Rose Judeh-Elwell has joined Agri-EPI Centre as the new Director of Business Development.
Rose comes from a proven sales and business development background having worked in both the public and private sector and within a number of different industries over a 14 year period including agriculture, engineering, and higher education. More recently, she was Business Manager for the newly formed School of Sustainable Food and Farming based at Harper Adams University overseeing all business development and partnership activity as well as day to day running of the school. Prior to that she spent a number of years working with companies active within the agri-food supply chain to either develop innovative solutions; or to identify the challenge areas where implementation of innovation and technology would support efficiency improvements and in turn increase productivity and growth.
Rose oversees the Business Development and Marketing & Communications functions within Agri-EPI Centre, driving forward growth and implementation of strategic direction. She has a deep understanding of the importance of science and technology as a key driver in addressing sector related challenges when working towards a more sustainable, efficient and innovative agricultural supply chain.
Dave Ross, CEO of Agri-EPI Centre, said:
“I am very pleased to welcome Rose Judeh-Elwell as Agri-EPI Centre’s new business development director. She is stepping into a critical front-facing part of the organisation and will help to build on the successes we have gained so far.
Rose will spearhead Agri-EPI Centre’s sales activity, develop relationships and services, oversee funding bids and keep the company at the forefront of agricultural innovation.
Rose will be heading up a very strong team and will bring fresh thinking on how to capitalise on the multiple opportunities we are encountering at present. Her background in commercial sales and business development, pro-active relationship management, and an excellent track record of consolidated sales growth will stand her in good stead at Agri-EPI Centre. Welcome Rose!”
https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/AEC-Spotlight-1200-×-637px-845-×-321px-1.png321845Tatiana Boylehttps://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Agri-EPI-Logo-Primary-1-300x87.pngTatiana Boyle2022-11-24 14:12:372022-11-24 14:18:49Rose Judeh-Elwell joins Agri-EPI Centre as director of business development
Agri-EPI Centre hosted a member community online special interest group titled What has data ever done for you, that brought farmers and tech developers from across the agri-tech sector together online to discuss data needs, successes and challengers for farmers.
The event was chaired by Eliot Dixon, Head of Agri-Tech (Engineering) at Agri-EPI Centre, and discussions were led by David Smurthwaite, Head of Dairy at Mackie’s of Scotland, and Jose Chitty, COO of Smartbell.
Jose Chitty began the conversation with an overview of his Smartbell project, an animal health monitoring and management system that provides unique data insights, focused on detecting health issues in calves. Smartbell makes it easy to gather data and present insights directly on a phone, and allows for farmers to spot problems faster and more easily, and create benchmarks for tracking changes and improvements on farm. This kind of data gathering can help to improve profitability, improve animal health, justify spending, and help to access funding.
David Smurthwaite, one of Agri-EPI’s innovation farmers, then took over the discussion to comment on the farmer perspective for using data and tech on farm. He uses Smartbell on his farm, and though he was cynical and had a hard time believing in the data at first, the app has improved and the system is working well for his team. For David, data needs to be user friendly, as implementing changes and getting an older team on board to use tech can be a challenge. He would like for the information to be more accessible but has very much started to rely on tech to aid him and his team in improving the welfare of their animals.
Discussion followed, where a number of questions were posed to the audience, and an array of thought-provoking answers were shared:
Q: What is the ultimate destination for this technology in the future?
A: Data transfer across the industry for benefit and joined up decision making, data that drives actions to help business, and a hand holder for farmers improving sustainability and profitability.
Q: What data sources are already vital for farmers?
A: Data associated with productivity, data that mitigates known risks, data that enables yield to be optimised, and data that provides efficiency on farm.
Q: What are specific challenges on farm that could be solved with data and information now?
A: Yield forecasting, connecting environment with individual animal performance, prediction rather than just alerting, investment, storing data, and statistical analysis for data.
Q: What is stopping farmers from getting the most information out of the data they have?
A: The data isn’t always the farmers but rather the equipment manufacturers, the data is too complex, farmers may lack certain skills or digital knowledge needed to understand the data adequately, farmers may not have enough time or have inoperable systems on their farm, and a lack on interoperability.
