Innovation in agri-tech will benefit from advances in space technology. Tractors are being guided by satellite-enabled technology, which is also controlling the precise application of fertilizer and measures the health of the soil and plants. Entrepreneurial businesses like Agreed, a start-up in climate technology developing a remote sensing tool to assist farmers in using more nature and less nitrogen, have already seized this opportunity. At a meeting on January 26, the new Space Cluster for Norfolk and Suffolk will be addressed. Creating a regional satellite application hub and launch and test facility is the goal of the new Space Cluster for Norfolk and Suffolk. The conference will provide a chance to go over the strategies and consider the needs of the agri-tech industry.
The opportunities created at the intersection between agri-tech and space-tech are to be discussed at an event on 26th January. Entrepreneurial companies already capturing this opportunity include Agreed, a climate-tech start-up that is building a remote sensing tool to help farmers use more nature and less nitrogen. Food production is dependent on nitrogen, most of which comes from fossil fuels, but 50% of the nitrogen applied to crops is lost to water as nitrates or into the atmosphere.
The Chair of the Space Cluster for Norfolk and Suffolk is Julian Munson from the New Anglia LEP. According to him, the growth of the space sector will benefit the region’s significant clusters of activity in sustainable agriculture, crop science, climate change, marine science, offshore wind, transportation, and logistics.
“To enable testing of items in a “space environment,” the planned activity entails creating a regional satellite application hub and a regional micro-gravity launch and test facility. The meeting will provide a chance to go over the strategies and investigate the needs for the agri-tech industry.”
Dr Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-TechE, says that prediction, decision-support and automation technologies are among those that are building on space-tech. “Over recent years we have seen how innovation at the intersections of different disciplines creates new business opportunities. High-resolution satellite data augmented by drones is enabling early detection changes in crop health and prediction of yield; this type of information is invaluable for risk mitigation, and is just one illustration of the practical applications of space-tech in agriculture.”
“However, the success of precision agriculture depends on creating a robust infrastructure for in-field and earth-to-satellite communications and we would see this as a priority for the new Space Cluster.”
Image provided by Agri-TechE