Boxworth, United Kingdom
Boxworth, United Kingdom

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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.4-08 | Award Amount: 3.82M | Year: 2014

Many EU and nationally funded research projects in the fields of agriculture and forestry provide excellent results, but the outreach and translation of these results into field practices is limited. The overall aim of VALERIE is to boost the outreach of research by facilitating the integration into innovative field practices. The work in VALERIE consists of three major approaches. (1). Stakeholder-driven approach. Ten case studies set the central stage for the bottom-up approach of the project, aided by highly effective tools of web semantics and ontology. Cases are centred around a specific supply-chain, a farming sector or a landscape. The stakeholder communities (SHC) represent the natural networks engaged in innovation. They drive the process of articulating innovation needs, enabling the retrieval of precisely matching knowledge and solutions, and evaluating their potential in the local context. (2) Theme-driven approach. VALERIE retains six thematic domains that are at the heart of sustainable production and resource use. These six provide the back-bone for structuring the annotation and summarising activities, which in turn will provide a vast body of knowledge accessible via the Communication Facility (CF). (3) Knowledge disclosure. VALERIE will launch a Communication Facility (CF) for the EIP-Networking Facility. The CF supports communication amongst actors in the field and researchers. Next, it injects new knowledge into the innovation process, by enabling users to retrieve highly relevant (tailored-to-needs) information, based on their own vocabularies. In offering tools for communication, as well as content structured for efficient knowledge retrieval, the CF fuses the advantages typical of learning networks and linear modes of knowledge sharing. The CF will be set up, tested and integrated into the EIP-NF platform, as a generic infrastructure for use by fresh stakeholder communities, also beyond the life of the VALERIE project.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EO-2-2015 | Award Amount: 2.99M | Year: 2016

With the start of the SENTINEL era, an unprecedented amount of Earth Observation (EO) data will become available. Currently there is no consistent but extendible and adaptable framework to integrate observations from different sensors in order to obtain the best possible estimate of the land surface state. MULTIPY proposes a solution to this challenge. The project will develop an efficient and fully traceable platform that uses state-of-the-art physical radiative transfer models, within advanced data assimilation (DA) concepts, to consistently acquire, interpret and produce a continuous stream of high spatial and temporal resolution estimates of land surface parameters, fully characterized. These inferences on the state of the land surface will be the result from the coherent joint interpretation of the observations from the different Sentinels, as well as other 3rd party missions (e.g. ProbaV, Landsat, MODIS). The framework allows users to exchange components as plug-ins according to their needs. The proposal is based on the EO-LDAS concepts developed within several ESA-funded projects, which have shown the feasibility of producing estimates of the land surface parameters by combining different sets of observations through the use of radiative transfer models. We will provide a fully generic flexible data retrieval platform for Copernicus services that provides integrated and consistent data products in an easily accessible virtual machine with advanced visualisation tools. Users will be engaged throughout the process and trained. Moreover, user demonstrator projects include applications to crop monitoring & modelling, forestry, biodiversity and nature management. Another user demonstrator project involves providing satellite operators with an opportunity to cross-calibrate their data to the science-grade Sentinel standards.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ISIB-02-2014 | Award Amount: 2.09M | Year: 2015

Using the laying hen sector as a case study, we aim to demonstrate the potential for practice-driven innovation networks, supported by existing science and market-driven actors, to develop practical cost-effective solutions to sustainability challenges (objective 1). Multi-stakeholder networks will develop technical innovations to injurious pecking and the management of end-of-lay hens concerns based on practice, economics and scientific information (objective 2). A generic support package of communication web based tools, facilitation guides and on-line training programmes, designed to help science and market- driven actors, will then be available to support practice-driven innovation networks in other livestock sectors (objective 3). Finally we will develop policy recommendations that help realize the full potential of practice-driven innovation through multi stakeholder networks in livestock sectors (objective 4). This project will tackle four challenges associated with the need for grass-root innovation highlighted in the Horizon 2020 call; 1) legitimacy by robust practical and financial evaluation, 2) accessibility by communication between producers and existing innovation support actors, 3) connectivity by an industry-led dissemination strategy ensuring information about innovations are widely spread using existing communication tools and finally 4) sufficient resource by production of a support package and policy recommendations that facilitate better interaction of science-driven and practice-driven innovation. The success of this approach to the laying hen sector and other sectors will be evaluated by the ability of the network to encourage practice-led innovation, check the effectiveness of the innovation, ensure optimum use of scientific information, provide a route for traditional knowledge transfer when required, disseminate results of innovation to others and ensure that policy is informed by practice-led solutions.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 129.72K | Year: 2013

Since its emergence in 2011, Schmallenberg virus (SBV) has spread across most of the European continent. The virus causes a mild disease in adult sheep and cattle (fever, reduced milk yield and diarrhoea). However if an animal is infected during pregnancy, resultant offspring can have severe deformities. SBV is spread by biting midges making efforts to control it very difficult. The economic impact of SBV has been significant with some sheep farmers losing more than 30% of their lambs as well as lost milk production for dairy farmers. With a vaccine launch in the near future, control of SBV becomes possible, however farmers will have to make an economic decision as to whether the cost of vaccination outweighs the losses they are experiencing. This project will focus on developing cost-effective tests that can be used by farmers or vets to see whether animals are likely to be protected against infection. This information can be used to decide whether or not vaccination of some or all of the herd or flock is necessary. The tests will also be useful for confirming whether SBV is responsible for any deformed offspring before embarking on more expensive post mortem tests. This project will also produce information as to which parts of SBV stimulate a strong immune response. This is essential for developing refined vaccines and diagnostic tests. These tools will allow animals that have antibodies as a result of vaccination to be distinguished from animals that have been infected with SBV. This information will be vital for livestock exporters to regain access to markets outside of the EU that have implemented trade bans due to SBV. It will also allow monitoring of whether infection is occurring despite the use of vaccines.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 949.60K | Year: 2013

