It's almost November - which means it's time to think about all things Agri-Tech Week

Agri-Tech East's November Newsletter

It's almost Agri-Tech Week, when the vibrancy of the cluster comes into its own with a rich diversity of events across the region. At REAP we will celebrate the progress made this year with the announcement of some exciting new developments that are falling into place… more later!

A topic that is always relevant is ‘managing risk’, which can include coping with the weather (see our Innovator spotlight), or managing price volatility (see Professional Insights). Both aspects are covered on the website this month.

Our blog is inspired by María Beatriz Giraudo, the REAP keynote speaker, who will talk about no-till approaches and the way industry in Argentina leads agri-tech research. We think it is time to take a broader look at developments in biologicals and to seize this opportunity to learn from one another’s experiences. Some of the trends and issues are discussed in the blog. See you at REAP!

REAP 2017 “Today’s Knowledge Meets Tomorrow’s Technology" – Cambridge, 7 Nov
We will be looking beyond maximising yield at this year’s REAP to explore other ways to boost the value of output and to make agriculture profitable, productive and sustainable.

For example, Senior Agronomist at Marks & Spencer, Matt O’Hagan is keen to increase flavour to create a premium product. He comments: “Many old varieties have been lost, as they couldn’t stand up to today’s commercial practices, but there is also lot of merit in the older varieties, particularly for flavour.”  Prof Ian Crute, former chief scientist at AHDB, says we need to take a harder look at the way that land is used and production prioritised. He argues that new metrics are needed for evaluating agricultural output.

The format for REAP allows different perspectives to be shared by experts in different fields – technology, science, retail and production – and then the learning points discussed in a sofa session. Both the Start-Up Showcase of innovators and the emerging agri-tech session with latest research provide an insight into developments in the cluster, which is increasingly international in its focus. 

Innovation is the best chance for the industry to prosper and if you want to gain inspiration and encouragement then REAP is the place for you.
A big thanks to our sponsors
REAP 2017 is made possible with the support of our sponsors, so a big thank you to AF, BBSRC, Innovate UK, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise, Smithson Hill, and University of East Anglia.

Demonstrations of the latest agri-tech in exhibition
Could flies be an alternative pollinator? Will this new organic product prove a better bio stimulant? Can this weather app help climate smart farming? Are you ready to time-share equipment? 
The technology companies think so. We have an expanded exhibition area with many of the demonstrators keen to explore collaborations. More information here.

Agri-Tech Week 2017 – diversity and depth

  • Catchment sensitive farming in Lincoln. 
  • Bioboost for horticulture at NIAB, Cambridge.
  • Maintaining soil quality in Suffolk.
  • Tackling the triple-helix in Norfolk.
  • Drones over Essex.

With a massive 18 BASIS points on offer across the Week, we are grateful to our Agri-Tech Week partners for their participation. These are: the Agricultural Biotechnology Council, AHDB, Earlham Institute, Easton and Otley College, Lincoln Institute for Agricultural Technology, NIAB, the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association and the University of Essex.
Read more about the Agri-Tech Week events and activities.

Spot Yourself at the House of Lords!
Last month’s member event at the House of Lords and launch of our “From Grass Roots to Blue Skies” vision report has been captured on film – see it here!

Watch this Space….
…..for events in early 2018 looking at natural capital for growers, artificial intelligence on the farm, blockchain in agriculture and our annual look at the funding landscape for agri-tech R&D and business growth. Keep an eye on our events page.

Professional Insights
Managing volatile prices is one of the farming industry’s biggest problems. Inelastic demand and supply means a small increase in supply, which can lead to a larger fall in prices. A new approach to managing risk is described by Richard Counsell of Stable in our new Professional Insights section. Stable are also exhibiting their chatbot at REAP.

A very warm welcome to this month's new members:


and to renewing members:

Earlham Institute
Easton & Otley College
Rural Broadband
Spectrum Aviation
University of Essex
University of Lincoln

Learn about the benefits of Agri-Tech East membership, and check out member testimonials.
Pioneering Agricultural Innovation
01223 760135

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