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St Louis to meet Agri-TechE community with an innovation shopping list

Agri-TechE Article
Agri-TechE

Optimising breeding, AI, modelling and predictive analytics, non-invasive testing, traceability and food safety, detecting residues, and novel crop chemistries – all are on the shopping list of technologies of interest to the agri-tech community in St Louis, Missouri.

The list has been developed by GlobalSTL, an initiative of BioSTL, ahead of a visit to Cambridge on 22nd June to meet with the Agri-TechE innovation ecosystem. The list represents the innovation priorities of St. Louis based Ag-Food corporations.

Deepening relationship

The mission has been organised by the World Trade Center St. Louis and Greater St. Louis Inc. and builds on the deepening relationship it has with Agri-TechE.

Dr Belinda Clarke Director of Agri-TechE says: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to renew our conversations with BioSTL, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Bayer U.S. Crop Science and to meet others in the community that are new to us.”

Delegates will be welcomed to Cambridge by Rt Hon Daniel Zeichner, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, who welcomes the visit as it plays to the strength of the region.

He says “A multi-disciplinary approach is highly beneficial for problem-solving; the Cambridge ecosystem has a wide and diverse range of strengths including deep tech, AI, med-tech, genomics, engineering and agri-tech.

“By framing agricultural challenges to ensure they are accessible to technologists in different sectors, Agri-TechE is harnessing these strengths very effectively”.

Daniel Zeichner MP (CC BY 3.0)

Tim Nowak, Executive Director of the World Trade Center St. Louis, comments: “The St. Louis delegation is especially excited to travel to Cambridge on Thursday, June 22nd to reconnect with our friends at Agri-TechE and meet Minister Zeichner.

“This is a unique opportunity to collaborate with industry leaders and identify new innovative solutions to some of the ag-tech and food challenges in our respective communities.”

Introductions to the US market

The event, which is open to both members and non-members of Agri-TechE, will facilitate meetings with the St. Louis delegation to investigate the opportunities for Open Innovation and create soft introductions to the US market.

Dr. Clarke says that a ‘shopping list for innovation’ highlights the need for diverse technologies to meet agri-food challenges: “The need to increase efficiencies, reduce environmental impacts, enhance the nutritional content of food and improve traceability and authentication of production is common to both our geographies. A meeting of minds will help develop the technologies required to become fit for market.

“Technology companies need to scale quickly to gain critical mass, and creating connections to enable a soft-landing in an agri-tech cluster like St Louis is invaluable.”

The delegation also includes the investment community, with organisations such as Yield Lab Europe, which already has a number of UK agri-tech start-ups like Glaia, Rootwave, Spotta and Sencrop in its portfolio.

In addition, the St. Louis plant science community offers insights into other crops that might be accessible to UK farmers, such as soy. Benson Hill has combined machine learning with predictive breeding and environmental modelling algorithms to develop an ultra-high protein soybean variety that can tolerate a range of growing conditions. This crop exemplifies how technologies are converging within agri-tech to provide new solutions.

The delegation will also attend a number of meetings in London and the visit is timed to take in the 2023 Major-League Baseball London Series which sees a face-off between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs in a two-game series.

To take part please visit our events page.

Harvesting robots need to select ripe fruit. Agri-TechE member Cambridge Consultants has specialist expertise in automating tasks that are ‘semi-structured’, ie clearly defined yet not purely repetitive. Image copyright Cambridge Consultants

Do you have a solution for a Missouri State Challenge?

Agri-TechE Article
Agri-TechE

Missouri State Challenge - Missouri River
The Missouri River flows through productive farmland

Ahead of a mission to the UK, the Missouri Farm Bureau has outlined a number of state priorities where the agri-tech could provide a solution. Agri-TechE is hosting a meeting with the delegation during the June mission and is offering an opportunity for organisations within its ecosystem to pitch their responses to eight key challenges as part of the Missouri State Challenge. 

Dr Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-TechE, comments: “We have built a strong relationship with the agri-tech cluster in St Louis and have complementary skills. By opening a discussion about the challenges that are of greatest concern to them we anticipate a deeper level of engagement.”

The Missouri delegation will include farmers, policymakers, research institutes and other organisations from the agri-tech cluster, and will come to Cambridge on 22nd June 2023.

