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REAP Conference 2020: From micro-scape to landscape – Innovating at the frontier

Tuesday 10th November

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Managing complexity is the biggest challenge for agriculture, as every variable on every level – from the microbes in the soil to global weather patterns – can impact productivity, profitability and sustainability. Innovation is increasingly enabling a greater understanding of the inter-dependence between these variables – starting with the microscopic and cellular processes in soils, plants and animals, and learning how they can impact agriculture at a bigger scale – in crops, herds, fields, farms and landscapes.

This year’s REAP conference is taking a farmer-centric view of the emerging approaches and technologies to support improved decision-making at every level, informing actionable insights and improved planning across the supply chain…

REAP conference 2020

REAP brings together people from across Agri-TechE’s unique ecosystem who believe that innovation is the engine behind adaptive change for the industry. It brings together those who want to develop or deploy new technology, bring fresh thinking and apply best practice to make a difference to agriculture and horticulture – in the UK and beyond. This includes farmers and growers, researchers and technology developers, entrepreneurs and investors, as well as professional and commercial service providers. All these are critical players in ensuring new innovations can make the difference where they need to – in farm businesses.

The conference is strongly focused around bridging the gap between producer needs and innovation-based solutions, as well as showcasing the increasingly vibrant agri-tech start-up community.

This year we are harnessing the opportunity of the digital experience via Swapcard to reduce geographical separation across the network and elevate the networking opportunities to a new dimension – using AI-enabled brokerage to ensure you make valuable connections. We will also be keeping the platform open for 10 days after the event. You’ll still be able to book meetings during this time, browse the stands, and watch back the conference content; perfect for those in different time zones!

Be part of REAP 2020 and lead from the front. You’ll be in good company.

 Hover over the images below to hear about our speakers and look at our Emerging Agri-Tech session to find out what a Rubik’s cube can tell you about decision-making in the field…

#REAP20 - An experience like no other

REAP is your opportunity to be part of an ever-expanding, globally-recognised agri-tech innovation ecosystem. You’ll have a unique chance to form new connections, catalyse collaborations and share ideas, as well as re-connect with existing contacts – and this year we welcome an array of international delegations as well as many new UK partners. We’ll be on hand during the day to make suggestions and broker introductions supported by the back-office AI-enabled technology.  Don’t forget to look out for the following:

  • A revolutionary approach to improving soil health based on best practice from the world’s top farmers – curated by the inspirational Prof David Montgomery
  • Collaborations that are creating impact – entrepreneurs that have featured in previous REAP Start-Up Showcases talk about farmer-led projects that are radically changing the value chain
  • First chance to see ground-breaking innovation in this year’s Start-Up Showcase
  • Leading scientists giving their edit of the most exciting discovery science
  • New product launches and technology demonstrations featured in the Technology Hub
  • An interactive “Sofa Session” with expert insights to stimulate lively discussion from the international audience

Be part of REAP 2020 and lead from the front. You’ll be in good company.

 Hover over the images below to hear about our speakers and look at our Emerging Agri-Tech session to find out what a Rubik’s cube can tell you about decision-making in the field…

#REAP20 - An experience like no other

REAP is your opportunity to be part of an ever-expanding, globally-recognised agri-tech innovation ecosystem. You’ll have a unique chance to form new connections, catalyse collaborations and share ideas, as well as re-connect with existing contacts – and this year we welcome an array of international delegations as well as many new UK partners. We’ll be on hand during the day to make suggestions and broker introductions supported by the back-office AI-enabled technology.  Don’t forget to look out for the following:

  • A revolutionary approach to improving soil health based on best practice from the world’s top farmers – curated by the inspirational Prof David Montgomery
  • Collaborations that are creating impact – entrepreneurs that have featured in previous REAP Start-Up Showcases talk about farmer-led projects that are radically changing the value chain
  • First chance to see ground-breaking innovation in this year’s Start-Up Showcase
  • Leading scientists giving their edit of the most exciting discovery science
  • New product launches and technology demonstrations featured in the Technology Hub
  • An interactive “Sofa Session” with expert insights to stimulate lively discussion from the international audience

Programme

The full conference programme can be viewed on the platform by paid attendees and exhibitors until Friday 20th November.

 

9:00     Conference opens: Welcome and information

 

9:30     Introduction to REAP 2020

John Barrett, Director of Sentry Ltd, and Chair of the Agri-TechE Stakeholder Group

Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-TechE

Watch a video introduction to REAP.

9:45     Farmer-Tech Focus – Digital agriculture in action

Chaired by Keith Norman, Keith Norman Consulting

Three agri-tech companies – Outfield: precision fruit farming; Breedr: precision livestock production; and Arable Labs: decision agriculture – featured in REAP Start-Up Showcases just a few years ago are now achieving global impact. The entrepreneurs return to share their journey from concept to on-farm commercial adoption and their farmer partners will discuss how to integrate innovation into current practice.

