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Technology Solving World’s Greatest Agricultural Challenges

£16 million for new technologies to improve global food production and security.

Twenty-four innovative agri-tech projects have been awarded a share of £16 million funding through the latest round of the government’s Agri-Tech Catalyst to solve some of the world’s greatest agricultural challenges – from food security and sustainability to weed control and livestock disease.

The UK is a world leader in the fast growing agri-tech sector, as global challenges such as rising population, shortages of land, water and energy require better and more reliable production of food. This round of the government’s Agri-Tech Catalyst – alongside industry co-investment – has provided awards between £200,000 and £1.5 million to the most pioneering science and technology projects within the UK’s agricultural sector to help meet the global demand for food with the least environmental impact.

New research published last month reveals the UK agriculture sector is worth around £14 billion to the UK economy and employs over half a million people.

Infographics setting out key statistics can be found below. 

Projects awarded funding in round 5 of catalyst include a variety of automated, IoT and Big Data solutions.

Full list of projects awarded funding:

  • 3D Vision-based Crop-Weed Discrimination for Automated Weeding Operations.
  • GrassVision - Automated application of herbicides to broad-leaf weeds in grass crops
  • Low cost Hyperspectral Crop Camera (HCC) for agriculture optimisation
  • A novel Biopesticide formulation technology for major lepidopteran crop pests
  • Strategies to reduce waste due to greening in potato tubers
  • Early detection of tail biting in pigs using 3D video to measure tail posture
  • Humane electric stunning
  • Aflascope: sample extraction procedures for improved aflatoxin management
  • Rapid and cost effective ‘on-site’ detection of Cacao swollen-shoot virus (CSSV)
  • DryGroAF (DAF)
  • Tools and technology for predicting tomato glasshouse production
  • Bacteriophage management of on-farm salmonella contamination of vine fruits
  • Use of stress pre-conditioning, novel sensors and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) to improve crop management, marketable yields, stress resilience and environmental sustainability of raspberry production
  • Integrated control of Leptosphaeria pathogens on UK winter oilseed rape
  • Automato Robot
  • Supply chain development in Kenya - UK Agritech to improve rural livelihoods
  • A whole supply chain approach to control Campylobacter
  • Next generation modified atmosphere materials to extend farm storage & reduce waste
  • Carcass trait phenotype feedback for genomic selection in sheep
  • Improving consistency of yields and quality of large-scale and small-holder bean production in Kenya by precision management of soil, water and pathogens
  • Extending the availability and flavour-life of UK apples using innovative photonics
  • Integrating control strategies against soil-borne Rhizoctonia solani in oilseed rape (ICAROS)
  • Vydrofarm – promoting sustainable food production via automated commercial indoor farms
  • Rubber track undercarriage systems for controlled traffic farming

More infromation on projects can be found here.

For more information on the work of techUK within agri-tech contact:





​Aimee Betts-Charalambous, Programme Manager | Smarteruk and the Internet of Things
020 7331 2058
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