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REAP Conference 2016: Innovation for an agricultural revolution

Wednesday 9th November 2016 @ 9:30 am - 5:30 pm


Is there an innovation that will transform the future of farming?

Inspirational speakers at REAP described how technology drawn from other sectors and radical new thinking has the power to create transformational change for agriculture.

The keynote speaker was Gary Zimmer, biological farmer and president of Midwestern BioAg who is internationally recognised for his passion and commitment to improving farming through creating and maintaining healthy soils.

Together we looked beyond the current situation of incremental improvement and discussed how to make the step-change that will revolutionise the industry.

Programme highlights

Hear why you should come to REAP from previous attendees


09.30 Registration, Coffee and Networking


10.00 Welcome and Introduction

Belinda Clarke, Director, Agri-Tech East


10.10 Transformational change

The challenges we face are too great to rely solely on the incremental change that has underpinned growth over the last forty years, however it is difficult to imagine how to do things differently. External experts can bring different perspectives and this will allow us to be open to the potential of game changing ideas.

Julius Joel, MD, Greens of Soham, Chair of Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group


10.20 Biological agriculture

Sponsored by AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds

Biological agriculture focuses on the soil as the source of nutrients: healthy soils allow the production of quality, profitable crop, within the existing footprint.

Chair: Prof Giles Oldroyd, John Innes Centre

Gary Zimmer, Co-Founder and President, Midwestern BioAg


11.20 Start-up showcase

Sponsored by Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise

Six of the hottest young companies present their technologies.

Chair: Chris Dunkley, CEO, Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise


12.30 Lunch

An opportunity to hear how to get involved in SMART-AKIS, a new EU project for farmers and technologists to advance the delivery of smart farming, led by the European Association of Agricultural Engineers.


14.15 Perspectives on disruptive technology

The cost of technology is falling and its early adoption in other sectors is de-risking the uptake for agriculture, but can it offer the step-change that is needed?

Chair: Dr Tina Barsby, CEO, NIAB

Disrupting the value chain – Oliver Lofink, Managing Consultant, Life Sciences, PA Consulting

Application of LiDAR imaging to agricultureGeorge Hooper, Business Development Manager, Lockheed Martin

Smart farming and the connected cowKarl Verhulst, IoT engagement lead, Fujitsu

Creating an infrastructure for the IoTDuncan Griffiths, Head of M2M BT Wholesale & Ventures, BT


15.15 Emerging Agri-Tech

Sponsored by BBSRC

Lightning presentations by young researchers.

Chair: John Barrett, Director Designate, Sentry Ltd


16.00 Tea


16.15 Towards a new agroeconomy

Sponsored by Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership

New science is revealing improved strategies – biological interactions within the soil are virtually unknown and offer an untapped opportunity for increasing resilience. If the photosynthetic efficiency of cereals was comparable to that of grasses we could double yields. If crop plants were resistant to disease then chemical control would become a back-up – but will success come from a ‘third way’?

Chair: Dr Jim Godfrey OBE DSc

Advances need an integrated approachProf Sir David Baulcombe FRS, Regius Professor of Botany, Head of the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge

Beyond chemicalsJulian Little, Communications and Government Affairs Manager, Bayer CropScience

A farmer’s perspectiveChristoph Graf Grote, Group Operations Director, Spearhead International

Gary Zimmer, Co-Founder and President, Midwestern BioAg


17.30 Closing remarks


17:30 – 19:00 Evening Reception

Sponsored by SmithsonHill

During the reception, you’ll be able to try edible bugs, as well as taste some locally produced cordial featuring Suffolk-grown ingredients

In the forum there will be displays and demonstrations including research posters profiling current work, technical demonstrations of emerging and early-stage technology and an exhibition area.