Jim MacDougall, Outfield, with Tom Hulme, AC Hulme & Sons

Adam Wolf, Arable Labs, with Will Drayton, Treasury Wine Estates (Australia)

Ian Wheal, Breedr, with Doug Dear, AS & EA Dear & Son / D&P Custom Feeding

 

11:00   Start-Up Showcase – The new generation

Sponsored by Rothamsted Enterprises

Chaired by Nicole Sadd, Rothamsted Enterprises

The REAP Start-Up Showcase is the launch pad for game-changing innovation. Profile gained within the agri-tech ecosystem of investors, advisors, customers and collaborators accelerates the progress of enterprises that are bringing new thinking to real world challenges.

Read more about the Start-Up Showcase.

 

12:00   Break: Exhibition tours and express networking facilitated by Agri-TechE and AI

Technology Hub sponsored by Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority

Read more about the Tech Hub.

 

12:30   Emerging Agri-Tech – Come into the lab

Sponsored by EIT Food

What do a tube of deep heat, a bar code, a Rubik’s cube and some PVA glue have in common? These – and other – everyday objects will be used by leading scientists to highlight the inspiration behind, and application of their work to farmers and growers, as they invite you into their labs to explore the discovery science that is evolving for commercial use. Incremental improvements to crop performance and big picture thinking to evaluate risk are both needed within agriculture. We will learn just how research is contributing to our understanding of how to integrate these different “scales” to create an understanding of the complete “system.”

Air-seq: using DNA sequencing to provide early warning of airborne crop disease – Richard Leggett, Group Leader of the Technology Algorithms Group, Earlham Institute

60 Harvests Left: Debunking the Myth – Daniel Evans, 75th Anniversary Research Fellow, Cranfield Soil and Agrifood Institute

Soil glue: a microbial perspective – Tom Wilkes, University of Hertfordshire

A smelly approach to crop protection – Joe Roberts, Insect Chemical Ecology Research Associate, Harper Adams University

Sustainable solutions for global food security – Giles Oldroyd, Professor of Crop Science at Crop Science Centre

Balancing the conflicting demands on farmers and farming systems – Jonathan Storkey, Principal Research Scientist – Agroecology, Rothamsted Research

WheatsApp: An AI app for plant disease detection – Megan Long, John Innes Centre

Strawberries, robots and supply chains – Simon Pearson, Director of Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology (LIAT)

Soils – Dirt with Life in It! – Alex Dumbrell, School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex

Read more about the Emerging Agri-Tech session.

 

13:30   Lunch: Exhibition tours and express networking

Technology Hub sponsored by Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority

14:00 Small Robot Company Exclusive Announcement in the Technology Hub

Read more about the Tech Hub.

 

14:30   Keynote address – Growing a Revolution 

Sponsored by AHDB

Chaired by Susannah Bolton, AHDB

David Montgomery, MacArthur Fellow and professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington

Montgomery has travelled the world, meeting farmers at the forefront of an agricultural movement to restore soil health. He sees the huge societal benefits of this work and potential for reforming government subsidies to incentive practices that build soil health and carbon storage. He provides an inspirational view of what is possible.

Read more from David Montgomery.

 

15:15   Sofa Session – Building an inter-scale agricultural system

Chaired by Julian Little, Julian Little Communications

Sir Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair of the Natural Environment Research Council

Jane Rickson, Professor of Soil Erosion and Conservation at Cranfield University

Mike Green, Agricultural Sustainability Manager – Agricultural Solutions at BASF

Stuart Hill, Head of Technology and Innovation at Hutchinsons

David Montgomery, MacArthur Fellow and professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington

What does an “inter-scale” agricultural system of the future look like?

Innovators from different perspectives, from soil microbiology to earth observation, from field level to policy overview, help pull together the thinking from the day and stimulate a discussion with the delegates. Together we will envisage a technology roadmap to the future.

Read more here.

 

15:45   Closing comments

Belinda Clarke

 

15:50   Exhibition tours and express networking

Technology Hub sponsored by Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority

Read more about the Tech Hub.

 

16.15 – 17.00  Closed Q&A Session with David Montgomery

Sponsored by Savills

Chaired by Alex Bragg, Savills

Farmer delegates are invited to join David Montgomery for a closed Q&A session and a virtual “beer” after the conference, courtesy of Savills. This is your chance to explore David’s concepts around soils health in more detail and have the chance to ask questions and learn more.”

Read more from David Montgomery.

9:00     Conference opens: Welcome and information

 

9:30     Introduction to REAP 2020

John Barrett, Director of Sentry Ltd, and Chair of the Agri-TechE Stakeholder Group

Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-TechE

Watch a video introduction to REAP. 

 

9:45     Farmer-Tech Focus – Digital agriculture in action

Chaired by Keith Norman, Keith Norman Consulting

Three agri-tech companies – Outfield: precision fruit farming; Breedr: precision livestock production; and Arable Labs: decision agriculture – featured in REAP Start-Up Showcases just a few years ago are now achieving global impact. The entrepreneurs return to share their journey from concept to on-farm commercial adoption and their farmer partners will discuss how to integrate innovation into current practice.

