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REAP Conference 2017: Today’s Knowledge Meets Tomorrow’s Technology
November 7, 2017 @ 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
REAP 2017 is over! See below and the gallery page for some of the highlights!
Productive, profitable and sustainable? Can agri-tech deliver a ‘third way’?
Soil tillage has led to soil erosion at rates that threaten sustainable food supply. As a result farming practices that work with nature are gaining momentum.
But for the whole value chain to embrace this challenge we need a dialogue based on good science, relevant metrics and consistent standards.
At REAP 2017 we looked at how today’s best practice is being enhanced by emerging agri-tech.
Early adopters shared their experiences from the field, regulators outlined future strategy, and researchers and technologists provided insights into emerging agri-tech developments.
Hear why you should come to REAP from previous attendees
Read the report from REAP 2017:
09.30 Registration, Coffee and Networking
10.00 Agri-Tech East – Growing the agri-tech innovation ecosystem
Belinda Clarke, Director, Agri-Tech East
10.10 Welcome and Introduction
Richard Anscombe, CEO, Chair of Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group
10.20 Thinking beyond the conventional
Chair: Prof Jonathan Jones, Group Leader, The Sainsbury Laboratory
Biological agriculture focuses on the soil as the source of nutrients: healthy soils allow the production of quality, profitable crop within the existing footprint.
The no-till revolution: María Beatriz Giraudo, Argentinian Farmer and Winner of the Kleckner Prize Global Farming Prize 2016
Response by: Professor Ian Crute, Former Chief Scientist at AHDB
11.20 Start-Up Showcase
Sponsored by Innovate UK
Chair: Calum Murray, Head of Agriculture and Food, Innovate UK
Six of the hottest young companies present their technologies.
- Phytoponics Adam Dixon, CEO
- Agrilytix Nilesh Mistry, Business Development Director
- Farm-r Dan Robinson, Founder
- Small Robot Company Sam Watson-Jones, Co-Founder
- Petiole Maryna Kuzmenko, CEO
- Connecting Food Britt Kritzler, Country Manager UK & DE
14.15 Adding value with agri-tech
Chair: Ruth Bailey, CEO, Agricultural Engineers’ Association
Early adopters of new technology and approaches share their experiences.
Engineering a post-chemical world: Philip Garford, Managing Director, Garford Farm Machinery
Adding nutritional value: Matt O’Hagan, Senior Agronomist, Marks and Spencer
Delivering a Crop Intelligence Platform for Growers Through Collaboration with Research and the Industry: Sachin Shende, Co-founder and CEO, KisanHub
15.15 Emerging Agri-Tech
Sponsored by BBSRC
Chair: Poul Hovesen, Director of Farming, Salle Estate, and Vice-Chair, Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group
Lightning presentations by early career researchers.
- Know your soil: Improving soil understanding using robotic exploration: Jamie Pulido Fentanes, University of Lincoln
- Can we select for wheat varieties that can tolerate or suppress blackgrass: Stephanie Swarbreck, University of Cambridge
- Studying Death to Understand Life: The Importance of Senescence in Wheat: Sophie Harrington, John Innes Centre
- Why might early-flowering barley varieties also use less water?: Jim Stevens, University of Essex
- Phoma stem canker on oilseed rape: are we missing something important?: Asna Javaiud, University of Hertfordshire
- Common potato scab control, a tale of irrigation and bacterial communities: Francesca Stefanato, John Innes Centre
- Neither blighted nor bruised; better potatoes through genetics: Dr Marina Pais, The Sainsbury Laboratory
16.45 Different perspectives, same goal
Sponsored by Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise
Chair: Dr Phil Le Grice, Director, Rural Economy and Food, Cornwall College Group, and Principal, Bicton and Duchy College
An inspired R&D director, an experienced farm estate manager, a leading research scientist and a Defra representative will discuss learning points and opportunities arising from the conference.
David Purdy, Territory Manager, John Deere
Ben Rayner, Senior Advisor Food Chain Innovation, Defra
Andrew Blenkiron, Estate Director, Euston Estate
Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, Director, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University
17.30 Closing Remarks
Sponsored by SmithsonHill
Agri-Tech for a Productive Future - Speakers
Welcome and Introduction
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
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.
Thinking beyond the conventional
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adding value with agri-tech
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Different perspectives, same goal
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
See some of the highlights of a previous exhibition:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
- Crop protection
- Crop management
- Agri input management
- Soil and water management
- Overall sustainable practice in agriculture
Find out more at www.farmneed.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
A big thanks to our sponsors...
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.”
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.
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.”
New Anglia LEP
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.
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.
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
University of East Anglia
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?