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Agri-Tech Week kicked off with a bang at Norwich Research Park

18 November 2022

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The team at Anglia Innovation Partnership LLP (AIP LLP), the science park management entity of the Norwich Research Park, were delighted to organise and hold the first event to kick things off for this year’s Agri-Tech E Agri-Tech Week.

The event, entitled ‘field applications and opportunities using genetic technologies’ discussed the exciting innovative possibilities that the application of genetic technologies, when combined with continued developments in AI and automation, has the potential to bring to sustainable agriculture, providing solutions to global challenges such as sustainability and productivity.

The event featured four fantastic presentations from experts in the field, three from the park, Professor Nick Talbot (The Sainsbury Laboratory), Dr Penny Hundleby (John Innes Centre) Dr Darren Heavens (Earlham Institute) and we were also thrilled to be joined by Tim Teece, Technical Strategic Advisor from Morality and Knowledge in Artificial Intelligence (MKAI). The presentations were followed by a lively panel discussion with lots of thought-provoking audience questions. the event concluded with time for networking and refreshments.

Professor Nick Talbot from The Sainsbury Laboratory and Dr Penny Hundleby from the John Innes Centre explained gene editing technology and outlined current research applications as well as potential future applications for farming. Examples included gene editing to stop premature pod shatter in oil seed rape and the creation of non-browning bananas.

Dr Darren Heavens from the Earlham Institute discussed a specific cutting-edge technology, AirSeq, which uses a device that uses real time sequencing technology to detect airborne pathogens. This can provide a farmer with key information that a specific pathogen is present in the area providing them with essential knowledge that will allow them to act swiftly and with precision.

Tim Teece of MKAI showed an example of their Agricultural Data Aggregation Platform (ADAP) that leverages blockchain and AI technology to collect data consistently that will help farmers make more informed decisions, improve their strategies, be environmentally friendly and create a peer-to-peer network.

Diego Durantini, Agri-Tech Interdisciplinary Manager at Agri-TechE, said, “The Norwich Research Park pulled off a great event, assembled a lineup of amazing speakers, and engaged the community with thought-provoking talks. A fantastic event to start Agri-Tech Week 2022!

Nick Talbot, Executive Director of The Sainsbury Laboratory said, “There is enormous strength in the Norwich Research Park in Agri-Tech with discovery science expertise in plant and microbial sciences and innovative ideas in how to provide new solutions and products for agriculture.  There is a twin revolution underway in agriculture currently, with advance genetic technologies offering real hope to provide low input, high output crops with increased resilience to environmental stress, in addition to the artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicle revolution providing sustainable infrastructure to the farming industry.  The institutes in the NRP have much to offer in Agri-Tech as this event clearly demonstrated.”

The event attracted a varied and engaged audience, which was very buzzing during the break sessions and asked a lot of insightful questions to the panel.”

A great summary of the event can also be found on the Agri-TechE website here!

About Agri-Tech Week

Agri-Tech Week is a partnership initiative founded in 2014 by Agri-TechE with the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association. It features a mix of in-person and virtual events that are designed to showcase exciting developments in agri-tech.

It is coordinated by Agri-TechE working closely with partners across the innovation ecosystem and aims to provide opportunities to attract new customers and partners and to broker collaborations and international connections.

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