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From satellite to soil: connecting environmental observation to agri-tech innovations

Event videos

  • Leveraging Earth observations for a food secure world

    Barbara Ryan gives an international overview on the scope of how Earth observation can be used for food security through the provision of data used to analyse and inform forecasts and decision making globally.

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  • Addressing global challenges to drive economic growth

    Stuart Martin highlighted how Earth observation capabilities can be used to address two of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: zero hunger and life on land. 

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  • Keith Norman (Velcourt); Andrew Richards (Agrii); Sergio Moreno Rojas (G’s Growers); David Gardner (Innovation for Agriculture)

    End-users of Earth observation shared their experience of how this type of data can be used to improve yield and productivity. 

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  • Vince Gillingham (AG Space); Roelof Kramer (Rezatec); Simon Griffin (SOYL Precision Crop Production); Dr Iain Cameron (Environment Systems)

    Technology companies discuss the provision and processing of data for agronomists and farmers.

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  • Farming with robots

    Professor Blackmore reflects on other technological advances which use satellite data and can be used alongside environmental observation to improve agricultural productivity.

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  • Sir Martin Sweeting, Dr Jim Godfrey, Andy Shaw, Professor John Crawford

    Panel members reflect on the discussion from the day and highlight their perspectives on how environmental observation and satellite data can be used in agri-tech innovations.

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09:00 - 18:00


The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG


Download the conference report or programme.

© Carsthets

This conference will bring together two technologies, satellites and agri-tech, that were listed among the last government's “eight great” technologies. The UK has an opportunity to lead in both the development and application of satellite technologies for environmental observation (EO).

The pace of change in our capacity to observe the planet, and the growing ability to apply new ‘big data’-style analytics is transforming the way that we understand our environment, and the way that we interact with it.  This has profound implications for future agriculture, which is both a contributor to the environmental ecosystem, and significantly impacted by the risks of future climate change.  

There is a clear value chain connecting the space/environmental observation technology developers with the end-users in the agriculture community. In the middle of this value chain are intermediary companies which convert the “big data” produced by the EO technologies, and through data visualisation convert it into a format that the end-user can engage with. Ensuring that these three groups are linked is key in ensuring the successful adoption of EO technologies by the agricultural community. 

Bridging the gap between research and end-user will be the focus of this conference, which will be achieved by bringing together the EO and agri-tech communities in a structured, workshop like event.  The conference will feature presentations by members of a range of relevant communities, articulating the needs of the end-user and the capabilities of the current technologies. In doing so, we will bring interested communities together to find common goals and points of collaboration which will show how EO can be used to improve productivity and resilience in UK agri-tech and how the UK can become a world leader in this field.

Attending this event

This event is intended for representatives from industry, academia and government who have an interest in the use of environmental observation in agri-tech. Please register to attend or contact the Industry team for more information.

Event organisers

Select an organiser for more information

Schedule of talks

17 June


Session 1

3 talks Show detail Hide detail

09:30-09:35 Welcome address

Sir Martin Sweeting OBE FREng FRS, Executive Chairman, Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd

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09:35-10:20 Leveraging Earth Observations for a Food Secure World

Dr Barbara Ryan, Director, GEO

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10:20-10:45 Addressing Global Challenges to drive Economic Growth

Stuart Martin, CEO, Satellite Applications Catapult

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10:45-11:15 Coffee and networking


Session 2

2 talks Show detail Hide detail

11:15-12:10 End-user perspectives

Keith Norman, Technical Director, Velcourt
Andrew Richards, Business Development Manager, Agrii
Sergio Moreno Rojas, Remote Sensing Technologist, G's Growers
David Gardner, CEO, Innovation for Agriculture

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12:10-13:10 Technology company perspectives

Vince Gillingham, Director, AG Space
Roelof Kramer, Head of Agriculture, Rezatec
Simon Griffin, Technical Manager, SOYL Precision Crop Production
Dr Iain Cameron, Environment Systems Limited

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Lunch and networking


Session 3

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14:10-14:40 Farming with robots

Professor Simon Blackmore, Head of Engineering, Harper Adams University

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14:40-15:40 Table discussions

15:40-16:10 Coffee and networking


Session 4

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16:10-16:55 Panel Discussion

Dr Jim Godfrey OBE, Farmer and Chair of Innovate UK Sustainable Agriculture and Food Innovation Platform
Professor John Crawford, Associate Director of Research and Scientific Director, Sustainable Systems Programme, Rothamsted Research
Andy Shaw, Defra Earth Observation Advisor

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16:55-17:00 Closing remarks

Sir Martin Sweeting OBE FREng FRS, Executive Chairman, Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd

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Drinks reception

Related events

From satellite to soil: connecting environmental observation to agri-tech innovations

Conference to bring together two technologies, satellites and agri-tech, and bridge the gap between research and end-user

The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK
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