Jim MacDougall, Outfield, with Tom Hulme, AC Hulme & Sons

Adam Wolf, Arable Labs, with Will Drayton, Treasury Wine Estates (Australia)

Ian Wheal, Breedr, with Doug Dear, AS & EA Dear & Son / D&P Custom Feeding

 

11:00   Start-Up Showcase – The new generation

Sponsored by Rothamsted Enterprises

Chaired by Nicole Sadd, Rothamsted Enterprises

The REAP Start-Up Showcase is the launch pad for game-changing innovation. Profile gained within the agri-tech ecosystem of investors, advisors, customers and collaborators accelerates the progress of enterprises that are bringing new thinking to real world challenges.

Read more about the Start-Up Showcase.

 

12:00   Break: Exhibition tours and express networking facilitated by Agri-TechE and AI

Technology Hub sponsored by Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority

Read more about the Tech Hub.

 

12:30   Emerging Agri-Tech – Come into the lab

Sponsored by EIT Food

What do a tube of deep heat, a bar code, a Rubik’s cube and some PVA glue have in common? These – and other – everyday objects will be used by leading scientists to highlight the inspiration behind, and application of their work to farmers and growers, as they invite you into their labs to explore the discovery science that is evolving for commercial use. Incremental improvements to crop performance and big picture thinking to evaluate risk are both needed within agriculture. We will learn just how research is contributing to our understanding of how to integrate these different “scales” to create an understanding of the complete “system.”

Air-seq: using DNA sequencing to provide early warning of airborne crop diseaseRichard Leggett, Group Leader of the Technology Algorithms Group, Earlham Institute

60 Harvests Left: Debunking the Myth – Daniel Evans, 75th Anniversary Research Fellow, Cranfield Soil and Agrifood Institute

Soil glue: a microbial perspective – Tom Wilkes, University of Hertfordshire

A smelly approach to crop protection – Joe Roberts, Insect Chemical Ecology Research Associate, Harper Adams University

Sustainable solutions for global food security – Giles Oldroyd, Professor of Crop Science at Crop Science Centre

Balancing the conflicting demands on farmers and farming systems – Jonathan Storkey, Principal Research Scientist – Agroecology, Rothamsted Research

WheatsApp: An AI app for plant disease detection – Megan Long, John Innes Centre

Strawberries, robots and supply chains – Simon Pearson, Director of Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology (LIAT)

Soils – Dirt with Life in It! – Alex Dumbrell, School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex

 

Read more about the Emerging Agri-Tech session.

 

13:30   Lunch: Exhibition tours and express networking

Technology Hub sponsored by Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority

Read more about the Tech Hub.

 

14:30   Keynote address – Growing a Revolution 

Sponsored by AHDB

Chaired by Susannah Bolton, AHDB

David Montgomery, MacArthur Fellow and professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington

Montgomery has travelled the world, meeting farmers at the forefront of an agricultural movement to restore soil health. He sees the huge societal benefits of this work and potential for reforming government subsidies to incentive practices that build soil health and carbon storage. He provides an inspirational view of what is possible.

Read more from David Montgomery.

 

15:15   Sofa Session – Building an inter-scale agricultural system

Chaired by Julian Little, Julian Little Communications

Sir Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair of the Natural Environment Research Council

Jane Rickson, Professor of Soil Erosion and Conservation at Cranfield University

Mike Green, Agricultural Sustainability Manager – Agricultural Solutions at BASF

Stuart Hill, Head of Technology and Innovation at Hutchinsons

David Montgomery, MacArthur Fellow and professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington

What does an “inter-scale” agricultural system of the future look like?

Innovators from different perspectives, from soil microbiology to earth observation, from field level to policy overview, help pull together the thinking from the day and stimulate a discussion with the delegates. Together we will envisage a technology roadmap to the future.

Read more here.

 

15:45   Closing comments

Belinda Clarke / John Barrett

 

15:50   Exhibition tours and express networking

Technology Hub sponsored by Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority

Read more about the Tech Hub.

 

16.15 – 17.00  Closed Q&A Session with David Montgomery

Sponsored by Savills

Chaired by Alex Bragg, Savills

Farmer delegates are invited to join David Montgomery for a closed Q&A session and a virtual “beer” after the conference, courtesy of Savills. This is your chance to explore David’s concepts around soils health in more detail and have the chance to ask questions and learn more.”

Read more from David Montgomery.

Speakers

Adam Wolf

Chief Scientist, Arable Labs

Adam is founder and Chief Scientist of Arable Labs, creators of the Arable Mark 2. Adam holds a PhD in Biology from Stanford, and later taught at Princeton. He brought his experience in agronomy, hydrology, and plant science to the creation of Arable, in California. During his scientific career, Adam lived and researched in Russia, Africa, Europe, and East Asia, bringing a global perspective on the application of data to solving real-world problems. He believes that given the right tools, people can capably manage our world.

