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Event Follow Up: Opportunities for UK space-enabled organisations across Indian agriculture

Munawar Kazi
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On the 16th of February, the Satellite Applications Catapult (the Catapult), funded by Innovate UK / part of UK Research and Innovation, and supported by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the Agri-EPI Centre, and Quantech Solutions, hosted a bilateral event to address the opportunities for UK businesses in Agriculture in India.

The bilateral event, which forms part of the Catapults wider Pipeline Stimulation Programme (PSP), is designed to showcase opportunities, increase collaboration, and strengthen cooperation between the UK and Indian Agricultural organisations.

The PSP has a discovery phase where experts can uncover the challenges and work with companies through to solutions. The Catapults have relationships with third parties in the UK and internationally who can bring in expertise, create connections, and take development opportunities further.

The event followed a series of workshops, each of which focused on the challenges identified during an initial discovery phase:

Challenge Area 1: Enabling Connectivity

  • Agronomics (e.g., Weather & Soil Info., Pest & Disease Monitoring, Yield & Soil Mapping, etc.)
  • Storage / Cold Chain (e.g., In-Situ Monitoring, Regional / National Storage Monitoring, Energy Usage Control, etc.)
  • Security (e.g., Asset Tagging of Animals, Asset Monitoring, Crop Security, etc.)
  • Water Usage (e.g., Improved Irrigation, Water Mapping, Water Usage Modelling, etc.)
  • Credit & Finance (e.g., Asset Monitoring for Insurance, Digital Supply Chains, Mobile Reporting, etc.)

Challenge Area 2: Environmental Sustainability & Climate Resilience

  • Environment (e.g., Methane Emissions Monitoring, Coastal Erosion, Biodiversity Protection, Forestry Monitoring, Net Zero, etc.)
  • Supply Chain Traceability (e.g., Quality & Assurance, Digital Certification, Supply Chain Integration, etc.)
  • Agronomy (e.g., Weeds, Seed Treatment, Fertiliser Use Mapping, etc.)
  • Water Usage
  • Climate Change (e.g., Crop Suitability, Harvest & Yield Prediction, etc.)
  • Labour & Robotics (e.g., Robotics Usage, Labour Requirements, etc.)

Experts from the Agri-Epi Centre, Quantech Solutions, and the Catapult discussed topics of interest, followed by demonstrations of UK capability to address those challenges.

Business Development Director, Lisa Williams said: “Through consultation with key stakeholders within India’s agricultural sector, we feel there is a strong case for UK agri-tech companies to deliver value and support a profitable and sustainable domestic and global food supply chain linked to climate resilience and enabling connectivity. The breadth of earth observation enabled companies who presented in the showcase to demonstrate this. Through working together and collaborating across stakeholders we can make an impact.”

Organisations who showcased their products and capabilities to address the specific challenges during the Bilateral Event included:

41 (forty-one) organisations and over 90 (ninety) attendees from India and the United Kingdom attended the event.

More Information: If you would like to know more about the opportunities arising from this event, or would like to explore the potential for future collaboration between the UK and India, please contact: agriculture@sa.catapult.org.uk

Partners:

Satellite Applications Catapult

The Satellite Applications Catapult is an independent innovation and technology company, created by Innovate UK to drive economic growth through the exploitation of space. We work with businesses and organisations of all sizes to realise their potential from space infrastructure and its applications. Based in Harwell, Oxfordshire, the Catapult was established in May 2013 as a network of centres to accelerate the take-up of emerging technologies and drive economic impact for the UK. We are a not-for-profit research organisation registered as a private company limited by guarantee and controlled by its Board.

Agri-EPI Centre

Agri-EPI provides scientifically robust and commercially viable solutions to improve productivity and sustainability within the food production system using cutting-edge precision technologies, robotics, autonomous solutions and engineering technologies and using data to reduce variance at the producer level.

Quantech Solutions

Quantech Solution’s CEO and founder, Dr Sam Hoste, has undertaken agritech roles in business, central government, worked with global consultancy firms, led sector-wide animal health improvement initiatives and was instrumental in the establishment of the UK’s AgriTech Centres.