Agri-EPI Centre’s week-long celebration of innovation in agri-tech took place virtually between May 24th – 28th 2021.
Innovation Week provided five webinars across five days with guest speakers from across the agricultural sector discussing ground-breaking recent developments in agri-tech, export opportunities for UK agribusinesses and more.
Each day we explored the challenges research projects aim to address, the impact of agri-tech on farms and the wider agri-industry and what the future of agri-tech looks like.
Celebrating innovation in agri-tech
Technology to detect changes in animal behaviour and health on-farm
Project Partners: University of Bristol Vet School, Quant Foundry
Speaker: Dr Chris Cormack, Managing Director at the Quant Foundry
The welfare of livestock could be improved thanks to a new research project that will use novel artificial intelligence methods combined with behavioural analytics to provide rapid and reliable insights to animal health for farmers across the UK. The research and commercial feasibility program, co-funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, will be led by the Quant Foundry (QF) in collaboration with the University of Bristol Vet School and Agri-EPI Centre.
Project 2: SmARtView
Project Partners: Pocket Sized Hands, Abertay University, Vet Partners
Speaker: Gary McCartan, Pocket Sized Hands
Dairy farmers and vets have enlisted the help of video gaming experts to enhance cow health in a unique new study. The Innovate UK-funded SmARtview research project sees Agri-EPI Centre and UK Veterinary Group VetPartners join forces with experts at award-winning games developer Pocket Sized Hands and Abertay University’s School of Design & Informatics.
The project aims to develop an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based system that can recognise a cow by its skin patterns and use a ‘HoloLens’ Augmented Reality (AR) headset to display health and productivity data about an animal as a user views it.
Project 3: Tail Tech
Presenter: Dr Rick D’Eath, Reader in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, SRUC
Tail biting in pigs is viewed as one of the most widespread and seriously aggressive behaviours that can manifest in a pigpen. Discover TailTech — a radical high-tech solution devised by Scottish scientists to detect the warning signs of pig tail biting and an alternative to the controversial last-resort practice of tail docking in piglets.
If you missed Monday’s webinar, don’t worry! You can still catch the presentations and expert Q+A session in the recording below:
Future-proofing the arable sector with precision and prediction
Tuesday 25th May
Chair: Agri-EPI Centre Head of Crops, Claire Hodge
Exploring how agri-tech solutions are solving challenges facing farmers, from preventing grain spoilage to smarter livestock care and nano-technology. Leyton R&D Technical Consultant Matilda Hayward will also be speaking about her work supporting agri-tech companies to source funding and tax relief.
Project 1: Crover
Project Partners: Crover, East Scotland Farmers Association
Speaker: Lorenzo Conti, Founder & MD, Crover
Poor Autumn planting conditions, a Spring drought and the recent heavy rains have led to a very difficult UK harvest. And the challenges don’t end once grain is in store – uncontrolled temperature and moisture levels can lead to pests and mould which, due to the notoriously difficult task of monitoring the condition of stored grain, contribute to global post-harvest grain losses of more than 20%.
Now, a new Innovate UK-funded project is tackling the problem. Technology start-up Crover Ltd, Agri-EPI Centre and East of Scotland Farmers have teamed up to develop the first robotic robot able to safely sample grain bulks at various depths and while still in storage, where existing methods cannot. Each one of the robotic devices, called the “Crover”, is expected to be able to save a total of 380 tonnes of grain (wheat and barley) every year
Project 2: Omega Crop
Project Partners: Omega Crop
Speaker: Jared Bainbridge, Founder & CEO, Omega Crop
Omega Crop prediction of yield from Niall’s field of second winter wheat was accurate to within less than 0.5% – and they did it without setting foot on his farm.
Project 3: Ultra-Fine Bubbles
Presenter: Professor Anthony Furness Chief Scientific Officer, MagGrow
UFBs, also known as nanobubbles, are tiny, very stable and long-lasting bubbles, 100 times smaller than the width of a human hair, or about the size of a virus. Unseen by the naked eye, even when present in large numbers in water-based liquids, they do not rise to the surface and burst, but remain stable and buoyant for long periods of time, typically days and weeks.
