duffy, AF Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “Technology is a key part of our industry and will play an increasingly important role in farming businesses in the future. It is crucial we share knowledge and ideas to keep up-to-date with the latest developments, and conferences like REAP 2018 are an ideal way to do this.”

Innovate UK

Innovate UK

Field sponsor

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

We drive productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base. We’re an organisation of around 300 staff, drawn mainly from business working across the UK, with a head office in Swindon.

With a strong business focus, we drive growth by working with companies to de-risk, enable and support innovation by connecting businesses to the partners, customers and investors and funding business and research collaborations.

Since 2007 Innovate UK have committed over £1.8 billion to innovation and across all sectors, and this has been matched by a similar amount in partner and business funding. We have helped some 8,000 organisations with projects estimated to add more than £16 billion to the UK economy and create nearly 70,000 jobs.

Calum Murray, Head of Agriculture and Food and Innovate UK said “Our support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions, including agriculture and food here in the East of England. We are therefore delighted to be supporting the AgriTech East and the 2018 REAP conference.

For further information on Innovate UK visit the Innovate UK website.

AHDB

AHDB

Sponsor of the Keynote Address

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is a statutory levy board, funded by farmers, growers and the supply chain and managed as an independent organisation. Their role is to inspire and provide the tools for farmers, growers and industry to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

The AHDB work with six sectors including cereals and oilseeds, dairy, beef and lamb, pork, potatoes and horticulture to provide industry leading information. They carry out extensive research and development programmes, provide market information and analysis, do export development work, run education programmes and carry out knowledge exchange work with levy payers aimed at improving efficiency, productivity and sustainability.

Dr Susannah Bolton, AHDB’s Knowledge Exchange Director, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Keynote Session at the REAP Conference this year. This builds on our close collaboration, membership and support of Agri-Tech East. Professor Zhenling Cui’s world-leading research on soil and fertiliser management are two key themes for AHDB including our recent GREATsoils work and the new Nutrient Management Guide (RB209). We look forward to hearing from Prof. Cui about how he further employed Borlaug’s “take it to the farmer” ideology and used effective knowledge exchange to increase Chinese food production for millions of Chinese farming families, an important focus area for AHDB.”

For more information on AHDB, please visit: www.ahdb.org.uk.

BBSRC-UKRI

BBSRC/UKRI

Sponsor of the Emerging Agri-Tech session

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Funded by government, BBSRC invested £498 million in world-class bioscience in 2017-18.

Agriculture and food security is a priority for BBSRC and we aim to realise the potential of scientific advances to deliver innovations for farming. We support around 1,600 scientists in universities and institutes across the UK and invested £142.4m in agriculture and food security research programmes in 201718.

We support the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), through which the Transforming Food Production Challenge will deliver £90m of new funding for precision agricultural technologies that will transform food production while reducing emissions, pollution, waste, and soil erosion and creating new export opportunities.

For more information on how BBSRC is working to support collaboration please visit: www.bbsrc.ukri.org/innovation

For further information on the Transforming Food Production Challenge, please visit www.ukri.org/innovation/industrial-strategy-challenge-fund/transforming-food-production or contact Business.Unit@bbsrc.ukri.org

BASF

BASF

Sponsor of the Accelerating innovation session

Farming today is more complex than ever before; the unpredictability of the weather, control of pest and weeds, market price development, scarcity of natural resources. To rise to this challenge, farmers need new technologies and solutions.

Working together to overcome challenges and find new solutions is one of BASF’s great strengths, and it’s something we’ve been doing in agriculture for over 100 years. Our employees are in constant contact with farmers and agricultural experts in every region around the globe. They work hard to understand what approaches are required to optimise agricultural production, increase farm profitability and improve the quality of life for a growing world population.

In the face of a changing industry, with increasingly complex challenges, we are committed to providing solutions that go beyond our market-leading chemistry. We’re working with partners from across the world to develop a wide range of digital tools. From established tech giants, to innovative start-ups, as well as listening to leading growers and advisors, we’re investing in ideas that will change the way we farm forever.

RoCRE

Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise

Sponsor of the Start-Up Showcase

At the heart of agricultural research, The Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise, RoCRE, is a unique hub focused on promoting collaboration and innovation by partnering with commercial agricultural technology businesses and opening up the research process.

Renowned for our expertise as the world’s oldest agri-science research centre, RoCRE offers state of the art conference facilities, flexible collaborative laboratory and office space and lab incubation units that are home to a vibrant community of Agri-Tech start up and growth businesses including Agri-Tech East members Timac Agro and Agrix Advisors.

