UK agri-tech start-up Roboscientific Wins Tesco Agri T-Jam


Pre-Summit Pitch Day Tesco


A UK agri-tech start-up beat over 100 international entrants to win the 2019 Tesco Agri T-Jam on Monday October 14, hosted in partnership with the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit.

The second annual Tesco Agri T-Jam and World Agri-Tech Pitch Day saw ten exciting agri-food start-ups present their ideas for improving supply chain efficiency and sustainability. For the first time, the Agri T-Jam was held at Tesco’s HQ and Heart Building, offering the entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet a variety of Tesco colleagues and supplier partners, as well as key investors from among the summit’s global audience.

Tesco’s Agri-Food team led the judging panel with Emmanuelle Lerges (Food Technical & Agriculture Director), Mark Suddaby (Category Director: Meat, Fish, Poultry), Natalie Smith (Head of Agriculture) and Jo Hickson (Head of Tesco Labs) joined by supply chain partner Branston’s Vee Gururajan (Innovations Director).

Winner Roboscientific

Roboscientific has developed a new generation of sensors for detecting disease, infestation and contamination in agricultural products using Volatile Organic Compounds.  The technology is fast, reliable and affordable and at the point of commercialisation for its automatic early disease detection system for growing broiler poultry and early alerts of spoilage in stored potato and onion crops.

Commenting on the winning selection, Tesco’s Emmanuelle Lerges said:

“We have to commend the high standard of the pitches and the different technologies that made it to the final, across a wide range of sectors. It made it very difficult to choose one winner, but in Roboscientific, we see a fantastic opportunity for long term collaboration, from reducing antibiotics and waste to disease identification and food safety improvements. We look forward to working with Ben and the team at Roboscientific on trialling and developing technology through our supply chain.”

Ben Curtis, Research Development Manager at Roboscientific:

“We’re shell-shocked and elated! It’s been a great experience and we look forward to working together with Tesco and its partners to improve food wastage and animal welfare within the food supply chain.”

Roboscientific will now benefit from introductions to Tesco’s supply chain partners, as well as ongoing support from the Tesco Agriculture team, the value of which was shared in an update from last year’s winner, ImpactVision. Roboscientific will also pitch to the full World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit as part of the start-up Technology Showcase on Wednesday October 16, showcasing its solution to an audience of more than 500 international agribusiness leaders and investors.

The remaining nine finalists will also join the summit: Acris Biotechnology (UK), Biosystems Engineering (UK), BlakBear (UK), CCm Technologies (UK), Faromatics (Spain), Metronome Technologies (UK), N2 Applied (Norway), Proteon Pharmaceuticals (Poland), and Smartbell (UK).

World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit Association Partner

Smartbell logo

Agri-EPI Centre member Smartbell

As you read this we are pleased to be an Association Partner at the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in London on 15-16 October. Renowned as the leading platform for new partnerships and business deals, we will be rubbing shoulders with international companies, investors, and start-up representatives. It is sure to generate some exciting opportunities.

One of our members; Smartbell, made it through to the final 10 to pitch their solution to the Tesco Agri T-Jam at the Innovation Summit. An animal health management platform, Smartbell’s real-time monitoring uses AI and the Internet of Things to improve disease detection and productivity. Although Smartbell did not go home with a win today, we warmly congratulate the Smartbell Team for making it to the top 10 entrants.

As Association Partner of the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit and the Tesco T-Jam, we will offer our members – early to mid-stage agri-tech start-ups in this case – also next year the opportunity to showcase their solutions that can help optimise Tesco’s ag supply chain.


More information

For more information on all finalists and the summit visit:

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