Q: What are disadvantages of using information and data?
A: Becoming over-reliant on certain companies and pieces of tech, the lack of accuracy of some data, or getting landed with the wrong application. Trust in the system needs to be ensured.
Q:Who should own the rights to the data from farms?
A: Farmers should own the data and be able to have a say on what is done with it, but secondary information could be owned by third party. Both parties should understand contractual laws and come to their own agreements, since data sharing is extremely important for the agriculture sector.
Agri-EPI’s Business Development Manager, Duncan Ross, spoke at The Argentinian Embassy in London along with Agri-EPI Centre members: Ian Beecher-Jones from JoJo’s Vineyard, Marc Jones, Business Director at Antobot, and Emil Endres, Operations Engineer from Outfield Technologies, as part of the dissemination activity from the two Viticulture projects funded by Innovate UK and EIT Food. They demonstrated the use of drone and robotic technology and the potential benefits to the viticulture sector to a delegation of visitors from the wine growing Mendoza region of Argentina, and the wider British Argentinian Chamber of Commerce. Agri-EPI’s Communications Officer, Tatiana Boyle, supported with the Spanish translation for the tech in viticulture video shown to the delegation.
This visit follows a trip to Argentina by Duncan and Agri-EPI’s Head of Crops, Claire Hodge, where they attended workshops related to the current state of UK Agri-Tech, and a conference on biofilms near Cordoba. They then travelled to Rosario to meet with numerous Agri-Tech businesses in the area to gain an understanding of Argentinian Agri-Tech, before finally visiting “Glimax” a company that researches and validates Agri-Tech from all parts of the globe to make tech adoption recommendations to their farmer clients in the agronomy side of their business.
“This was a fantastic opportunity facilitated by the Department of International Trade, to build on the links we are developing with Argentinian contacts both in the UK and in country. I envisage future opportunities for Argentinian Agri-Tech companies to use Agri-EPI Centre hubs as landing pads, and for UK Agri-Tech companies to explore opportunities abroad.”
https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Events-6.png321845Tatiana Boylehttps://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Agri-EPI-Logo-Primary-1-300x87.pngTatiana Boyle2022-11-16 13:19:062022-11-16 14:16:27International collaboration in agri-tech
Sustainability, technology, and innovation in farming were the focus of Agri-EPI Centre’s Annual Conference last month at Shimpling Park Farm in Suffolk. The event brought together over 100 guests from across the agriculture sector, from farmers and growers to tech developers, academics, and other sector representatives, for a day of discussions and networking.
The day, entitled ‘The path to sustainable farming continued: the role of precision technology’, began with introductions from host and farmer, John Pawsey, Agri-EPI’s CEO Dave Ross, and journalist and conference chair, Anna Jones.
Dave Ross said:
“It’s a relief to get back in person. There’s nothing better than actually meeting people face to face to have networking discussions, discuss the problems that are topical, and think about solutions to those problems.”
Fabia Bromovsky, Director of the Global Farm Metric at the Sustainable Food Trust took the floor as the conference’s keynote speaker to discuss the question: what exactly is sustainable farming? She explained that we lacked a common understanding and that where definitions exist, they often overlooked the interconnectedness and diversity of our farm systems. She set out the need for a common language, a framework that recognises this holistic system and identifies where impact occurs.
She acknowledged the important role of technology to support farmers with this. Farmers already collect lots of data, but with a consistent set of measures, in-common to all farm assessments, technology can provide solutions that make it easier to collect. Technology can enable farmers to protect their data, share data between consenting users, improve performance, and reduce time and costs.
She maintained the power of a common framework is it would provide a consistent baseline of data, the DNA of the farm, that can underpin supply chain transparency, green investment, and food labelling. Governments, markets, and the financial sector can then reward producers who are delivering genuine benefit to the environment and public health and shift the balance of financial advantage towards more sustainable systems.
The farmer speakers were up next, with a panel made up of four of Agri-EPI’s innovation farmers, including Sophie Alexander from Hemsworth Farm, Jo Franklin from Kaiapoi Farm, John Pawsey from Shimpling Park Farm, and Ian Beecher-Jones from JoJo’s Vineyard.