Alex Bragg

Alex Bragg

Director of Food and Farming, Savills

Alex is head of food and farming in the central region and is based in Savills’ Cambridge office. He provides tailored advice to a range of farming businesses, institutional and private investors on farming and estate matters.

He is also involved in the development of international farmland purchasing and due diligence services.

Alex Dumbrell

Alex Dumbrell

Professor in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex

Professor Alex Dumbrell is an ecologist with a particular interest in spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity in microbial systems.

“In which order should crops be rotated to get the best outcome, and why? The answers were hidden in the soil, but are finally being revealed with forensic technologies such as DNA Barcoding. It offers unprecedented insights into the fungi and bacterial communities that have such a huge impact on crop growth and yield. Now is the time to finally find out what is happening beneath your feet.”

Dr Belinda Clarke, Agri-Tech East

Belinda Clarke

Director, Agri-TechE

Belinda has led the development and growth of Agri-TechE from its conception and brings significant experience of science and its translation into business opportunities. Originally trained as a plant scientist, Belinda is a Nuffield Scholar, an Associate of The Royal Agricultural Societies, a Fellow of the Royal 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.

Daniel Evans

Daniel Evans

75th Anniversary Research Fellow, Cranfield Soil and Agrifood Institute

Daniel Evans is 75th Anniversary Research Fellowship at Cranfield University, leading transformative research into the potential of weathered bedrock underlying rapidly eroding shallow soils to store and stabilize organic carbon, hold water and nutrients, and grow food. Daniel is principally interested in the sustainability of soil systems, and engineering solutions to enhance ecosystem service delivery in environments with degraded, shallow, or near-absent soils, such as erosive hillslopes, areas of exposed bedrock, and urban areas.

“Headlines suggest the world’s topsoil could be gone in 60 years, but does the evidence support these claims? For the first time, a global study has assessed soil lifespans, revealing the urgency needed to combat soil thinning. While most soils are thinning, some soil conservation practices are bucking the trend.”

REAP Conference 2020

David Montgomery

Professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington

David is a geologist and a globally renowned writer of popular science. He is professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he has studied the influence of geomorphological processes on ecosystems and human societies.

David’s early work showed how soil erosion heralded the demise of many classical agricultural civilisations, from ancient Greece to Central America. Latterly he has focussed on topsoil depletion in modern times and its causes, as well as how to prevent further erosion.

David is passionate about finding ways to regenerate soil through appropriate management practises:

“Humans have degraded about a third of the world’s viable cropland in the past 60 years, and we’re on track to degrade another third by the end of this century… however within that big picture there are many farmers that through minor changes are restoring soil quality and fertility and that’s why I’m so excited about [the ideas that we’re discussing at REAP2020].”

Doug Dear

Partner – AS & EA Dear & Son / D&P Custom Feeding

Farming in partnership with his wife (Pam) and parents near Selby in North Yorkshire, Doug Dear is a beef finisher through and through – but always with one eye on emerging opportunities. The family have been at Osgodby Grange since 1919, farming over a 1200 acres of wheat, barley, OSR and maize as the predominant cropping. He is currently a farmer focus writer in Farmers Weekly, and was also winner of Beef Innovator 2015 at the Farmers Guardian Awards and a Farmers Weekly Awards Finalist in 2016.

AS & EA Dear & Son provides a specialist finishing service, where the breeder retains ownership of the animals right though to slaughter. They custom feed in the region of 2000 clean cattle and bulls per annum. These are housed in a variety of covered yards, and semi covered yards, feeding to groups ranging from 20 to 120 with the InTouch system on the Keenan. The diet is 80% home grown.

Duncan Wingham

Executive Chair, National Environmental Research Council

Duncan is Executive Chair of the National Environmental Research Council and an expert in large scale physical and environmental effects caused by global warming. Having lead the ESA CryoSat and CryoSat-2 satellite missions studying the Antarctic, his team discovered widespread mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, contributing hugely to understanding of the accelerating impacts of global warming. In his current role, Duncan is keen to promote research into environmental regeneration whilst acknowledging the need to maintain crop yields, filling a gap that has sometimes existed between those scientists concerned with crop production and those concerned with preventing destruction of the environment.

“If you ask what’s driving biodiversity loss, the answer is land use change, agricultural intensification, and to a degree pollution arising from agriculture… so the question of our time has to be: ‘How do we feed the world without destroying it?’”

Giles Olroyd

Giles Oldroyd

Professor and Leader of the Crop Science Centre

Professor Giles Oldroyd studies the mechanisms by which plants form beneficial interactions with micro-organisms, both bacteria and fungi, that aid in the uptake of nutrients from the environment, including nitrogen and phosphorus.

A long-term aim of this research is to reduce agricultural reliance on inorganic fertilisers and he currently heads an international programme funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to engineer nitrogen-fixing cereals.

“We are entering a golden era of crop science – basic science has given us insights into how plants grow and defend themselves against disease and stress and we now have a tool box to improve these traits – the explosive next step in the journey will be to replace chemical inputs with biological solutions.”