Innovation for an agricultural revolution - Speakers

Transformational change

Julius Joel

Julius Joel

MD, Greens of Soham, Chair of Agri-Tech East Stakeholder Group

Julius combines his role of Managing Director of Greens of Soham Ltd (part of Spearhead International Ltd) with a number of non-executive directorships at Management Development Services Ltd (MDS), G’s Growers and other farming companies. Previous roles include Procurement and Technical Director at G’s Marketing.

Julius is a member of the steering board for ARTIS, the national training board, and has a degree in Agriculture from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Greens is part of Spearhead International, a multinational organisation that delivers high quality agricultural products, in large volumes, to consistently high standards, with traceability from “seed to shelf”.

Biological agriculture

Giles Oldroyd

Chair: Prof Giles Oldroyd

John Innes Centre (JIC)

Giles Oldroyd is a plant scientist at JIC and one of the top 1% of most cited scientists across the world. His work has been focused on nitrogen fixation with a long term aim to increase yields while reducing reliance on fertiliser. He leads a multi-million pound international program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gary Zimmer

Gary Zimmer

Co-Founder and President, Midwestern BioAg

Gary Zimmer, biological farmer and president of Midwestern BioAg is internationally recognised for his passion and commitment to improving farming through creating and maintaining healthy soils,

He has explored the latest scientific thinking and the practices of successful farmers and applied this knowledge to his own farm in Madison Wisconsin. The result has been the development of the concept of ‘biological farming’ which has seen yields increase by 50 – 100% on the farms he advises.

This has been achieved by creating the right conditions in the soil – not by “doing more of what they did before”.

Start-Up Showcase

Chris Dunkley

Chair: Chris Dunkley

Chief Executive Officer, Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise

Chris joined Rothamsted in October2013 and was instrumental in the creation of RoCRE. He has been CEO since September 2015 and leads a multi-skilled team who work to facilitate and foster meaningful connections for the benefits of all in the agri related research sectors.

Prior to joining Rothamsted, he was Head of NPD and Marketing at Ipsos Retail Performance, bringing online analytical products to global markets. Chris was founding director of The Sparc Technology Network and Bright Sparc Awards for Technology Led businesses and has a background in technology and research related business incubation, running a number of successful incubation and high growth programmes, leading teams in both start-ups and global organisations.

Perspectives on disruptive technology

Tina Barsby

Chair: Dr Tina Barsby


Tina is a plant geneticist well-respected for her scientific achievements and significant experience in the agricultural crop sector. She has led and managed multifaceted, product driven, research and development programmes in North America and UK/mainland Europe.

She is also a member of the Agri-Food Technology Council.

Tina has a first degree in Agricultural Botany from the University of Wales at Bangor, and a PhD from the University of Nottingham.

Managing Consultant, Life Sciences, PA Consulting

Oliver Lofink

Managing Consultant, Life Sciences, PA Consulting

Oliver Lofink is a Life Sciences and Digital expert in PA’s Life Sciences business unit based in Frankfurt, Germany. He has 20 years of international industry and consulting experience in Life Sciences / Pharmaceuticals / AgroChemicals.

Oliver has been a trusted advisor to his clients in strategy, operating model design and commercial excellence projects, as well as organisational development and change programs. He has held senior positions in the AgroScience industry in Europe and North and South America. Oliver recently published a well-received industry report on ‘Digitising Agriculture’.

George Hooper

George Hooper

Business Development Manager, Lockheed Martin

George is a Business Development Manager for Lockheed Martin System Solutions in the UK. Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that develops and deploys advanced technology systems.

George has recently been working within Lockheed Martin to build an offering in agriculture, using its capabilities in image and data analytics, UAV product range and significant experience in systems integration.

Prior to this George’s background has been in the postal market both in the UK and internationally, specialising in strategy development and new product development, working in the private and public sectors.

George holds a PhD in Population Genetics from the University of Wales and an MBA from the Open University.

