More than a dozen business projects have won a share of £3m to explore and develop new ways to improve food production using satellite technologies.
The ‘Satellites to improve agri-food systems’ competition was jointly funded by Innovate UK and the National Environment Research Council and will support 4 collaborative research and development projects and 9 feasibility studies.
An increasing world population, greater wealth in developing countries and the trend towards urbanisation are all putting an increasing strain on the world’s food supplies.
Satellite technology and increased use of data are already helping to increase agricultural productivity in a sustainable way.
Projects aim to improve farm productivity
Among the projects approved for funding are:
- creation of a UK soil map to enable precision farming techniques led by AgSpace
- a satellite-data based management tool for pasture led by Rezatec
- development of a drone crop spraying system led by VTOL Technologies
- a study into increasing farm productivity through satellite broadband on farms without 3G/4G coverage led by Avanti Communications
- a study into geolocation tracking of extensive livestock systems led by Hoofprints Technologies
The projects involve a total of 21 businesses and 11 universities and research organisations including the Satellite Applications Catapult.