Ian Wheal

Ian Wheal

CEO, Breedr

Ian Wheal is founder and CEO of Breedr, which turns real-world livestock data into actionable insights, improving farmer profit and promoting sustainable meat production.

Benefiting from Ian’s experience of growing up on a family farm, and underpinned by rigorous science, the platform supports the entire livestock supply chain in trading smarter, acting faster and growing better animals.

Jane Rickson

Professor of Soil Erosion and Conservation at the Cranfield Soil and Agrifood Institute

Jane is an expert in using soil and environmental data for the sustainable use of natural resources in the UK and worldwide. Professor of Soil Erosion and Conservation at the Cranfield Soil and Agrifood Institute, her work includes research for Government and private sector clients investigating soil degradation and loss of the ecosystem goods and services delivered by soil (such as food production, clean water and climate change mitigation); soil quality indicators; and cost-effective soil conservation practices that can be adopted by farmers. Her recent work with the AHDB has used large datasets collected by farmers and growers to inform and improve soil management guidance. She is also involved in the training and teaching on postgraduate courses in Land Reclamation and Restoration, Environmental Engineering and Soil Management.

Jane has devoted her career to understanding how healthy soils are vital for sustainable agriculture and provide us with a whole variety of ecosystem services:

“Soil is so fundamental to our cultural being – it underpins our green and pleasant land in the UK – and that is determined by how we manage it … Topsoil quality determines our crop yields, but also the nutritional value of what we eat… good soil structure determines water retention and can therefore protect us against both flooding and droughts… all of these services are driven by soil microbiology, which is critical to the long-term health of the soil…”

Jim McDougall

Jim McDougall

Commercial Director, Outfield

Jim is founder and commercial director of the Outfield orchard management platform. A mechanical engineer with a background in environmental risk management, Jim has several years experience in the offshore oil and gas and private equity industries. Jim is passionate about building successful teams and scalable systems. He enjoys windy mountains and long bike rides.

Joe Roberts

Joe Roberts

Lecturer in Entomology and Integrated Pest Management, Harper Adams University

Dr Joe Roberts is an applied insect chemical ecologist whose expertise lies at the interface of ecology, biology and chemistry. His research focuses on using insect and plant derived semiochemicals to develop novel tools for sustainable management of phytophagous insect pests in global agricultural environments.

“Could aromatherapy tools be used to kill pests such as peach-potato aphids that are resistant to pyrethroids?  Orange oil is an aromatic that has been shown to interfere with the basic metabolic, biochemical and physiological functions of insects. Could botanical pesticides have lethal effects and modify behaviour to lead to crop avoidance?”

John Barrett

John Barrett

Director, Sentry Limited and Chair, Agri-TechE Stakeholder Group

John Barrett is the Business Manager of Sentry Norfolk, Mid Kent and Suffolk; and Director of Sentry Ltd. He has managed the Ditchingham Farms Estate in Norfolk since 2001, overseeing growth of the business to over 3,600 acres. He has been an active member of the Agri-TechE cluster, including Chairing the Emerging Agri-Tech session at REAP 2016 and joining the Stakeholder Group in 2017 – of which he was recently appointed Chairman.

His focus is on improving efficiency and innovation in Agriculture, but he’s also driven to seeing a greater diversity of cropping:

“To remain competitive farmers have to look to differentiate themselves, and growing alternative crops is an effective way of doing that – we’ve started with hemp and seed potatoes and are looking to explore other options.

Jonathan Storkey

Jonathan Storkey

Principal Research Scientist, Agroecology Department, Rothamsted Research

Jonathan is a Senior Research Scientist at Rothamsted Research, based in Harpenden. He is a plant ecologist working in agricultural systems, to expand the knowledge base of the functioning of arable plant communities to inform management strategies that reconcile crop production with the provision of ecosystem services and the conservation of biodiversity.

“Life used to be simple, farmers were paid to grow food – now they are also expected to store carbon and deliver biodiversity all against the background of an ever depleting armoury of chemical crop protection products. Could a systems based approach that integrates technology with nature be the solution?”

Julian Little

Director, Julian Little Communications

Having worked in plant science and crop production for over 30 years, Julian has recently set up Julian Little Communications, using his experience to help other individuals and organisations improve their communications and public affairs activity, their confidence in front of the media or Select Committees, and to help affect real management change where it is really needed.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, he has given both written and oral evidence to numerous Parliamentary Select Committees including the Science & Technology, Environmental, Food & Rural Affairs, EU Scrutiny, the Environmental Audit Committees, as well as a number of All Party Parliamentary Groups.

Keith Norman

Keith Norman

Director, Keith Norman Consultancy

Keith has nearly 40 years of experience of UK crop production in a vast range of UK locations, covering different soil types, yield potentials, weed, pest and disease pressures. Prior to setting up his own consultancy business in 2018, Keith was Technical Director at Velcourt, where his main role was to support the 45 Farm Management team in a technical capacity, as well as managing all the company’s R&D activities.

