For the past 50 years, Cranfield has been contributing to enhancing natural capital and ensuring that global food systems are more resilient for the future. We are recognised worldwide by industry, government and academe for our research and teaching in plants, soil, water and air.
We believe that environmental problems can be alleviated through technological innovation and risk management. Cranfield academics are leading a new four-year programme investigating the role of digital data in improving our understanding of environmental change, after being appointed Constructing a Digital Environment Champions by the National Environment Research Council (NERC).
Cranfield is a key partner in two of the four UK Government-sponsored Agri-tech Centres – Agri-Epi (Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation Centre) and CHaP (Crop Health and Protection), with over £13 million invested in new infrastructure since 2017. We are world leading in digital agriculture, using advances in sensor technology, informatics and data sciences to drive innovation. We are investing £4 million in a new building and Centre for Environmental and Agricultural Informatics. See a virtual tour of some of the facilities.
Our education, research and consultancy is enhanced by our world-class facilities including the National Reference Centre for Soils, which houses the largest collection of its kind in Europe and is recognised as the UK’s definitive source of national soils information, and our big data visualisation suite, which has tools to analyse big data collections including our own environmental data resources from 280 countries/territories worldwide.
Our living laboratory is a testbed for transformative technologies and new approaches to deliver enhanced social, economic and environmental outcomes in urban, transport and infrastructure systems.
Cranfield is one of six universities receiving UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) funding to establish Urban Observatories as platforms for research into future infrastructure, technology and governance across the social, economic and environmental domains.
In 2017, Cranfield was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for research and education in large-scale soil and environmental data for the sustainable use of natural resources in the UK and worldwide, the first time in the Prize’s history that an award has been given for soil science.
Grow Biotech develops revolutionary processes, techniques, tools and formulations to bridge the gap between existing cannabis medicines and accepted pharmaceutical standards. By combining the strengths of our science, technology, and commercial teams, we are creating game-changing intellectual property that will transform the rapidly growing medical cannabis Industry. Our innovations drive the cannabis industry towards the level of sophistication required to meet the needs of patients globally. In research labs in both the UK and in Canada, our interdisciplinary scientific team focuses on developing tools and processes that are underdeveloped as a consequence of years of prohibition of cannabis. We focus on creating innovative technology for transforming the cannabis industry itself, rather than products for cannabis consumers.
The Retail Institute is a specialist research team within Leeds Beckett University offering over 20 years’ of knowledge in the consumer goods and retail packaging supply chain.
NRI’s team at the Produce Quality Centre seeks to support members of the UK fresh produce supply chain by providing the facilities and expertise to carry out impartial honest scientific analysis.
Established in 2011, the Produce Quality Centre was set up to investigate postharvest storage strategies to maximise the quality and shelf life of British fruits and vegetables. The centre is a collaboration between two leading crop science institutes, the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), part of the University of Greenwich and NIAB EMR. The centre benefits from the legacy of both institutes; NRI’s 125 years of global food supply chain experience combined with NIAB EMR’s cutting edge research in fruit breeding, genetics and agronomy. The centre has gained a reputation for understanding the specific needs of British growers and suppliers, providing honest impartial support to reduce financial, environmental and food waste. Located in the north of Kent, we are well situated to support fruit producers, arable farmers, marketing organisations and importers in the South East and East of England.
We have facilities for environmental control that enable us to simulate supply chain environments such as the UK based chain management, sea-freight and less controlled ambient conditions. We offer industry standard quality assessment; texture and colour, sugars, acids, and starch assessment, as well as more detailed analysis of respiratory characteristics, ethylene evolution, and plant volatile analysis as required.
In addition, the centre benefits from a wide range of state-of-the-art facilities across the University of Greenwich and NIAB EMR including; food product analysis, plant pathology, chemical analysis by NMR, LC and GC MS, sensory evaluation, confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, molecular biology, storage microbiology and food safety.
Scientists at the Produce Quality Centre have a passion for applying plant science to practical situations. We focus on understanding the practical needs of individual organisations when implementing technological solutions. We look to maximise the length of storage and quality of fresh produce by understanding both the unique supply chain practises and applying our in-depth knowledge of plant physiology. As such we can work with industry to find innovative solutions and offer advice on storage, retail shelf life and increase valorisation with new product development.
We work directly within factories, farms, packhouses, and film providers to greater understand challenges and implement practical changes. Our success with industry focused government research funding opportunities, allows us to provide industries in the sector with advances in research that are financially viable.
Itaka Crop Solution is an international leader in the use of beneficial microorganisms and naturally occurring products to boost crop resilience and performance. By working closely with growers Itaka has developed a programme of natural solutions to enhance the development of a healthy plant.
Its products are certified by the Soil Association for use on organic farms but can equally be used by conventional farmers, who want to improve soil health and the vitality of crops.
Itaka’s solutions integrate the use of microorganisms, plant extracts, bio-stimulants and minerals. As each farm presents a unique set of conditions and opportunities it requires individual attention. So programs are tailored to individual farms, based on the history, cropping rotations and current programs.
- Innovation based on its own R&D capacity and a large research network for best production composition and formulation
- High production quality to optimise results in the fields
- Zero-Residue programs to meet market requirements
- Field assistance through a dedicated technical team to confirm product validity in every situation and ensuring follow-up for individual farms
- Solutions that are supported by independent research institutes and tested on-farm.