Nicole Sadd, CEO of RoCRE, said: “We are delighted to be the Start-Up Showcase sponsor at the 2018 REAP conference. RoCRE are committed to supporting innovation and excellence in agri-tech research, particularly in the East of England and through our partners such as Agri-Tech East.”

SmithsonHill

SmithsonHill

Sponsor of the Networking Reception

SmithsonHill will be at REAP to share updates about their proposed facility for AgriTech and associated sciences, with ability for crop and new technology trials at the heart of the East of England.

Emma Fletcher, Managing Director at SmithsonHill, said: “Cambridge is at the heart of an emerging AgriTech Cluster. We are fortunate to have around us some of the world’s leading agricultural research facilities – our approach will provide that next step – taking the science out of the lab and the field, enabling product and process development to a commercial scale. We fundamentally believe that technology can radically change the industry and that by providing a world-class facility to complement existing resources we can further build on the synergy between farming, multi-disciplinary science and technology as part of the new agricultural revolution.”

SmithsonHill are active members of AgriTech East, as is joint venture partner Russell Smith Farms. At REAP SmithsonHill are hosts of the end of day networking reception and are excited to share their plans with key opinion leaders in the AgriTech space.

Find out more by following us @SmithsonHill on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIN, or at www.smithsonhill.co.uk

Savills

Sponsor of the Farmers’ Breakfast

Farmers have traditionally been price takers not price makers but from now on it will be those businesses that innovate, diversify and evolve – differentiating themselves in the marketplace – that are set to thrive. The successful farm will need to adopt the most efficient and productive technologies and farming systems, harvesting and scrutinising data to inform decision making.

Savills provides a range of specialist management and consultancy services to food and farming businesses, delivering practical support and guidance in a constantly changing industry. We understand that farming today covers wide-ranging activities and that many farms operate as complex enterprises, so our involvement draws on the broadest land and property expertise in the UK.

AF

Bursary sponsor

Anglia Farmers, the UK’s largest agricultural purchasing co-operative, is delighted to be supporting REAP 2017. We are pleased to be able to provide bursaries to enable growers and farmers to attend the conference and hear about the latest developments in agri-tech. Highlighting technological advancements and generating new opportunities for farmers sits naturally alongside our drive to provide excellent value for money for our members and to continually deliver excellence in agricultural purchasing. As farming businesses adopt more and more technology, we are pleased to work closely with Agri-Tech East to help them build a hub of global innovation here in the east of England.

Clarke Willis, AF chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support this bursary to encourage farmers and growers to attend the REAP conference. Technology is such a key part of our industry and will play an increasingly important role in farming businesses in the future, so it’s crucial that we share knowledge and ideas to keep up to date with the latest developments, and conferences like this are an ideal way to do this.”

BBSRC

BBSRC

Sponsor of the Emerging Agri-Tech session

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK’s largest public funder of agricultural research, and is one of seven Research Councils that work together as Research Councils UK (RCUK).

Agriculture and food security is a priority for BBSRC and we aim to realise the potential of scientific advances to deliver innovations for farming. We support around 1600 scientists in universities and institutes across the UK.

BBSRC is supporting the next generation of bioscience researchers by funding around 2000 research students in the UK. All students participate in a funded three-month placement to carry out a work unrelated to their doctoral research. Such experience is important both to help early career researchers understand the context of their research and to expose them to the range of opportunities in which they can apply their PhD skills and training after they graduate.

For more information about our support for PhD training or hosting a placement please visit www.bbsrc.ac.uk/dtp or contact dtp@bbsrc. ac.uk

New Anglia LEP

New Anglia LEP

Field Sponsor

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership drives growth and enterprise across Norfolk and Suffolk representing 1.6 million people and 60,000 businesses.

A key feature of our new Economic Strategy is support for key high impact sectors including agri-tech and food and health research. That support is evidenced in the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative. Run in partnership with GCGP LEP, the Initiative has awarded close to £5m in grants, more than doubled by private sector match-funding – backing start-ups and established organisations to break new ground in research and innovation, invest in new markets, develop supply chains and improve productivity and efficiency.

The LEP has also secured three Food Enterprise Zones across Suffolk and Norfolk – the Orwell food cluster, near Ipswich; the Gipping Valley food cluster, now part of the Stowmarket Enterprise Park; and the Greater Norwich Food Enterprise Zone to the west of Norwich – all adding to the East’s heritage in food and farming, and its leading position as a research centre for food and life sciences.

RoCRE

Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise

Sponsor of the Different Perspectives, Same Goal session

At the heart of agricultural research, The Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise, RoCRE, is a unique hub focused on promoting collaboration and innovation by partnering with commercial agricultural technology businesses and opening up the research process.