At the working meeting in the afternoon there will be a discussion of the challenges and a chance to showcase potential solutions. This will be followed by a short tour of Cambridge led by David Ellerton, whose day job is the Technical Development Manager at Hutchinson.  To round off the day there will be an opportunity to continue discussions over drinks and dinner.

The Missouri State Challenge – Agri-TechE is seeking potential agri-tech solutions to 8 key state priorities

The Missouri Farm Bureau seeks to:

  1. Control destructive pests – black vultures and feral hogs are threatening crops and young livestock – Missouri is looking for ways to deter pests and reduce population sizes.
  2. Increase international trade – potential solutions could involve validating and authenticating produce, digital passports to increase transparency and tracking, improved methods for online payment triggered by receipt of goods.
  3. Add value to farm production – interested in options for increasing the nutritional content of crops, diversifying food components, precision poultry rearing.
  4. Overcome delays reaching markets – potential for technologies that extend shelf-life and improve post-harvest storage, better logistics and forecasting.
  5. Increase and sustain farm incomes – potential for precision agriculture to reduce inputs and approaches to improve soil health and crop resilience.
  6. Introduce science-based reforms to enhance animal welfare – potential for advanced breeding, precision breeding, animal health advances, detection of bovine TB and Johnes Disease, precise delivery of medicines
  7. Increase energy production on farm – technologies may include bioenergy generation, anaerobic digestion.
  8. Improve connectivity for rural Missourians – Alternative technologies for improving communications, greater use of space-tech, creating local networks.

 

If you can offer a solution to a Missouri State Challenge, then do get in contact with us.

 

Missouri line-up for newsletterThe delegation from Missouri met members of Agri-TechE and guests in 2022

Wyld Network to establish US base in Missouri for sensor to satellite solutions

Agri-TechE Article
Agri-TechE

Wyld Networks facilitating IoT in agrifood

Capturing data from IoT sensors in often remote locations with no cellular coverage and no power source is currently a big challenge. Wyld Neworks, the IoT connectivity specialist, is addressing this problem. It is deploying a sensor to satellite solution for Bayer in Missouri and is setting up a base for its North American operation in St Louis, following participation in an Agri-TechE mission.

Establishing a base after Agri-TechE mission

“I had the honour of meeting Wyld Networks when they visited Missouri in 2020 as part of the Agri-TechE mission,” said Alan Gogbashian, UK Consul General to the Midwest.

“That relationship was built throughout the pandemic via Zoom and other means, culminating in additional meetings during the recent mission to the UK by Missouri’s Governor. We are thrilled that this great British company is expanding to the US, and choosing to set up in one of the strongest agritech ecosystems in the USA.”

Nearly half of the USA’s total agricultural productivity is harvested within a 500-mile radius of St. Louis, and many of the sector’s major businesses are headquartered in Missouri. Furthermore, St Louis is integral to the US logistics infrastructure, having key major highway intersections, rail and air hubs and the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

Following the mission in 2022, Missouri Governor Parson visited the UK to continue the dialogue.

“We are thrilled to welcome Wyld Networks to Missouri,” Governor Parson said. “It was a privilege to meet with the company during our trade mission to the United Kingdom, and we’re confident Wyld Networks’ strengths in agtech and geospatial technology are a great fit for our state. With continued innovative advances in agriculture, Missouri is supporting high-tech companies as they grow here, creating jobs and making investments that strengthen our economy.”

Wyld creates consortium to deliver sensor to satellite solutions

Wyld Networks, along with US-based IoT solution provider TrakAssure, has created a consortium with LoRaWAN system provider Senet and satellite operator Eutelsat, to deliver a “first-to-market” terrestrial-and-satellite IoT solution for the supply chain industry. The base in Missouri is key to the company’s growth strategy.

“Critical to Wyld’s growth strategy is the need to engage with the world’s largest and most influential economy,” said Alastair Williamson, CEO of Wyld Networks. “A base in St Louis is a significant step to realise this ambition.”

Wyld’s USA operations in Missouri aims to develop satellite IoT for US agriculture and supply chain sectors. Tim Nowak, Executive Director at World Trade Center St. Louis, has helped facilitate the move he comments that he ‘couldn’t be more pleased’ to see the company base it USA operations in Missouri.

More about Wyld Networks and Missouri Partnership