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Supporting the early adoption of agri-tech innovations

Posted on 03/06/2019

KTN, in partnership with University of Sheffield, are hosting an event on 25 June to facilitate engagement between agri-tech companies and end-users.

In March last year the KTN Plant Sector Advisory Board released its pre-competitive vision for the UK’s plant and crop sector. Alongside prioritising research needs, the importance of providing support for “Adopting Innovation” was seen as a priority for industry.

More specifically, the vision document highlighted desired actions including:

  • Increasing farmer participatory research
  • Encouraging communication and collaboration between scientists and farmers and growers
  • Building capabilities around research or satellite farms

Supporting Early Adoption of Agri-Tech Innovations Event, 25th June 2019

KTN, in partnership with the University of Sheffield, are hosting a dedicated event to facilitate engagement between agri-tech companies and end-users, with the aim of supporting early adoption of agri-tech innovations.

We are looking for a varied audience (Industry, Academia, Farmers/Growers, Funders) to ensure that we can achieve an ‘Agri-Tech Industry’ opinion around this critical requirement, to drive the discussions and subsequent outputs from the event. One key target is to map out the existing end-user landscape, so we are very keen to ensure as many end-user groups are involved as possible.

The draft agenda includes sessions on:

  1. Social aspects of improving adoption;
    • Barriers of translation
    • Behaviour of adopters
    • Innovation pathways
  2. How are end-users funded and supported?
  3. Reports on a series of pilot studies, initiated by KTN, to highlight how the innovation process can benefit from additional end-user interaction and engagement can help SMEs to develop their innovation further into user-centric offers.
  4. Raising the profile of existing grower networks/groups

Highlighting projects where farmers/growers are driving the initiative

Session 2, looking at how end-users are funded and supported, will highlight projects where farmers/growers are driving the initiative.

The Small Robot Company is an agri-tech start up building robots that will seed and care for each individual plant in a crop. Their robots are being designed and built by farmers, for farmers.

Crop Health North is a Farmer Scientist Network which is carrying out trials, looking at different approaches to crop protection.

Pilot studies of innovative agri-tech SMEs

Session 3 will focus on a series of pilot studies of six innovative agri-tech SMEs who are currently being introduced to appropriate end-user groups, giving them an opportunity to report back on their experiences from both the SME and the end-user perspectives.

FungiAlert have developed an award winning, cheap disposable pod, that alerts farmers to the presence of plant disease in the soil before infection occurs. They are working with key stakeholders in the UK agricultural market, to ensure that their products are suitable for all agricultural crops and for different farming practices.

OptiSense designs and manufactures optical sensor systems and analytical instruments incorporating a variety of technologies to serve a wide range of applications with particular emphasis on the fields of environmental monitoring, plant health, food safety, the life sciences and defence.

BlakBear develops novel chemistry and electronics for easy chemical sensing, and harnesses new data with AI with applications from soil and food to air and water quality, in the field and across supply chains.

Fotenix has developed an online 3-dimensional multispectral crop analysis tool which allows producers and agronomists to identify plant characteristics earlier in the season.

Liquid Vision Innovation are an SME with expertise in optical measurement, in situ real-time analysis of fluids, and sensor engineering and integration. They work flexibly with clients, in a tailored approach which allows them to understand and advise them on how the integration of sensors could improve the quality of their process.

Digital Farming Limited (DFL) brings together experts in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), hydroponics, advanced LED lighting, digital communications, controls and sensors, bio-nutrition and food production, renewable power and property.

Crop Intellect invents new chemical activators for the agri-tech industry and protects them with IP rights. Their products include a speciality foliar calcium product to increase shelf-life for fresh produce and a disruptive technology (patent pending) that enables the conversion of air pollution into plant feed.

Find out more and register

The Supporting Early Adoption of Agri-Tech Innovations event is taking place on Tuesday 25th June 2091 at the University of Sheffield. You can find out more and register here.

If any this activity is of interest to you would like to get involved in the programme, please contact KTN’s Plant and Crop specialists, Chris Danks and Kaeli Johnson, or Megan Lewis, University of Sheffield, Knowledge Exchange Team.

You can find out more about the Pre-competitive Vision for the UK’s Plant and Crop sector here.

Related Content

A Pre-Competitive Vision for the UK Plant and Crop Sector
Plants and crops underpin the health, wellbeing and food security of our growing population.
The future of crop protection
A new KTN report by Dr Liliya Serazetdinova discusses novel approaches for crop protection and highlights recent innovations from UK companies.
Agri-food funding round-up
Find out about the latest funding calls of relevance to the agriculture and food & drink manufacturing sectors. Updated 2nd September 2019.