Renowned for our expertise as the world’s oldest agri-science research centre, RoCRE offers state of the art conference facilities, flexible collaborative laboratory and office space and lab incubation units that are home to a vibrant community of Agri-Tech start up and growth businesses including Agri-Tech East members Timac Agro and Agrix Advisors.

We are delighted to be the Sofa Session sponsor at the 2017 REAP conference. RoCRE are committed to supporting innovation and excellence in agri-tech research, particularly in the East of England and through our partners such as Agri-Tech East.

UEA

University of East Anglia

Field Sponsor

UEA has been pioneering innovation for over 50 years and is ranked in the top 200 universities in the world. Our research makes an economic and social impact way beyond our campus, and over 80% of our research has been assessed as being world-leading or internationally excellent.

We make it easy for you to access the knowledge and expertise of our world-class academic experts; our cutting edge, state of the art facilities and technologies; and our enterprising and enthusiastic students and graduates to help you:

  • Develop new products and services
  • Identify areas for cost savings
  • Make strategic decisions
  • Solve technical and operational problems

UEA’s academic insight and research discoveries already benefit organisations and businesses throughout the region and further afield, so how will we work together?

Innovate UK

Innovate UK

Sponsor of the Start-Up Showcase

Calum Murray, Head of Agriculture and Food at Innovate UK, explained that: “Innovate UK is the UK’s business-led innovation agency. We work with people, companies and partners to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy.

With a strong business focus, we drive growth by working with companies to de-risk, enable and support innovation. To do this, we:

  • determine which science and technology developments will drive future economic growth
  • meet UK innovators with great ideas in the fields we’re focused on
  • fund the strongest opportunities
  • connect innovators with the right partners they need to succeed
  • help our innovators launch, build and grow successful businesses.

To this end we are delighted to be involved with AgriTech East and the REAP conference.”

Innovate UK

Innovate UK

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

We drive productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base. We’re an organisation of around 300 staff, drawn mainly from business working across the UK, with a head office in Swindon.

With a strong business focus, we drive growth by working with companies to de-risk, enable and support innovation by connecting businesses to the partners, customers and investors and funding business and research collaborations.

Since 2007 Innovate UK have committed over £1.8 billion to innovation and across all sectors, and this has been matched by a similar amount in partner and business funding. We have helped some 8,000 organisations with projects estimated to add more than £16 billion to the UK economy and create nearly 70,000 jobs.

For further information on Innovate UK visit innovateuk.gov.uk.

Gallery and feedback

Welcome to REAP 2018!

Sponsored by Innovate UK; bursary sponsored by AF

Take a look below through the image carousels for each part of the day, and read some of the comment we have received about REAP 2018.

Farmers Breakfast

Sponsored by Savills

“Many thanks for breakfast yesterday morning and the opportunity to attend the breakfast discussion. It was an excellent day all round with lots of thought provoking discussion.”

Agri-tech offers new futures

Sponsored by AHDB

“It was brilliant to be a part of the Conference on Wednesday – another thought-provoking and engaging event. It is always inspiring to talk to many new innovative companies, see future agri-tech possibilities, engage with academics and the agri-tech industry in our work, enable new networks for them and links to growers or researchers or catch up with familiar faces from across the sector. “

Emerging Agri-Tech

Sponsored by BBSRC/UKRI

“I wanted to congratulate you on a fantastic REAP conference. I thought the mix of presentations was excellent and pitched just right. The debate to conclude proceedings was also excellent and thought provoking.”

Accelerating innovation

Sponsored by BASF

“Personally, what I took away from REAP is the importance of the need to ‘collaborate to innovate’ and beyond – the need to ensure collaboration is at every stage of the journey to create user centric solutions. However, how to collaborate is a challenge in itself. I also felt a real emphasis on the right data and the right information rather than just any data (or big data!) in order to make informed decisions.”

Start-Up Showcase

Sponsored by Rothamsted Centre for Ressearch and Enterprise

“Thank you all for last week’s events, it made a fascinating change from day to day farming.”

Debate

“REAP was really good event for us and we are definitely planning on coming back next year and continuing to be part of Agri Tech Week.”

Exhibition and Networking Reception

Reception sponsored by SmithsonHill

“I made a tonne of useful connections and it was a great environment to showcase our technology.”

See you at REAP 2019

See you at REAP 2019 on 6 November 2019 at Rowley Mile Conference Centre, Newmarket, CB8 0TF

Details

Date:
November 7, 2018
Time:
9:30 am - 5:30 pm
Event Category:

Venue

Conference Centre
Wellcome Genome Campus
Cambridge, CB101RQ United Kingdom
+ Google Map