Keith has a large industry network, having worked closely with many key agricultural stakeholders, in addition to having led and managed many collaborative research projects funded by the UK Government.

Megan Long

Megan Long

Post-graduate researcher at John Innes Centre

Megan Long is a post-graduate researcher at John Innes Centre. Her background is in astrophysics, and she conducted research into solar physics in Hawaii and she has brought insights from imaging the magnetic fields of the sun into plant pathology.

“Snap that rust. Scoring plants for diseases such as rust is time-consuming and needs the eye of a trained pathologist. Could machine learning be used to score images taken on a phone? Could this technology enable farmers to identify pathogens quickly in the field?” 

Mike Green

Agricultural Sustainability Manager in BASF UK & Ireland

Mike has over 30 years’ experience working in the agriculture industry and is a champion of the need to balance profitable food production with a healthy farmed environment.

His experience ranges from being an agronomist for ADAS and the national Arable Specialist in Natural England, to his current role as the Agricultural Sustainability Manager in BASF UK & Ireland.

Mike is driven to promote a healthy farmland ecosystem whilst growing quality food in sufficient quantities to meet both local and global market needs. Part of his work involves running two demonstration farms that collate economic and ecological data to support this goal.

“I am interested in how new systems and innovations can maintain on-farm yields whilst improving the cultural and ecosystem services that farmland provides for us all. That requires a big picture view on long term profitability and sustainability, but reinforced by fine-scale monitoring and measurements.”

Nicole Sadd

Nicole Sadd

CEO, Rothamsted Enterprises

Rothamsted Enterprises promotes collaboration and innovation by partnering with commercial agricultural technology businesses to open up the research process. In her role as CEO of Rothamsted Enterprises, Nicole is responsible for driving forward the growth and development of the business portfolio whilst supporting its business community to grow on-site, leading to Rothamsted’s science delivering impact.

Richard Leggett

Richard Leggett

Leader of the Technology Algorithms Group, Earlham Institute

Richard is Group Leader of the Technology Algorithms Group at the Earlham Institute. His research interests include: the application of new sequencing technologies; development of methods for the analysis of metagenomes (mixed communities of microbes); creating new bioinformatics software tools.

“Airborne crop diseases are responsible for devastating loss of yield and over-reliance on pesticides. Current detection regimes often rely on expert identification of the pathogen from plant damage. Together with collaborators, we have developed Air-seq, a new approach that seeks to identify pathogens through sequencing of biological material present in the air.”

Simon Pearson

Simon Pearson

Director of Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology (LIAT)               

Simon Pearson is the Founding Director of LIAT, The Lincoln Institute of Agri Food Technology. His key research interests include agricultural robotics, digital technology to underpin the food supply chain, greenhouse engineering, sustainable farming systems, agri-food manufacturing and productivity.

“Are robot highways the future?  The COVID-19 crisis has shown the fragility of food supply chains. It has also accelerated the labour challenges for the agricultural industry predicted for the UK post-BREXIT. Both these elements have generated interest and a sense of urgency for new methods of automating agricultural processes – but how far is this from the farm-gate?”

Stuart Hill

Head of Technology and Innovation, Hutchinsons Ltd

Stuart, with a wealth of experience in agronomy, crop protection manufacturing and distribution, is developing the future linkage of Integrated Crop Management alongside productive and profitable farming. He also runs the Innovation Group at Hutchinson’s, trialling and developing new technologies to support farmers and provide a more predictive and justified approach to crop production and agronomy. His work transcends various scales, from data collection in the field to advice on a farm, catchment and regional scale.

Stuart’s focus has always been to ask what innovation can do to improve the life for the grower and for the agronomist:

“Understanding the grower and their business is the starting point. We are looking at interconnected systems at whatever scale we take. Whether this is soils or biodiversity across individual fields, individual farms to groups of growers or even regions – agri-tech can help us to see where interventions can be made to make a difference.”

Susannah Bolton

Susannah Bolton

Knowledge Exchange Director, AHDB

Susannah is responsible for managing AHDB’s Cereals and Oilseed division’s portfolio of R&D projects and associated knowledge transfer activities, including the production and publication of the recommended lists of crop varieties.

Tom Hulme

Director of AC Hulme & Sons

Tom runs a family owned and operated mixed farming business which has been farming in East Kent since 1946. He is responsible for the company’s expanding grower / packer fruit enterprise since April 2012, which has doubled production twice since 2008, over its 150ha orchard, without increasing the growing area.

Tom is also Chairman of the National Cherry & Soft Fruit Show,  and an AHDB Horticulture Tree Fruit Panel Member since 2016, and Committee Member of the local NFU branch, and an active participant in many other farming organisations and societies.

Tom Wilkes

Post-graduate researcher, University of Hertfordshire

Tom Wilkes has just completed his PhD at the University of Hertfordshire, investigating how non-till and conventional tillage impacts mycorrhizal fungi in the soil. He has developed a staining technique to provide a crisper image of the fungal components of the soil.