The Agronomics Project, led by ADAS and involving the Courtyard Partnership, BASF, Trials Equipment Ltd., VSN International and the British Geological Survey, will develop statistical approaches to enable high precision spatial experimentation on-farm using precision farming technologies. Agronomics has the twin aims of improving precision and extending the scale of agronomic testing and experimentation, so that farmers, advisors, suppliers, researchers and regulators will all be able to detect and aggregate small, as well as large, effects of treaments on crop performance and their interactions with soil type. New statistical approaches will also enable close optimisation of input rates in support of genetic (or other) enhancement of nutrient and agrochemical efficiencies. Agronomics will apply to all field crops and all cropping practices, and so will underpin the urgent quest for ‘sustainable intensification’ by transforming agronomic intelligence and maximising returns from research investment, first in the UK and then worldwide.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Feasibility Study | Award Amount: 113.22K | Year: 2016

This project seeks to establish the feasibility of (i) using multiple Earth Observation data to deliver canopy progress curves for every field in the UK, and (ii) integrating these into a Crop Intelligence System with soils, met and crop records, so as to provide tools and services for a range of decision support, benchmarking, strategic and tactical uses for farmers, industry and government customers. Within this feasibility study we will engage with a range of potential users, suppliers, partners and investors to scope out the requirements and commercial opportunities for the Crop Intelligence System. We will demonstrate the technical feasibility of producing field by field curves using public and commercial satellite data for an example area, specify the requirements and costs for building and operating a commercial system and identify the best business models to bring the Crop Intelligence System to commercial reality.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 825.49K | Year: 2015

Fresh tomatoes and peppers are high value crops and are an important part of a healthy human diet. These products are highly perishable and are subject to peaks and troughs in production. Low temperatures are currently used to extend shelf life, but the shelf life is short and energy costs are high. As a result, the supply chain for such products remains unacceptable wasteful. A plant hormone, ethylene, is key to the ripening process, the production of which can be minimised by the use of chemicals. Chemical application however remains a barrier to consumer acceptance; the project will develop the use of an innovative non-chemical non-contact technique which safely removes ethylene from the air around fresh produce. Commercial scale trials and laboratory investigations will be conducted to establish when and how to safely suspend ripening within the supply chain to deliver safe, high quality nutritious fresh UK produced food to the consumer.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Feasibility Study | Award Amount: 248.99K | Year: 2015

Fasciola hepatica, (liver fluke) is a common pathogen of sheep, goats and cattle and the causal agent of a disease known as fasciolosis. This is the cause of serious financial losses within the agricultural sector in terms of animal production resulting from poor growth and fitness to even loss of animals. The control of F. hepatica has been through the use of anthelmintic drugs, however widespread drug resistance means that these are now much less effective. An alternative treatment could be vaccination which would either prevent infection or reduce worm burden in the animal, both would prevent disease transmission. No vaccine to F. hepatica has been successfully brought to market. This Agri-Tech catalyst project will use a range of novel in vitro and in silico strategies to identify panels of F. hepatica components for potential multi-subunit vaccine design. This could lead to the development of effective vaccines for the control of fasciolosis, improving both animal performance and health and welfare.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Feasibility Study | Award Amount: 77.60K | Year: 2016

The project will investigate the feasibility of measuring grass yield and quality remotely by using satellite sensing technologies. If successful then the technology will enable farmers to improve yield and quality by optimising the timing of silage harvest, producing grass growth curves for bench marking and creating yield/quality maps which will enable precision management of crop inputs (e.g. fertilisers). The project is highly innovative because it will develop techniques for sensing grass crops through cloud and additional uniqueness will be achieved by sensing for grass quality as well as yield. This 12 month project is a collaborative project between industry partners; ADAS UK Ltd (Agricultural research and consultancy), Precision Decisions (precision farming company) and farm levy board AHDB.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 185.67K | Year: 2013

Fasciolosis is a major disease of cattle and sheep and is a key problem within the farming industry. It is caused by the parasite, Fasciola hepatica (a liver fluke), and is acquired by the ingestion of water or vegetation contaminated by the infectious stage of the parasite. The parasite goes on to colonise the liver of cattle and sheep where they feed on liver cells and blood. The presence of these parasites causes reduced milk yields, poor fertility and high perinatal loses, and chronic weight loss in cattle. In addition to these effects seen in cattle, acute disease can cause sudden death from haemorrhage and liver damage in sheep. These effects in turn cause economic losses, estimated to be £1312 million worldwide. Currently diagnosis of fasciolosis is based upon epidemiological data and blood samples (for raised liver enzymes) in the acute/sub-acute disease, and the demonstration of eggs in faeces in chronic disease. A number of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) techniques have also been developed, however, both these and egg counts have to be carried out in central laboratories with the expertise to do so and can take several days to perform, thus there is a clear need for a simple rapid decentralised test. The project will aim to develop a pen-side lateral flow device (LFD) for the diagnosis of fasciolosis in cattle and sheep from faecal samples, with the aim of producing a simple to use, rapid test that will allow farmers and veterinarians to make informed decisions on whether treatment is required.

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