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:


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


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


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