“Microscopic fungi provide the glue that helps to improve soil aggregates; a better understanding of the role of glycoproteins, the soil glue, could provide insights into improving soil resilience and structure, as well as reduce soil erosion. The question is, how does tillage impact this glue?”

Technology Hub

The Technology Hub, kindly sponsored by the Cambridgeshire Peterborough Combined Authority, is your chance to immerse yourself in the innovation ecosystem around Agri-TechE.

While technology and research is part of the ecosystem, the wider “enablers” are also crucial to making it functional, efficient and world-leading. The REAP software platform will enable you to “visit” the stands and meet the teams behind the tech. The Hub will also feature a number of international exhibitors who are keen to create new collaborations and forge new partnerships.

The Hub will be open all day, so do take some time to stop by and browse the booths!

Sponsors

AF

Sponsor of the bursary

The AF Group, the UK’s largest agricultural purchasing co-operative, is delighted to be supporting REAP with bursaries that allow farmers and growers to attend the conference for the discounted rate of £40 (+VAT) per delegate. Anyone in the UK who is a grower or farmer, or who is in full-time education in agriculture (or an agriculture-related discipline such as plant science, agri-engineering, environmental sciences etc) is eligible to apply. Complete and return this entry form by 12 October.

As farming businesses adopt more and more technology, AF is pleased to work closely with Agri-TechE to help them build a hub of global innovation in the east of England.

Tom Carter, Head of Membership & Marketing, said: “Agriculture stands at a crossroads as it navigates some of the most fundamental changes to the industry in a generation. Now, more than ever, collaboration and innovation is needed to help farmers adapt and thrive to these new changes. The REAP conference is a brilliant platform to gain insight into these changes and AF is proud to support the bursary once again.”

View more information at theafgroup.co.uk

AHDB

AHDB

Sponsor of the Keynote Session

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is a statutory levy board, funded by farmers, growers and the supply chain. Their role is to inspire and provide the tools for farmers, growers and industry to succeed in a rapidly changing world. AHDB works with six sectors including cereals and oilseeds, dairy, beef and lamb, pork, potatoes and horticulture to provide industry leading, independent information.

AHDB carries out extensive research and development programmes, provides market information and analysis, creates new markets and export opportunities, funds education programmes and delivers knowledge exchange work with levy payers aimed at improving on-farm efficiency, productivity and sustainability. Soil health, Integrated Pest Management and the environment, coupled with technical and business performance are current key areas of interest for AHDB. Visit the stand to discuss how you can get involved with, or benefit from this research … or to look in-depth at the biology that can be found in our soils through our live microscope.

For full information, please visit: ahdb.org.uk.

Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority - REAP 2020 sponsor

Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority

Sponsor of the Technology Hub

The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) is delighted to sponsor the Agri-TechE technology exhibition. Through its Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative, the CPCA can encourage the next generation of exciting, innovative projects that will influence and shape the future of Agri-Tech as we continue to recover from Covid-19.

As one of the most productive agricultural regions in the UK, CPCA knows that Agri-Tech is key to its goal to help businesses build resilience. It is passionately committed to supporting the Agri-Tech community as they develop new and thought-provoking ways to connect the agriculture industry to the ecosystems and micro-scapes that support our beautiful region.

Find out more at cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk

EIT Food

EIT Food

Sponsor of the Emerging Agri-Tech Session

EIT Food is Europe’s leading food innovation initiative, working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted. EIT Food is supported by the EIT, a body of the European Union that was formed to deliver innovation across Europe.

EIT Food’s unique network of 50+ partners, including key industry players, research centres and universities, and 50+ agri-food start-ups from across Europe, are collaborating together to deliver an innovative and entrepreneurial agri-food sector. In 2018 it invested €14.5m in innovation projects, supported over 90 start-ups and helped launch seven new products and services into the market.

The company is committed to UN Sustainability Goals related to six focus areas including alternative proteins, targeted nutrition, digital traceability and circular food systems. It also recognises the importance of agri-tech to drive sustainable agriculture and sustainable aquaculture to future-proof our food.

EIT Food supports agri-food start-ups through entrepreneurial programmes that help to launch, accelerate and scale their ideas and businesses to deliver new food innovations and businesses across Europe. The company has also created a community of 50K learners where we offer education programmes for students and professionals looking to gain the knowledge and skills needed to innovate the food sector.

To learn more about EIT Food visit: www.eitfood.eu

For further information on how EIT Food supports agri-food entrepreneurs and start-ups, visit: www.eitfood.eu/entrepreneurship and for information on its education programmes, please click here.

Innovate UK

Innovate UK

Field sponsor

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

It drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base. It is an organisation of around 300 staff, drawn mainly from business working across the UK, with a head office in Swindon.

With a strong business focus, Innovate UK drives growth by working with companies to de-risk, enable and support innovation by connecting businesses to the partners, customers and investors and funding business and research collaborations.