They discussed the challenges within the agriculture sector including resilience to weather events, net zero goals, and price volatility, and how uncertainty in policy can affect the ability for some farmers to innovate as much as they would like to. Other topics discussed included how sustainability is inextricably linked to profitability, the need for a business mindset as a farmer, and the methods the farmers use to progress towards their sustainability goals.
The tech panel included developers Howard Wu from Antobot, Jack Wrangham from DroneAg, Jim Wilson from SoilEssentials, and James Brown from Earth Rover. Their discussions centred around how to make technology accessible to farmers, how to better understand farmers’ priorities for innovation, and how to attract more youth to agriculture with the use of technology.
Lastly, bridging the gap between the farmers and the tech developers, the final speaker panel included Calum Murray, Head of Agriculture & Food at Innovate UK and Agri-EPI speakers including CEO, Dave Ross, CTO, Trisha Toop, and Head of Engineering, Eliot Dixon.
Calum Murray explained:
“What we do at Innovate UK is try to make things happen that wouldn’t normally go ahead. First and foremost, we have to understand what the challenges are. We need to identify those areas that will deliver the greatest impact and give us value for money and give value to the UK economy”.
Dave Ross said:
“We are in an industry that has huge challenges and huge opportunities.”
The speaker sessions were followed by a networking lunch and farm tour around Shimpling Park Farm headed by John Pawsey.
“We’ve been using the Skippy Scout Drone. There’s a huge amount to be looking at and I have to say, huge thanks to Agri-EPI and to Skippy Scout, because even though we can actually physically go out and look at all those things ourselves, because it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to go out and get that data, if you have a drone that can go out and get it for you, then why wouldn’t you do that?”
Guests were thrilled to be back in person discussing sustainability within the food supply chain, agri-tech solutions, and innovation in farming.
Ian Beecher-Jones said:
“I think today was very much about the grower, very much about the farmer.”
Calum Murray said:
“It’s been terrific to get back on farm and hear first-hand exactly what farm businesses are having to face.”
Agri-EPI Centre is the UK’s leading centre for precision innovation in farming. They help to deliver profitable and productive solutions to empower more sustainable farms and specialise in connecting knowledgeable experts and new solutions across the agricultural sectors.
Get in touch about opportunities at email@example.com
https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Events-4.png321845Tatiana Boylehttps://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Agri-EPI-Logo-Primary-1-300x87.pngTatiana Boyle2022-11-03 12:06:042022-11-08 13:45:44On-farm conference provides unique discussions around sustainability in farming
New data and robotics projects could bring much needed time, cost and labour savings to UK vineyard producers.
Precision agriculture specialists, Agri-EPI Centre, AI-driven autonomous robotics company Antobot and vineyard owner, Ian Beecher-Jones, have embarked on two projects at JoJo’s vineyard near Henley-on-Thames to create a vineyard digital map, and on-the-ground and aerial monitoring.
The shareable digital infrastructure project – funded by Innovate UK and Defra as part of their Farm Innovation Programme Research Starter Round 2- will create the digital infrastructure of the vineyard, including rows, posts and vines to an accuracy of two centimetres using real time kinetic (RTK) surveying tools. The shareable infrastructure model, based on the Australian Collabriculture project could save producers many hours of work and cost in setting their vineyards up ready to embrace viticultural technology.
On-the-ground and aerial monitoring will be gathered by robots and drones to add a layer of data to the digital map. The robots are being developed by agriculture robot technologists, Antobot, and drones are supplied by Agri-EPI Centre. This second strand is funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
The resulting technology will be highly transferable to other row crop sectors, such as orchards and soft fruit.
Duncan Ross, business development manager crops, Agri-EPI Centre said:
“When wine growers want to survey a vineyard with a robot or drone they have to do a survey and plan beforehand, which can be highly time-consuming if they have to do it for each technology they want to use. Creating a shareable digital twin of the vineyard should cut down the amount of time that contractors spend out in the field, saving producers and technology companies time and money. If growers have their own shareable digital infrastructure built to a standardised format, it can be shared with any technology company the grower would like to work with, reducing duplication of unnecessary onboarding and set up time every time a new technology is to be tested and tried in the vineyard or orchard.
