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Big Opportunities for Big Data in Food, Agriculture and Environment


The South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications would like to invite you to attend this workshop focused on opportunities for big data in food, agriculture and the environment. The workshop is being run with Rothamsted Research, the longest running agricultural station in the world.

Who should attend?

SMEs interested in developing collaborative projects in applying big data applications for improving food production and environment futures. Devon-based businesses could take advantage of the funding available to improve their products and services through the Impact Lab-ERDF Funding and other funding opportunities. Large companies interested in working with SMEs are also encouraged to attend. This may include hardware and software companies, machine learning, imaging, visual, analytics, input supply companies, seed, fertiliser, pesticides, food processing and retailers, water & environment consultancy firms, etc.

Workshop Programme

09:15 Registration (Wilkinson Room)

09:45 Welcome to North Wyke; Professor Michael Lee, Head of Site North Wyke

10: 00 Impact Lab Concept, Robert Kathro & Khalid Mahmood, Envir. Futures & Big Data Impact Lab

10:20 Big Data Applications: Making big data analysis easy; Dr Alberto Arribas, Met Office

10:40 Agrimetrics Data Platform; Kathryn Berger, Agrimetrics Analytics Lab

11:00 Networking Break

11:30 Agritech Project; Dr Robin Jackson, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

11:40 North Wyke Farm Platform , Dr Paul Harris, Rothamsted

11:50 Startup Pitches/ Industry Challenge

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 17:00  Business support from Impact Lab/ Farm Platform tour (pre-book slots)/

1:1 Surgey with Impact Lab Innovation Managers / Business Mentors

1:1 Meetings with reseachers & interested companies to disuss projects

15:00-16:45 Shakeup workshop – South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applicatons  

Catherine Armour, Paul Harris, Alex Huke, Khalid Mahmood

17:00 Close


Workshop Objective

  1. Showcase Rothamsted and Impact Lab partners’ expertise in Data science
  2. Opportunity for SMEs to interact with data and agricultural science experts
  3. Opportunity to develop collaborative project proposals through Impact Lab-ERDF Funding and other funding opportunities

Rothamsted Research is the longest running agricultural station in the world and has a track record of 175 years of cutting-edge science and high-impact innovation. The sensors and predictive modelling capability at Rothamsted’s North Wyke “Farm Platform” (NWFP) makes it one of the most instrumented farms in the world assessing whole life cycle analysis of livestock grazing systems from an economic, animal husbandry and environmental perspective. This enables research teams to conduct experiments focused on addressing some of agriculture’s most pressing challenges, e.g. mitigating climate change, protecting natural resources and sustaining the rural economy in grassland dominated areas.

Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab  is a partnership of seven Devon-based research organisations, working together to help local businesses for using complex data to create new products and services, particularly those that safeguard the environment for future generations.

The Impact team could help SMEs to develop ideas for using their own data stets or third party data, or from the rich datasets generated by Impact partners- University of Exeter, Rothamsted Research, Exeter City Futures, the Met Office, University of Plymouth, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and Plymouth College of Art. This broad set of partners are able provide specialist support for a range of problems.

The package of support from Impact Lab partners include access to:

  • Complex data sets – either new or existing within our partner organisations; data can be enhanced, refined, and structured to your requirements;
  • Expert technical support – statisticians, Bioinformaticians, data scientists, modellers, computer scientists, machine learning specialists who will help with technical challenges and implementation;
  • Product development support – designers, data visualisation experts and proto-typing facilities to translate data into attractive new products and services;
  • Specialist academic expertise – academics and environmental scientists to explore the conceptual dimensions of your work and build long-term collaborations;
  • Match funding – grants are available from a Challenge fund to cover 60% of the cost of additional goods and services bought in from outside the partnership;
  • Space – working space shared with like-minded innovators;
  • Mentors and the chance to plug into a wide range of other forms of business and innovation support.

All services are provided free of charge (grants require match-funding) and are available to Devon-based SMEs involving big data or environmental science.



The South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications is based in Cornwall with the University of Exeter as the lead delivery partner.
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