09.30 Registration, Coffee and Networking


10.00 Agri-Tech East – Growing the agri-tech innovation ecosystem

Dr Belinda Clarke, Director, Agri-Tech East


10.10 Welcome and introduction

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


10.20 Thinking beyond the conventional

Chair: Prof Jonathan Jones, Group Leader, The Sainsbury Laboratory


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


11.15 Start-up showcase

Sponsored by Innovate UK

Introducing some of the UK’s hottest new agri-tech start-ups who are looking for investment, partnerships, collaboration and industry insights.

Chair: Calum Murray, Head of Agriculture and Food, Innovate UK


12.30 Lunch


14.15 Adding value with agri-tech

Early adopters of new technology and approaches share their experiences.

Chair: Ruth Bailey, CEO, Agricultural Engineers’ Association


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

Energy and enthusiasm from early career scientists who will share their research aimed at addressing the big industry challenges.

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


Know your soil: Improving soil understanding using robotic exploration – Jaime 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 Stefanata, John Innes Centre

Neither blighted nor bruised; better potatoes through genetics – Marina Pais, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich


16.00 Tea


16.45 Different perspectives, same goal

Sponsored by Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise

An inspired R&D director, an experienced farm estate manager, a leading research scientist and the head of innovation at Defra will discuss learning points and opportunities arising from the conference

Chair: Dr Phil Le Grice, Director, Rural Economy and Food, Cornwall College Group, and Principal, Bicton and Duchy College


David Purdy, Territory Manager, John Deere

Ben Rayner, DEFRA

Andrew Blenkiron, Estate Director, Euston Estate

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, Director, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University


17.30 Closing remarks


17:30 - 19:00 Evening Reception

Sponsored by SmithsonHill

In the forum there will be displays and demonstrations including research posters profiling current work, technical demonstrations of emerging and early-stage technology and an exhibition area. View more about this on our Exhibition page.