Marc Jones, Business Director, Antobot said:
“This project is a vital step in the adoption and acceleration of sustainable robotics in viticulture. The grower-owned digital infrastructure will significantly reduce the time required for ag-tech providers to begin operations at the vineyard resulting in lower costs for the customer and faster development and deployment of robotic applications.
“The digital-infrastructure map will provide a common understanding and ‘language’ for both growers and ag-tech providers ensuring that precision can be matched to reality and reducing the friction between the data outputs and user. Antobot will use their various robot applications during the project, such as logistics (Assist) and scouting (Insight), to ensure that the digital-infrastructure captures multiple use-case requirements and is robust in a variety of tasks and conditions.”
Ian Beecher-Jones of JoJo’s Vineyard said:
“I expect the viticulture sector to act favourably to these exciting and essential projects. We need technology to find a way to replace the labour shortages the industry is facing by allowing a more accessible way for vineyards to embrace robotics and AI technology. It will hopefully allow us to find a new way of marketing vineyards to our customers through a potentially new revenue stream with consumer facing technological products and innovations. We cannot lose traditional wine-making skills, but any vineyard that can blend traditional with modern ways of production will be at the forefront of the industry.
“From my own 20 years of working in agri-tech, I know that there are growing pains for agri-tech companies; by working together, JoJo’s and Agri-EPI Centre can give a platform to companies to test their technologies and roll them out not only to the wider viticulture sector, but potentially other food growers.
“It is the shareability of the digital infrastructure that is key to establishing a reliable and trustworthy data platform we can all work from. Once established we can share it with and partner alongside a range of ag-tech companies who see the benefits and opportunities of working with one of fastest growing crops sectors in the country.”
https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Events-2.png321845Tatiana Boylehttps://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Agri-EPI-Logo-Primary-1-300x87.pngTatiana Boyle2022-10-25 09:19:532022-10-25 09:19:53New data and robotics project essential for viticulture
This month Agri-EPI hosted another successful on-farm day in Scotland at one of their innovation farms, Upper Nisbet Farm, in collaboration with farmers Robert, Jac and Andrew Neill.
Agri-EPI members and representatives from across the agri-tech sector met up for a farm tour and day of networking, discussions, and precision tech demonstrations.
Autonomous grain storage monitoring company, Crover, showed a live demo of their grain swimming robot.
Lorenzo Conti, Founder and Manging Director, explained:
“The main aim is to help farmers like Rob, but also grain storage operators and grain merchants, to store large quantities of grain to maintain the quality of their stock, to better plan their businesses, and also to improve the health and safety of their operations”.
KEENAN, a respected leader in sustainable and profitable farming solutions focused on maximising feed efficiency, demonstrated their mixer wagon in action. Datamars, who enable the harnessing of data to measurably improve productivity and quality of life for livestock farmers, demonstrated their Tru-Test range. And John Deere, leading manufacturers in agricultural machinery, discussed their GPS and data collection tractor technology.
Farmer Robert Neill rounded out the day by leading a trailer ride to view the arable fields and cows and calves.
Ross Robertson, Head of Mixed Farms at Agri-EPI Centre, said:
“This kind of in-person networking and collaboration is invaluable to us as an organization, as it allows us to engage with our members and farmers alike to get genuine feedback on the products we are involved with. As we all know it has been a difficult past couple of years for all businesses in the sector, and getting back on farm and meeting face-to-face at events like this will help everyone progress in what they are trying to do in benefitting the Agricultural sector”.
As a key, government-backed player in the agricultural sector, Agri-EPI Centre has been able to enlist a network of farms spread throughout the UK to participate in the Agri-EPI Farm Network.
They equipped these farms with a suite of precision sensor technologies to measure variances across every dimension of food production – quality, productivity, wastage, and more. From there, they are able to begin implementing the technologies and innovations that will change the future of farming, and assess the ways in which they can work together to bring these ideas to full commercial viability.
https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Events-1.png321845Tatiana Boylehttps://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Agri-EPI-Logo-Primary-1-300x87.pngTatiana Boyle2022-10-17 16:58:442022-10-17 16:58:44Farm walk brings together agri-tech community at Upper Nisbet Farm
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