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Agri-Tech East's April Newsletter

We are looking forward to our first GROW hackathon this month and also to welcoming Laura Bouvet, who will support a number of innovation projects with growers – drawing on her extensive experience of working with (and talking to) farmers and researchers.
Innovation brings rewards but also risk, which is ever present in agriculture. We have been considering the ways to manage and mitigate risk.  Our blog considers if the recent injection of funding into agri-tech shows a change in the risk appetite from public investment, and our Professional Insights article from Chrissie Freear of PwC draws parallels between agri-tech and so-called “fin-tech” giving insights to hedge your bets!
De-risking innovation – Defra funding consultation – 24 April, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge
Are you equipped for change? Do you have a suggestion for improving delivery of funding? Defra's Innovation team are inviting feedback. There is an opportunity to hear about the latest policy developments and possible new incentives for industry to invest in innovation and new technologies to increase profitability. This workshop is open to all, with no charge, but please register here.
Using blockchain to build resilience in food chains  - 24 April (after Defra meeting), Sainsbury Lab
Smart agri-food chains offer the opportunity for innovation based on a deeper understanding of customer needs. One of the enabling technologies is blockchain, which provides a secure audit trail for transactions, providing evidence of the origin of produce and its cultivation, and also de-risking international trade. PwC, Map of Agriculture and Applied Blockchain will be explaining the technology and it’s many applications at our Pollinator: Trust, Provenance and Blockchain – Opportunities for Agriculture event. Book now.
How do you improve and measure soil health?  – 16 May, Morley Agricultural Foundation, Norfolk
‘Waiting for Worms’ is the title of our soil and water special interest group meeting – these ecosystem engineers promote a strong soil structure that allows air and water to penetrate deep to the plant roots.  But does ‘counting worms’ offer a valid indicator of soil health or is the story more complex? With experts from the Game and Conservancy Wildlife Trust, Imperial College, the AHDB and Rothamsted Research, we’ll be leaving no stone unturned (groan). This is free for Members, small charge for others. Please register here.

Welcome to Laura Bouvet!
We warmly welcome Laura Bouvet to our team - in a role to be shared equally with the AHDB. Laura will oversee special projects for Agri-Tech East, such as our Innovative Farmers project, and work to connect researchers and farmers to bring new fit-for-purpose innovations into the field. For AHDB, Laura will be focusing on Crop Storage Research at its Sutton Bridge facility. There will be an opportunity to find out more about post-harvest storage in June.

Many brains, better solutions; GROW hackathon – 78 April, Future Business Centre, Cambs
We have had a brilliant response to the GROW hackathon; we've had teams enter as well as lots of individuals keen to team up on the day – so if you are up for a challenge then do register fast. Thanks to our industry experts - G’s Growers, Greenvale, Sentry Ltd, JF Temple & Sons, Aponic and NIAB  - who have crafted some inspirational challenges. Also we are most grateful to hackathon sponsors BASF, Barclays and SmithsonHill, and of course our fantastic partners Allia Serious Impact who are delivering the hackathon with Cambridge Applied Research.

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


and to our renewing members:
Bayer CropScience
John Innes Centre
N E Salmon
Norwich Research Park
Prodata Weather Systems

Learn about the benefits of Agri-Tech East membership, and check out member testimonials.
Young Innovator's Conference
An engaged group of YIF members spent the day at Morley Agricultural Foundation talking about the importance of communication in agriculture. Covering everything from earthworms to creating an app to knowledge transfer, we got an insight into all kinds of elements of the industry. Read more here, or join our next event at John Innes Centre.

New Zealand farmer cooperative meets Agri-Tech East members
We were delighted to welcome a Board level delegation of farmers, scientists and businesses from LIC, New Zealand’s largest farmer co-operative focusing on herd improvement and agri-tech, to Cambridge this month. Read about the visit here.

Pioneering Agricultural Innovation

Phone: 01223 760135


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