The first wave of successful projects under the “Transforming Food Production” programme have been announced, with Agri-Tech East members participating in 19 of the 31 Collaborative R&D projects.
In his announcement today (28 June 2019) , Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy., revealed that industry partners were contributing a further £8.8m to the overall total of £22.4M for project funding.
Agri-Tech East members’ projects include:
Productivity of dairy cows – £233,286 grant for the use of GPS tracking to improve the productivity of grazing dairy cows.
Blackgrass forecasting – £1,001,182 to use AI to develop blackgrass forecasting models that could help save farmers over £0.5Bn a year to help identify successful manages strategies.
Automated disease analyser – Rothamsted Research is a partner on a project worth £927,394 with Hutchinsons, ADAS and Spearhead to develop SpraySaver, the world’s first automated field analyser system for early disease detection of crop pathogens.
Vertical farming – Fotenix Ltd working with the Centre for Crop Health and Protection (CHAP) and others – a share in a £990,856 grant to help develop new vertical farming systems by combining different technologies to optimize growing conditions.
Soft fruit robot – Also Fotenix is sharing a grant of £1,242,623 with the University of Lincoln (and others) to develop First Fleet, the worlds first autonomous multi-modal soft fruit robots
Blueberry picking robot – University of Lincoln is also sharing a grant of £105,435 (with others) for a feasibility study to develop an autonomous blueberry picking robot.
Vision-guided weeding – £698.058 grant (with others) to develop the next-generation of vision-guided weeding systems to reduce chemical use. It is also sharing a grant of £439,100 with others to develop environmentally sensitive weed control systems using precision digital field mapping combined with engineered vehicles.
Hands free farm – this duo is working with others in a grant worth £1,588,964 to develop a totally autonomous “Hands Free Farm” which will develop robotic skills, smart machines and evaluation technologies for smaller and more precise machinery.
Potato measuring – these organisations share a grant of £390,859 to develop TUBERSCAN, to measure potatoes as they are growing in fields, helping optimise harvesting and crop resource use.
Potato Storage – B-Hive is also working with the AHDB and others on a project worth £520,046 to develop a smart storage solution for the potato industry with the aim of reducing waste by 110kt and improve packer profitability by £108m a year.
Electrical weeding solution – SRC is sharing a grant of £690,380 with others to develop a prototype electrical weeding solution for new crop types
Beef supply chain – working with others on a grant of £2,441,794 to develop the world’s first “beef data bank” – a platform for data covering the beef supply chain to help avoid disease, improve business performance and improve product quality.
Blight detection by drone – Folium will be working with the University of East Anglia and others on a grant of £909,984 to develop a system for prevention of bacterial blight infection, using drones to detect and then treat blight using a new biotic treatment.
Cool harvests – NRI at the University of Greenwich is sharing a £311.690 grant with others to develop in-field cooling systems to rapidly remove heat from produce immediately after harvest.
Fertiliser decision support – The John Innes Centre is sharing a grant of £1,189,803 with others to develop a fertiliser decision tool that will enable farmers to better optimise fertilise applications and increase nutrient uptake by plants.
Boosting farm productivity – Yagro is sharing a grant of £558,146 with others on new technologies to optimise farm productivity to drive a more financially sustainable farming sector.
Transforming Food Production
TFP is a £90m programme of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) and which aims to put the UK at the forefront of advanced sustainable agriculture; transforming food production whilst reducing emissions, pollution, waste and soil erosion.