Since 2007 Innovate UK have committed over £1.8 billion to innovation and across all sectors, and this has been matched by a similar amount in partner and business funding. Innovate UK has helped some 8,000 organisations with projects estimated to add more than £16 billion to the UK economy and create nearly 70,000 jobs.

Calum Murray, Head of Agriculture and Food and Innovate UK, said: “Our support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions, including agriculture and food here in the East of England. We are therefore delighted to be supporting the AgriTechE and the REAP conference.”

For further information on Innovate UK visit the Innovate UK website.

Rothamsted Enterprises

Rothamsted Enterprises

Sponsor of the Start-Up Showcase

Rothamsted Enterprises is at the heart of agricultural research and is located on the world-renowned Rothamsted Research campus. We’re a unique hub focused on promoting collaboration and innovation by partnering with commercial agricultural businesses and opening up the research process.

We are proud of our state-of-the-art conference facilities and our flexible, collaborative laboratory and office space. These are home to a vibrant community of growing agri-tech businesses including Agri-Tech East members Timac Agro, CHAP and Grow Biotech.

Nicole Sadd, CEO of Rothamsted Enterprises, said: “Sponsoring the Start-Up Showcase at the REAP conference is very important to us and we’re excited to see all that the event has to offer. As an organisation, Rothamsted Enterprises is committed to supporting innovation, collaboration and excellence in agri-tech research, particularly in the East of England and through our partners such as Agri-Tech East.”

See more at rothamstedenterprises.com

Savills

Savills was founded in 1855 as a land agency practice and rural remains at the very heart of its business. Today, the Rural, Energy and Projects Division is one of the largest Savills UK operating divisions. With a turnover of £70m, it has over 900 staff, operating across a UK network of 38 offices and a number of estate offices – from Fochabers in the North to Truro in the South-West.

The Division is regarded as the overall market leader in the rural sector with a strong brand reputation. Clients range from private individuals through to large institutions and corporates.

Its services cover: architecture, building consultancy, rural planning, estate management, forestry (investment and management), professional consultancy (tax, valuation, expert witness), farms and estate sales and purchasing, food and farming, renewable energy, energy brokerage and strategic projects.

These teams are all supported by the rural research team which is responsible for providing bespoke information for pitching, existing clients, PR and marketing.

Find out more at savills.co.uk

Feedback

“What a great day and thank you all so much for your enormous effort in putting together a fantastic conference… It was so timely to have such an engaging speaker and to pull together such a great group.”

“Many congratulations pulling off a great virtual event… I have no doubt it took a huge effort both in planning and ensuring technical delivery – very well done.”

“REAP this year was excellent. Congratulations to you and your team. The platform worked seamlessly and networking was a breeze. The speakers and conversations were also excellent. I am already looking forward to next year.”

“I thought the day went really well. I was impressed at how well it worked as a virtual meeting. I really liked the Emerging Agri-Tech ‘bring along an object to discuss’, really innovative approach and opened up complex topics to a simpleton, like me!”

“That was such a great event! I always love what you produce, it is genuine and high quality.”

“I have attended many virtual and global conferences, but that was by far the most organized. I was so impressed by the smoothness in transitions between speakers, so impressed by the diversity in content, and mightily impressed by the creativity that propels the agri-tech world.”

“The whole day had great content and was executed really professionally… you should know that your efforts are appreciated, you have done yourselves proud.”

“The whole day had great content and was executed really professionally… you should know that your efforts are appreciated, you have done yourselves proud.”

“Congratulations on a successful and amazing REAP event! I loved every minute and found it to be very useful – many connections forthcoming. And to do it so well digitally was just amazing. Kudos to you and the whole team.”

“Some really fantastic presentations, and I’ve got a number of interesting meetings lined up. Great to see everyone engaging so well through this different platform! Well done to the team on putting together a great event despite the change of format.”

Start-Up Showcase Hall of Fame

The REAP Start-Up Showcase is one of the most hotly-anticipated sessions of the conference. We keep a watching brief on emerging and growing ventures and invite them to share their thinking at REAP. Some may be seeking investment, but most are looking for partnerships, industry insights and co-development collaborators to help make their business a commercial success. We have invited eight of the most exciting start-ups to share their technologies and their ambitions with you – YOU can be part of their journey and make a different to the industry?

 As ever, the line-up of Start-Ups is unveiled on the day of the conference, but for anyone interested in the latest new businesses developing solutions for agri-robotics, crop scouting, analytics, and alternative plastics – not to mention the “internet of bees” – you’ll see them here first – and hopefully then headlining conferences of the future!

 We are delighted to thank Rothamsted Enterprises for sponsoring the Start-Up Showcase session 11:00 -12:00 am at REAP

Articles about Agri-TechE's REAP conferences

See more about our previous REAP conferences

Details

Date:
Tuesday 10th November
Event Categories:
,
Event Tags:

Venue

Hosted virtually
United Kingdom

Organiser

Agri-TechE
Phone:
01223 760135
Email:
fiona.rust@agri-tech-e.co.uk
Website:
agri-tech-e.co.uk