Itaka is a key partner and stakeholder in international research programs on sustainable farming, such as Bresov, Solace and Liveseed.
Itaka is owned by GiLoGi’s Holding Ltd (UK).
Find out more at www.itakasolution.com or contact us on: 07437-584661
The University of Hertfordshire has worked with businesses of all sizes and sectors for over 60 years, delivering tailored solutions for growth. They can provide access to expertise in technology, design or process.
Their strengths in agriculture include teaching, research and commercial. The University offers a range of qualifications including MSc Environmental Management for Agriculture and BSc (Hons) in Agriculture, developed in conjunction with leading agricultural employers and bringing together expertise and facilities of the University, The Royal Veterinary College, Rothamsted Research and Oaklands College.
The University’s internationally renowned research in agriculture has been influential in steering policy both at home and abroad. From securing future food production to protecting the world’s crops, their skills and expertise enable them to assist industry stakeholders in adopting best practice techniques to benefit the sustainability of their businesses and the environment.
The Hertfordshire Science Partnership programme provides access to University resources for life science and agritech organisations interested in developing research and innovation within their businesses. This part-funded project can:
- Provide your business with a graduate research scientist to undertake collaborative research projects
- Enable access to the University’s state-of-the-art life science facilities.
CHAP (Crop Heath and Protection) is one of four Centres for Agricultural Innovation and a key component of the government’s Agri-Tech strategy. Science and technological innovation is the key to raising crop productivity including transforming our approach to the management of weeds, pests, diseases, water and soil. CHAP unites scientists, researchers, farmers, advisors and suppliers to do just that, and increase the economic performance of UK farming through the development and uptake of technologies, products and services.
The University of Essex has a significant impact on the regional economy of the East of England, as well as on the rest of the UK. The University attracts a very large cohort of students every year from all across the UK as well as from the EU and overseas and is one of the largest employers in Essex and in the region. Additionally, it has forged links with many local and national businesses, public bodies and third sector organizations, with a variety of engagement activities being pursued currently.
Take a look at this video from BBC Breakfast on the University’s work with Tiptree to build fruit-picking robots:
We’ve seen it all now.
Meet the strawberry picking robot… ?? pic.twitter.com/rUrKPwiVV1
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) August 18, 2018
The University has one of the UK’s leading plant productivity research groups, and impressive credentials in the area of plant research. Some potential applications of their research include: monitoring techniques to determine crop physiology, performance and plant health; technologies and know-how to manipulate plant growth and post-harvest performance; and genome-wide methods for discovering and exploiting traits for molecular breeding programmes. Furthermore, their specialist research can be applied to increase plant productivity and yield through improving photosynthesis, enhanced plant growth and yield, greater plant water use efficiency and the ability of plants to sense and respond to abiotic and biotic stresses.
The University is flexible and innovative in proposing ideas and working with you to find solutions to your problems. They aim to foster a professional relationship around R&D projects aimed at solving a specific problem or creating a new commercial opportunity.
Find out more about plant science capabilities at https://www1.essex.ac.uk/bs/research/centres_and_groups/pp/
The Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology (LIAT) aims to support and enhance productivity, efficiency and sustainability in food and farming through research, education and technology.
A specialist research institute of the University of Lincoln, UK, our multi-disciplinary team brings together sector-leading expertise in a diverse range of subjects. The Institute is directed by Professor Simon Pearson, who has almost two decades of experience in management and Research and Development roles within the industry, including at some of the UK’s biggest retailers and producers.
LIAT currently has 10 permanent members of staff, including the UK’s first dedicated Professor in agri-robotics, and through its cross-sectoral membership can access world leading specialisms in agriculture, artificial intelligence, robotics, ecology, hydrology, animal welfare, biology, genetics, food manufacturing, mechanical engineering, microbial resistance, new product development, supply chain management and economics, to name a few.
The Institute’s researchers are engaged in the development of technologies which add value or solve challenges across the food chain, ‘from farm to fork’, working with partners in industry and academia locally, nationally and internationally. Collectively, their aim is to deliver the world class research and higher level skills the UK’s agri-food industries need now and in the future.
Its headquarters are at the University’s beautiful 200-hectare Riseholme Campus just north of Lincoln, where researchers enjoy access to a working farm, woodlands, grasslands and watercourses.
LIAT also utilises the exceptional facilities at Lincoln’s main Brayford Pool Campus in the city centre and the National Centre for Food Manufacturing at Holbeach in southern Lincolnshire.
The Satellite Applications Catapult is a not-for-profit research organisation which acts as a neutral trusted entry point to an entire network of UK expertise in applications development across government, academia and industry. The company’s primary purpose is to promote, develop and facilitate the commercialisation and advancement of the satellite applications industry. The Catapult is one of a network of centres established by Innovate UK to accelerate the take up of emerging technologies.
The Catapult recognises that satellite technology has a key role to play in addressing the global challenges around food security and has a strategic interest in the agriculture sector, knowing that satellites can enable and enhance applications in many ways. For example, providing positioning information, they can deliver wide-scale observation on a frequent, regular basis and facilitate communications. Satellites are also resilient to disruption such as disasters and adverse weather, offering growers information at critical points throughout a crop’s lifecycle. The Catapult works with UK farming businesses and service providers, including those wishing to extend their businesses abroad, develop services that are applicable in other countries or take part in international trials or competitions.
Find them on Twitter: @SatAppsCatapult