Duncan Griffiths

Duncan Griffiths

Head of M2M BT Wholesale & Ventures, BT

Duncan is responsible for the BT M2M team which is the key building block for data connectivity for the IoT strategy. This strategy brings together multiple BT services, solutions and products that collectively build an end to end eco-system that delivers multiple benefits to a range of customers – including those both directly and indirectly serving the agricultural sector.

M2M and the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions enable organisations to embrace data-driven decision making and improve efficiency by providing end-to-end visibility of their assets.

BT is a member of the Hypercat consortium, which is developing an open specification to expose information over the web. This allows devices to communicate data in a consistent manner regardless of the manufacturer. The technology could then be used in a number of IoT and smart city applications. BT is also a key member of the MK:Smart project, which has developed a data hub for Milton Keynes to enable sharing of data to a range of applications.

Duncan will describe BT’s involvement in a recent Smart Farm POC and explain how the agriculture value-chain can benefit from this technology.

Karl Verhulst

Karl Verhulst

IoT engagement lead, Fujitsu

Karl is involved in consolidating and promoting Fujitsu’s global approach to the Internet of Things. Fujitsu has been active in developing cloud computing to support farm management and agricultural production sites. It has recently launched ‘Akisai’ a cloud service for agricultural management, which has applications in administration, production, and sales in open field cultivation, horticulture and animal husbandry. In the Far East Fujitsu has recently opened a smart farming facility in Vietnam which sees lettuce grown inside a closed, sterile space under artificial lights as well as a greenhouse where tomatoes with high sugar content are cultured using a special film.

Emerging agri-tech

John Barrett

Chair: John Barrett

Director Designate, Sentry Ltd

John Barrett is a farm manager for Hill House Farm, Hedenham, Norfolk on behalf of the farm management company Sentry. He is leading the Sentry farming team, driving forward new and innovative ways of being more efficient with reduced environmental impact. He has completed the Worshipful Company of Farmers’ Challenge of Rural Leadership course.

Towards a new agroeconomy

Jim Godfrey

Chair: Dr Jim Godfrey OBE DSc

Director of RJ & AE Godfrey

Jim is a Lincolnshire farmer and director of RJ & AE Godfrey, a family farming business with 4,000 ha of arable crops and an indoor pig unit with 6,500 sows.

A specialist in strategic change and corporate governance, Jim is a NIAB Board director, chair of Innovate UK’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Innovation Platform, a member of the UK Government’s Agri-Tech Food Council, Vice President of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, and Chair of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

He has a Bsc from the University of Reading and was awarded the OBE for services to agricultural research in Scotland in 2002.

David Baulcombe

Prof Sir David Baulcombe FRS

Head of the department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge and Regius Professor of Botany

David Baulcombe is head of the department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge and a Regius Professor of Botany. He has a strong interest in the use of plant biotechnology for crop improvement, especially in addressing the problems of developing countries.

Much of his current research in disease resistance builds on earlier discoveries, made in his Norwich laboratory, of a novel type of regulatory RNA known as siRNA or RNA silencing. This he later discovered had a role in protecting plants and animals against viral attack.

Of recent interest is the discovery of a plant ‘antibody’ a protein NB-LRR which can switch on the plant’s defence mechanisms when a pathogen is detected.

David has received many accolades and awards for his research on RNA silencing, including a Knighthood in 2009 for services to plant science.

His current research includes projects on hybrid tomatoes, evolution in algae, and producing maize that can resist a lethal disease in Africa.

Julian Little

Julian Little

Communications and Government Affairs Manager, Bayer CropScience

Julian is the Communications and Government Affairs Manager at Bayer CropScience, responding to media, political and public enquiries on the subject of crop production and innovative plant breeding, together with more general issues surrounding pesticide use and sustainable agriculture. His role also covers policy and corporate social responsibility.

Julian is also Chair of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council which represents the agbiotech industry in the UK.

He has a PhD in Molecular Plant Pathology and has worked in plant science and crop production for over twenty-five years.

