Transforming Food Production Hub
UKRI’s £90m Transforming Food Production programme is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and aims to help the agricultural sector grow economically with less environmental impact. The programme is setting food production systems towards net zero emissions by 2040 by producing food in ways that are more efficient, resilient, and sustainable. It will accelerate the development and adoption of integrated precision approaches to improve productivity in agricultural systems.

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Programme – Day one – 24th November

Funding supports: Technology

10:20-10:55am

Tom Jenkins and Chris Danks from the UKRI Transforming Food Production programme are joined by Clive Blacker, Head of Arable & Produce at Map of Ag, to talk about the role funding plays in supporting innovative new technology in the sector. With a presentation on the successes of the Hands Free Farm project, this session will showcase the impact of UKRI funding, and opportunities to get involved in future competitions.

  • Tom Jenkins (Deputy Challenge Director, Transforming Food Production programme, UKRI)
  • Chris Danks (Innovation Lead, Transforming Food Production programme, UKRI)
  • Clive Blacker (Head of Arable & Produce, Map of Ag): Presenting a talk on ‘The Hands Free Farm concept’

Funding supports: Remote management

12:00-12:35pm

Tom Jenkins and Chris Danks from the UKRI Transforming Food Production programme look at the precision agriculture opportunities supported so far, along with the advancements in remote sensing and decision-making innovation. They will be joined by Clive Blacker, Head of Arable & Produce at Map of Ag, to look at taking UK digital innovations to international markets, as well as the latest opportunities for the industry to get involved in funding.

  • Tom Jenkins (Deputy Challenge Director, Transforming Food Production programme, UKRI)
  • Chris Danks (Innovation Lead, Transforming Food Production programme, UKRI)
  • Clive Blacker (Head of Arable & Produce, Map of Ag): Presenting a talk on ‘Taking UK innovation to international markets – precision agriculture & remote sensor systems for decision making’

Funding supports: Robotics

1:20-1:55pm

Dan Sargent, Head of Plant Sciences at Saga Robotics, joins Tom Jenkins and Chris Danks from the UKRI Transforming Food Production programme to look at the robotics innovations helped by funding. With a presentation of the successful UKRI-backed Robot Highways autonomous fruit farm, this session will show how new funding opportunities can support the next wave of robotic innovations.

  • Tom Jenkins (Deputy Challenge Director, Transforming Food Production programme, UKRI)
  • Chris Danks (Innovation Lead, Transforming Food Production programme, UKRI)
  • Dan Sargent (Head of Plant Sciences, Saga Robotics): Presenting a talk on ‘The Robot Highways project’

Programme – Day two – 25th November

Funding supports: Research

10:20-10:55am

Tom Jenkins and Chris Danks from the UKRI Transforming Food Production programme are joined by Prof. Simon Pearson, Founding Director of the Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology (LIAT) at the University of Lincoln, to discuss how funding supports and catalyses research-led innovations across the sector. Showcasing a range of successful projects undertaken by the University of Lincoln, the session will discuss how industry and academia can come together to tackle problems facing the sector.

  • Tom Jenkins (Deputy Challenge Director, Transforming Food Production programme, UKRI)
  • Chris Danks (Innovation Lead, Transforming Food Production programme, UKRI)
  • Simon Pearson (Professor of Agri-Food Technology, and Director of the Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology at the University of Lincoln): Presenting a talk on ‘Driving research-based innovation towards industry and sector-focused challenges’

Funding supports: Crop resilience

12:00-12:35pm

In this session, Greg Cielniak and Shaun Coutts from the University of Lincoln and Lincoln Agri-Robotics Centre join Tom Jenkins and Chris Danks from the UKRI Transforming Food Production programme to discuss innovative new weed control opportunities. The session will outline how funding has enabled a robotic alternative to herbicides to develop a solution for the expensive weed issue that affects crop production – and identify future opportunities for stakeholders to be involved in funding competitions.

  • Tom Jenkins (Deputy Challenge Director, Transforming Food Production programme, UKRI)
  • Chris Danks (Innovation Lead, Transforming Food Production programme, UKRI)
  • Greg Cielniak and Shaun Coutts (University of Lincoln and Lincoln Agri-Robotics Centre): Presenting a talk on ‘Autonomous weed detection methods and concepts’

Funding supports: Pest control

1:20-1:55pm

Tom Jenkins and Chris Danks from the UKRI Transforming Food Production programme will be joined by Heather Sanders, Director of Science at Agsenze, to discuss how funding has supported the development of automated pest control methods. Taking the example of the Mothnet project, the session will look at the time, cost and effectiveness benefits of using technology to overcome persistent pests for crops – as well as how future funding can continue to tackle this problem.

  • Tom Jenkins (Deputy Challenge Director, Transforming Food Production programme, UKRI)
  • Chris Danks (Innovation Lead, Transforming Food Production programme, UKRI)
  • Heather Sanders (Director of Science, Agsenze Ltd): Presenting a talk on A smart long life trap for codling moth monitoring’

Speakers

Chris Danks
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Tom Jenkins (BSc, PhD, FRSB)
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Greg Cielniak
Simon Pearson
Clive Blacker

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