Venturefest South West, a flagship event for innovators, entrepreneurs and investors, has announced a top line up of speakers for the agri-tech session which will look at new opportunities in the fast changing and developing agri-tech sector from technology, data, resource management and novel crops to animal and plant health. The agri-tech session will form part of the overall event which will see speakers from the Met Office and Innovate UK share insights.
Lead by University of Exeter, the agri-tech speakers will focus on the opportunities to develop collaborative research and innovation projects in this increasingly important and growing sector, the excellent opportunities for investment and export and how to bring together the region’s existing and emerging agri-tech businesses with the region’s academic knowledge base.
Joining the session and providing the wisdom of his experience in designing, building and commercially selling wireless sensing systems for the dairy industry is prominent figure in the UK agricultural engineering sector, Toby Mottram, founder of eCow and Douglas Bomford Trust Professor of Farm Mechanisation at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester. Toby Mottram is also the co-inventor of robotic milking, cow breath sampling, in-line milk progesterone analysis and in 2003 the rumen telemetry bolus which he has sold worldwide through eCow since 2011. In 2015 he was appointed BBSRC/Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellow charged to develop a new business to revolutionise dairy cow fertility.
Additional agri-tech speakers include Dr Khalid Mahmood, Head of Business Development at Rothamsted Research, the longest running agricultural research station in the world and Dr Michael Jarvis, Associate Professor in Virology and Immunology at Plymouth University and leading expert in the construction of a vaccine against Ebola virus. Specialists from University of Exeter also include Prof Robbie McDonald, Chair in Natural Environment and authority on the science, policy and practical implications of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in badgers and Prof Karen Anderson, Associate Professor in Remote Sensing and lead in the use of lightweight drone technology to deliver environmental science and management data.