Chris Graf Grote

Christoph Graf Grote

Group Operations Director, Spearhead International

Christoph Graf Grote is Group Operations Director of Spearhead International, responsible for new developments, farm acquisitions, lease and land overview and management training for the group.

He set up his first farming tenancy business in Norfolk in 1984, alongside his business interests, which included the establishment of a exporting company that helped UK producers supply continental supermarkets.

He farmed for 20 years growing combinable crops, potatoes, sugar beet vegetables, beef and sheep. During this time he was awarded UK ‘Grower of the Year’ in 1987 and as a Nuffield scholar spent three months visiting Russia, Ukraine, Poland and the Czech republic.

His overseas interests grew and included farming interests in former East Germany, Poland and Czech Republic and providing consultancy in the Middle East, Far East and Eastern Europe, under EU-TACIS and PHARE programmes.

In 2000 his company Farmwealth merged with Greens of Soham to form Spearhead International Ltd which now farms approximately 80,000ha across the UK and former Eastern Europe.

Closing remarks

Dr Belinda Clarke, Agri-Tech East

Belinda Clarke

Director, Agri-Tech East

Belinda has led the development and growth of Agri-Tech East from its conception and brings tremendous experience of science and its translation into business opportunities. Originally trained as a plant scientist, Belinda is a Fellow of the Society of Biology and a Chartered Biologist.

Belinda has held senior positions in a number of innovation driven organisations including the role of Lead Technologist for biosciences at Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board). She is a council member for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and a trustee of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

Her first degree was in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and her PhD was awarded from the John Innes Centre through the University of East Anglia.


ADAS REAP 2016 feat


VALERIE (Valorising European Research for Innovation in Agriculture and Forestry – www.valerie.eu) is a 7th Framework Programme (FP7) EU project, which aims to improve access to new knowledge and information to help drive innovation in agriculture and forestry. We will demonstrate the ask-Valerie.eu ‘virtual adviser’ tool, being developed as part of the project, to show how it will facilitate the flow of knowledge between farmers, advisers & researchers.

Agrimetrics REAP 2016 feat


Agrimetrics is one of four Centres for Agricultural Innovation funded by the UK government, a partnership between the University of Reading, Rothamsted Research, NIAB and SRUC, who together provide expertise and capabilities in data science, smart analytics, bioinformatics, translational research and knowledge exchange in crops, livestock, food and sustainability.

It is established as a not-for-profit centre and aims to become the world’s first Big Data Centre of Excellence for the whole agri-food sector – from farms to the food industry, retailers and consumers. Visit our website to find out more: www.agrimetrics.co.uk

agriVue REAP 2016


agriVue brings together cutting-edge remote crop sensing technology and innovative data processing in order to deliver an efficient and cost-effective service to agri-businesses. Our professional drone platforms survey fields for a variety of factors such as blackgrass, nitrogen requirements and areas of poor drainage and/or compaction. Once surveyed, our cloud-based reporting software then enables farmers and agronomists to access precision maps containing detailed survey information, which can be downloaded directly to farm management software or machinery.

At REAP 2016 we will be exhibiting a sample of our drones along with our online survey platform, in order to show delegates how agriVue can form an integral part of a precision farming enterprise.

Analytik REAP 2016 feat


Analytik Ltd will showcase the latest in agri-tech analytical technologies behind innovations in remote sensing, crop health, grain/seed testing and food authenticity. We specialise in handheld devices for Near Infra-Red (NIR) analysis, hyperspectral imaging for crop vitality, disease and nutrition, and portable FTIR, which offers new insights into monitoring plant performance and chemical composition. We are leading suppliers of unique and specialist laboratory and field equipment for research institutes, food producers, analysis laboratories and university groups. Join us to learn about the latest techniques in fast, non-destructive analysis of plants, soils, products, chemicals and much more!