The bubbles can carry gases, and substances of different kinds on their surfaces. Anthony Furness from MagGrow will be discussing how their stability and longevity offer great potential in agriculture for environmentally friendly spraying and irrigation, along with other applications that help address food security and environmental problems.
If you missed Tuesday’s webinar, don’t worry! You can still catch the presentations and expert Q+A session in the recording below:
Improving animal welfare and reducing variance at a producer level
Wednesday 26th May
Chair: Agri-EPI Centre CEO, Dave Ross
Wednesday’s webinar will dive into the latest livestock-focused agri-tech, seeing how innovative projects are supporting farmers to increase production, whilst also increasing processor efficiency, to support the entire supply chain.
Speaker: Andrew Loftus, Carol-Anne Duthie, Diego Sprekelsen, OPTI-BEEF
A new research and development project involving the beef industry, scientists and precision engineering companies aims to enhance returns for beef producers while helping processors become more efficient.OPTI–BEEF will drive improvements in the productivity, quality and the sustainability of beef production by improving the accuracy of current methods of abattoir carcass grading and creating the first platform for integrating data from ‘calf to carcass’.
Project 2: Healthy Heifer
Project Partners: SmartBell, Innovate UK
If you missed Wednesday’s webinar, don’t worry! You can still catch the presentations and expert Q+A session in the recording below:
Speaker: Jose Chitty, COO, SmartBell
Healthy Heifer is a precision solution to improve heifer rearing for increased productivity across the dairysector.
Project 3: Well-Calf
Project Partners: Parklands, SRUC, SmartBell
Speaker: Jose Chitty, COO, SmartBell
Funded by Innovate UK, this project aims to develop the first cloud-based decision support platform to serve different levels of decision-making on dairy and beef farms. WELL-CALF’s precision agriculture technology provides support for farm-level decisions (e.g. health management, nutrition) all the way through to policy and practice decisions at the systems level.
The WELL-CALF project works to develop the first precision agriculture integrated monitoring system that was specifically designed for early disease detection or developing health issues in calves from seven days old to sixteen weeks old. The project makes optimising treatment and management practices at an individual animal level a simple and accessible reality for dairy and beef farmers.
Chair: Agri-EPI Centre Chairman of the Board, Vince Gillingham
The penultimate webinar of Innovation Week 2021 will take a broader perspective of agri-tech, looking at SmartFarm projects around the world and seeing how UK agri-tech can export solutions for the benefit of agriculture worldwide.
The ground-breaking SmartFarm project in Beijing has shown incredible progress since 2018 and continues to utilise a range of UK agri-tech to measure and reduce variances across every level of the supply chain.
Chair: Agri-EPI Centre Business Development Manager for Aquaculture & Livestock, Kasi McReddie
Our final webinar of Innovation Week 2021 explores the world of aquaculture and sustainable fish farming, drawing inspiration from recent projects working to improve the health of fish on-farm and minimise the environmental impact of aquaculture. Leyton R&D Technical Consultant Matilda Hayward will also be speaking about her work supporting agri-tech companies to source funding and tax relief.
Project 1: New multi-species, marine aquaculture trials facility
Speaker: Kasi McReddie, Agri-EPI Centre
Project 2: Listeria Salmon Detection
Speaker: Rebecca Lewis, Agri-EPI Centre
Project 3: SeaCAP 6000 Project
Speaker: Greg Riddle, Northern Light Consulting
If you missed Friday’s webinar, don’t worry! You can still catch the presentations and expert Q+A session in the recording below:
Founded in 2009,Leyton, is the UK’s largest specialist innovation funding consultancy. To date, their teams of highly qualified tax and technical experts have helped thousands of businesses to successfully claim more than £860 million in tax relief. Leyton UK is part of the international Leyton Group, which has over 1,800 employees based across 34 offices in 12 countries.
Click on the different category headings to find out more. You can also change some of your preferences. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer.
Essential Website Cookies
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.
We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. You can check these in your browser security settings.
Other external services
We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Changes will take effect once you reload the page.
Google Webfont Settings:
Google Map Settings:
Google reCaptcha Settings:
Vimeo and Youtube video embeds: