For immediate release

24th September 2015

Catalyst for food and space sector partnerships

Surrey, UK - The UK’s space, food and agriculture sectors are being invited to London on 7thOctober to look at new ways of working together to help tackle the growing problem of feeding expanding populations across the world.

The business lead ‘Satellites for Agri-Food’ consortia-building event will bring together business, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and funders to address challenges facing the food and agricultural sectors, and assess what satellites can do to help.

Hosted by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), it is open to all companies involved in the food, agriculture and space industries.

A key element of the free-to-attend event will be to make new connections that could lead to collaborative projects. It will also introduce a new Innovate UK and NERC funding competition worth up to £3.75 million, alongside grants of £18 million (€25 million) available through the European Horizon 2020 agriculture programme

‘Satellites for Agri-Food’ will highlight how the British farming industry, food manufacturers and producers can access multi-million pound grants to deliver new ideas for increasing production efficiency using satellite and space technology.

The United Nations predicts food production will need to have increased by 70 per cent by 2050 when the world’s population will have reached more than nine billion, according to Dr David Telford, Knowledge Transfer Manager for Agriculture with the KTN.

“This will be a major challenge for the global food system which will have to balance future demand and supply more sustainably, ensure there is adequate stability in food prices, achieve global access to food and end hunger, as well as meeting the challenges of a low emissions world, and maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services,” he says.

Dr Andy Powell, Knowledge Transfer Manager with the KTN for the UK Space sector, says rising populations, reduced resources and climate change mean the agriculture and food sectors will need to operate more efficiently than ever.

“Satellites can revolutionise the sectors, helping producers and retailers provide enough quality food for people. Space technology, for example, can already monitor crops and livestock with pinpoint accuracy, optimise food transport and stocks, and improve operations by providing seamless communications across farms.”

“Our goal is for everyone to make new connections and create innovations,” adds Dr Powell. “Ultimately this will be great for all three industries - space, agriculture and food - as well as the UK's economy overall.”

'Satellites for Agri-Food', which is free to attend, aims to offer each industry sector the opportunity to learn from the other and open the door to future collaborations. It is being held at the Congress Centre, 28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS.

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To register;

For more information or to set up an interview contact; Amanda Loftus