Arable Labs REAP 2916 feat

Arable Labs, Inc

Arable Labs, Inc. was founded in Princeton, New Jersey, by an agronomist and a hydrologist to empower decision-making founded on in-field measurements. Its business intelligence solution empowers individuals throughout agriculture enterprises. Agriculture has been stymied in attempts to implement modern material requirements planning (MRP) and forecasting techniques by a lack of visibility into the field.

Arable’s hardware and software solution integrates data from its Pulsepod in-field monitors with historical and operational data from the customer and third parties to yield unprecedented visibility and predictability of harvest, yield, quality and health. Connecting these data sources and offering real-time solutions leads to resource and revenue optimization, and also provides critical information in developing economies for sustainable agronomy.

Bayer CropScience

Bayer CropScience

In an Innovate UK funded collaboration, Bayer CropScience, Optisense, Fera and the University of Hertfordshire are developing an automated in-field pathogen detection device. Once complete, the spore trap will be able to collect and analyse spores to detect the type of pathogen and quantity of spores.

The data will then be wirelessly transmitted to a server to provide real time data for expert analysis. The project has the potential to revolutionise disease forecasting tools, providing farmers and agronomists with detailed information to influence their decisions. Currently two prototype machines have been built, one of which will be demonstrated on our stand at REAP.

Bee Leaf REAP 2016

Bee Leaf

Bee Leaf is a shovel-ready Cambridge freehold high-tech greenhouse proposal which will grow herbs and salads in a “semi closed” two level environment combined with onsite energy generation, in particular a small biogas plant and woodchip boiler.

Generally, Bee Leaf will be avoiding those crops that are both field sown and mechanically harvested in the UK although these crops may be viable in winter when they can be imported considerable distances.

Bee Leaf aims to grow crops that benefit from their equipment whether it be the (blue) LEDs (which leads to excellent colourisation), aquatic growing or just the exact climate control and subsequent precision / cleanliness. Additionally, Bee Leaf will have a sustainable narrative which should, in time, command a premium: renewable energy, rainwater harvesting, low food miles.

biomation REAP 2016


Biomation Ltd has developed an organic Hydrogel “Aquagrain” that allows crops to be grown in soils as poor as desert sand with a fraction of the water usually needed. Come and see the unique Aquagrain hydrogel technology exhibit and be prepared to rethink all you thought you knew about hydrogels in Agriculture.

Aquagrain technology, developed at the University of Hertfordshire, uses organic waste streams from food and farming industries to create a water absorbing polymer capable of absorbing 30 times its mass in water. Aquagrain’s water and nutrient content is slowly released at root level to improve crop yields whilst significantly cutting water and inorganic fertiliser needs.

Aquagrain hopes to help reduce the impact of climate change and population expansion by decreasing crop irrigation needs whilst improving yields in free draining soils, and facilitating crop growing in arid lands where there is insufficient water currently to grow crops.

Biotechnica REAP 2016


Biotechnica is a UK based company developing and producing innovative biological products for agriculture, horticulture and sports turf. Biotechnica has developed a unique range of microbial products and natural extracts that provide plants with the best biological route to vigour and productivity. These products boost growth, nutrient uptake and tolerance to environmental stresses. Biotechnica’s aim is to help farmers and growers reduce their dependence on chemical inputs whilst maintaining or improving their productivity and crop quality. Established in 1993, Biotechnica is the UK’s largest manufacturer of seaweed extract. In addition, they offer one of the most comprehensive ranges of biostimulants and biofertilizers available, both branded products and bespoke formulations.

Biotechnica supplies products through distributors in the UK and globally.

Contact the technical team on 01780 781360 to discuss your needs.

Cambond REAP 2016 feat


We have the world’s first moulded straw pallet and have recently developed straw/biomass pots and products. We think these might be some of the first carbon negative(!) products of their kind.

PA REAP 2016

PA Consulting

At our exhibit, we will share how the wider market views technological innovation in Agriculture, help to understand where a competitive advantage can be found within these innovations, and demonstrate that the technologies for this exciting future are closer than we think.

We’ll be showcasing:

  • A “lab on a smartphone”
  • A small, wireless sensor which allows remote monitoring for only a few pence
  • An air quality sensor to fit in your pocket
  • A low power, long range network which can pull in data from multiple sensors for a one-time fixed cost

We’ve also created a vision of the future which builds a number of existing technologies into a thought-provoking farm of the future.

Prodata REAP 2016

ProData Weather Systems

UK Weather Station retailer offering a cost effective range of automated weather and environmental monitoring solutions to clients requiring real-time weather data from local or remote sites.

rezatec REAP 2016 feat


We develop a “green box”, a near real-time crop management tool. With the help of our ITC data platform we collect and process in near real-time large amounts of growth parameter and phenotyping data per field, grower and location. Crop performance gap analysis during the growing season against measured controlling crop growth parameters provides Rezatec with valuable knowledge that drive seven decision support modules. Crop value chain participants, such as growers, distributor, processors and government, subscribe to one or more modules in order to improve the technical, economical and environmental efficiency of their processes.

They can interrogate data and knowledge products online while are receiving periodic reports and dynamic alerts to optimise process parameters. As production units (fields) now can be measured, monitored and managed individually in near real time according to their specificities the improvements can be sustainable and substantial.

Rothamsted Research REAP 2016 feat

Rothamsted Research

Designed to improve access to information about crop protection, CROPROTECT started in November 2014, sponsored by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Innovation Club (SARIC). It provides farmers and agronomists with guidance on pest, weed and disease management.

With crop protection becoming more difficult, with the decline in the availability of pesticides due to legislative restrictions and evolution of pesticide resistance, alternative approaches are often more complicated and, unlike pesticides, where usage information is on the label, there is no formal mechanism for obtaining key information about alternative or integrated approaches. The purpose of CROPROTECT is to provide that information.

Driven by user demand, the information pages get to the point and emphasise what to do about each pest, weed or disease. CROPROTECT is designed to be used on mobile devices and can be accessed as a website or via smartphone Apps. The number of farmers and agronomists continues to grow and we now have over 900 users.

Although the main purpose of CROPROTECT is to share management recommendations with users, crowdsourced information about pest, weed and disease priorities provides useful feedback about the priorities of the UK arable sector

Find out more at croprotect.com

Innovative Farmers REAP 2016 feat

Soil Association / Innovative Farmers

Do you have an idea which could make your business more sustainable? Through Innovative Farmers you can get funding and support to test it out. You’ll work with groups of likeminded farmers in practical ‘field labs’, tackling problems you all face. You’ll get support from an experienced coordinator and work with a researcher from a top agricultural institute. But the field lab is led by you, meaning you get real results, on the issues which affect your business. Talk to us about our current field labs on terminating cover crops, controlling creeping thistle and reducing antibiotic use, or ask how you can start your own.

www.innovativefarmers.org | info@innovativefarmers.org | @Ifarmers

Licoln Uni REAP 2016

University of Lincoln

The University of Lincoln will be represented by a team from the Lincoln Institute of Agri Food Technology (LIAT). LIAT is embedded in the University’s College of Sciences and engages academic staff in a wide range of technology focused research and development project in conjunction with the industry.

Key projects include the development of state of the art tracking and tracing techniques to monitor food borne pathogens (Campylobacter), the use of big data to control massive networks of machines (refrigeration systems), the development of novel sensors to monitor soil moisture and the application of robotics in agri food production and processing.

At REAP LIAT will be demonstrated two new agri robots, Thorvald and Husky. Thorvald is a revolutionary new platform which has the capability to carry a wide range of sensors in an agricultural environment and also be deployed as an autonomous carrying system.

Yagro REAP 2016 feat


We are proud to exhibit the YAGRO supply chain platform. The web-based Yagro platform creates direct, confidential connections between farms and their suppliers, harnessing the latest software and data technology for the modern agricultural sector. Our farms love the simplicity, visibility, and control they gain in managing their farm inputs. Come and check out our intuitive, user-friendly tool driving a more connected and more sustainable UK farming sector, and see how to join our rapidly growing community!

A big thanks to our sponsors...

Sponsor of the Keynote Lecture

AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds

Sponsor of the Keynote Lecture

AHDB is a statutory levy board, funded by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain. Our purpose is to equip levy payers with independent, evidence-based information and tools to grow, become more competitive and sustainable. The REAP Conference provides our levy payers in the East with unique access to innovative ideas for products and practices which will be vital in improving farm businesses in future.

Bursary sponsor

Anglia Farmers

Bursary sponsor

Anglia Farmers, the UK’s largest agricultural purchasing co-operative, is delighted to be supporting REAP 2016. We are pleased to be able to provide bursaries to enable growers and farmers to attend the conference and hear about the latest developments in agri-tech. Highlighting technological advancements and generating new opportunities for farmers sits naturally alongside our drive to provide excellent value for money for our members and to continually deliver excellence in agricultural purchasing. As farming businesses adopt more and more technology, we are pleased to work closely with Agri-Tech East to help them build a hub of global innovation here in the east of England.

Clarke Willis, AF chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support this bursary to encourage farmers and growers to attend the REAP conference. Technology is such a key part of our industry and will play an increasingly important role in farming businesses in the future, so it’s crucial that we share knowledge and ideas to keep up to date with the latest developments, and conferences like this are an ideal way to do this.”

Sponsor of 'Emerging agri-tech'


Sponsor of ‘Emerging agri-tech’

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK’s largest public funder of agricultural research, and is one of seven Research Councils that work together as Research Councils UK (RCUK).

Agriculture and food security is a priority for BBSRC and we aim to realise the potential of scientific advances to deliver innovations for farming. We support around 1600 scientists in universities and institutes across the UK.

BBSRC is supporting the next generation of bioscience researchers by funding around 2000 research students in the UK. All students participate in a funded three-month placement to carry out a work unrelated to their doctoral research. Such experience is important both to help early career researchers understand the context of their research and to expose them to the range of opportunities in which they can apply their PhD skills and training after they graduate.

Find out more by visiting: www.bbsrc.ac.uk or following @BBSRC. For more information about our support for PhD training or hosting a placement please visit www.bbsrc.ac.uk/dtp or contact dtp@bbsrc.ac.uk

Sponsor of 'Towards a new agroeconomy'

Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership

Sponsor of ‘Towards a new agroeconomy’

The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP is focused on helping to drive forward economic growth in our area, overcoming the key barriers that are holding businesses back. From infrastructure improvements and skills development programmes through to business support and grant funding, the LEP is helping to support businesses with a desire to grow every day.

The LEP runs the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative, which provides funding to support the development of new and innovative ideas within this important sector, as well as providing grants to help businesses improve their agricultural productivity. You can find out more by visiting www.gcgp.co.uk or following @YourLEP and @AgriTechGrants on Twitter.

Field Sponsor

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership

Field Sponsor

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership drives growth and enterprise across Norfolk and Suffolk representing 1.6 million people and 60,000 businesses. Our Strategic Economic Plan sets out our aim to create 95,000 more jobs, 10,000 new businesses and 117,000 additional homes by 2026 and supporting key high impact sectors including Agri tech and food and health research.

New Anglia LEP offers a number of opportunities for businesses looking to invest, develop and grow, including bespoke grant funding and free business advice and support. The Eastern Agritech initiative is offered in partnership with GCGP LEP to support and develop Research and Development or with a growth grant enabling organisations looking to invest in new markets, supply chain development, ways to improve productivity and efficiency. Across the two counties the government has agreed that we can progress the development of three food enterprise zones – the Orwell food cluster, near Ipswich, the Gipping Valley food cluster now part of the Stowmarket Enterprise Park, Enterprise Zone site and the greater Norwich food cluster to the west of Norwich.

For more information go to newanglia.co.uk/businesssupport

Field Sponsor

Norwich Research Park

Field Sponsor

Norwich Research Park is a truly unique location; it is one of the largest single-site concentrations of research in food, health and life science in Europe, all located within a 1 km radius of each other. The Park is home to four independent world-renowned research institutes, a university and a hospital. There are over 12,000 employees including 3,000 researchers and clinicians with an annual research spend of over £100 million.

Our capability to provide a strong supportive environment for innovation coupled to a broad range of skills and leading edge technologies in the agribiotech sector makes the REAP conference a natural choice for Norwich Research Park to support.

Norwich Research Park has a comprehensive portfolio of accommodation that provides opportunities for companies to locate there at any stage in their development, from initial start-up in a shared building to an independent company in standalone premises.

Sponsor of the Start-Up Showcase

Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise

Sponsor of the Start-Up Showcase

At the heart of agricultural research, The Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise, RoCRE, is a unique hub focused on promoting collaboration and innovation by partnering with commercial agricultural technology businesses and opening up the research process.

Renowned for our expertise as the world’s oldest agri-science research centre, RoCRE offers state of the art conference facilities, flexible collaborative laboratory space and lab incubation units that are home to a vibrant community of AgriTech start up and growth businesses. 2017 will see the first Rothamsted Open Innovation Forum and the launch of the Agri Grand Challenge-Led Research Innovation Accelerator – AgRIA.

We are delighted to be the sponsors of the Start-Up Showcase at REAP. RoCRE are committed to supporting innovation and excellence in agri-tech research, particularly in the East of England and through our partners such as Agri-Tech East.

Sponsor of the evening reception


Sponsor of the evening reception

SmithsonHill will be at REAP 2016 to share how we plan to be an exciting new hub to facilitate and encourage open innovation and near to market commercialisation in the AgriTech sector.

Emma Fletcher, Managing Director at SmithsonHill said “We are fortunate to have around us some of the world’s leading agricultural research facilities – our approach will provide that next step – taking the science out of the lab and the field, enabling product and process development to a commercial scale. We fundamentally believe that technology can radically change the industry and that by providing a world-class hub to complement existing resources we can further build on the synergy between farming, multi-disciplinary science and technology as part of the new agricultural revolution.”

SmithsonHill are active members of AgriTech East as is joint venture partner Russell Smith Farms. At REAP 2016 we are proud to be hosting the networking reception at the end of the day and we’d love to have the opportunity to share our ideas with you and get your feedback.

Find out more by following us @SmithsonHill on twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIN, or at www.smithsonhill.co.uk

Gallery and feedback

Click an image to view it larger and see the caption.

“REAP provided an understanding of the issues facing agriculture and the technological solutions being looked at.”

“As a 4th year PhD student I was looking to gain breadth of knowledge on current bio-agro innovation. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and came away updated and enthused.”

“I think your team did a great job and I would recommend the meeting to people in the future.”

“It was all very well organised, great speakers, interesting topics, nice catering. Keep doing what you do!”

“Everything was excellent. The speakers were all interesting, the venue was amazing and the overall organisation was seamless. Very well done indeed.”

“Extremely well organised – good balance of speakers, good venue, good balance of timing between talks and time for networking.”

“Everything you do is excellent, you are the benchmark by which all other conferences should be measured.”

“I hoped to talk to Gary Zimmer and managed to do that. I also made some important and useful contacts through networking.”

“I gained new insights into agricultural innovation and entrepreneurship which will assist me to achieve my goals.”

Thank you to all the speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and delegates who made REAP 2016 such a fantastic day. See you in 2017!

REAP 2016 report cover
Click here to view the event report.


Wednesday 9th November 2016
9:30 am - 5:30 pm
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Conference Centre
Wellcome Genome Campus
Cambridge, CB101RQ United Kingdom
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