AgriFoRwArdS Newsletter Issue 16 - April 2024 Edition

Welcome to the 16th issue of the AgriFoRwArdS CDT Newsletter. Scroll down to find out what has been happening within AgriFoRwArdS, and the wider Agri-Food Robotics community, recently.

Make sure to follow us on Linked In to keep up to date with all the latest news and activities!

AgriFoRwArdS Student News

Lets find out what the students have been up to over the last quarter...

Jack Foster travels to Canada for AAAI-24

Cohort 2 AgriFoRwArdS Student Jack Foster had the opportunity to travel to Vancouver in Canada this February to attend the Thirty-Eighth AAAI (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence) Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-24).

The Conference, which took place at the Vancouver Convention Centre on 20th to 27th February 2024, promotes research in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and fosters scientific exchange between researchers, practitioners, scientists, students, and engineers across the entirety of AI and its affiliated disciplines.

Jack was successful in having his paper ‘Fast Machine Unlearning Without Retraining Through Selective Synaptic Dampening’, which he wrote with his Primary Supervisor Dr Alexandra Brintrup, accepted for a poster presentation at the conference. The poster was well received by both industry and academic attendees. The premise is that with AI becoming increasingly prevalent, and regulation emerging as a result, the need to forget private or copyrighted information is more important than ever. Jack’s approach allows a machine learning model to forget such information, in a fast, economical and effective way.

Jack Foster presenting his poster titled 'Fast Machine Unlearning Without Retraining Through Selective Synaptic Dampening" at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Conference on Artificial Intelligence 2024 in Vancouver, Canada.
“I think the best thing is that it was a chance to see how relevant your research was. We spoke to a bunch of people in industry who happened to be researching similar topics, which we didn’t expect, and added some extra credibility to our work.”

Students encourage the next generation of roboticists

AgriFoRwArdS Students James Bennett and Harry Rogers have recently been involved in UEA’s science outreach programme which they have helped to embed robotics into. UEA had a fleet of LEGO Mindstorms robots which were used with a previous programming session that needed revitalisation. James redeveloped the session, embedding some key robotics principles and creating new session resources.

Last year, Harry and James, along with others they trained, ran this session as part of UEA’s Bringing Scientists to You programme where UEA scientists visit local schools to engage Year 8/9 pupils in science. The session goes down well and a bit of friendly competition helps.

More recently, some students from City College Norwich studying engineering visited UEA. James and Harry expanded the session to go into more detail for the older students who had the chance to tackle more challenges in the longer session. It was thoroughly enjoyed by the students as you can see from their photo.

Credit: City College Norwich, used with permission, also available:

In the session, students first get acquainted with the robot and how they can write python code to get the robot to do what they want which they practise by getting it to drive in given patterns. Next the concept of sensors is introduced allowing the robot to see the world. Finally, the students use the sensor to race around a racetrack and tune a control algorithm to achieve the best result. A lot is covered in a short 45 minute session but the students enjoy seeing how it all comes together. The material for the session is open sourced so you can look at it and run or modify the session for your needs.

Students visit Vertical Farming Lab

A group of students from Cohort 5 (Benjamin Nicholls, Catherine Merchant, Dimitris Paparas, Elliot Smith, and Liyou Zhou) recently attended an Agri-TechE Early-Career Innovators’ Forum (ECIF) visit to Leaf Labs. The visit took place at their Bourn Quarter site just outside of Cambridge. GrowUp Farms’ centre here is dedicated to research for its production facilities.

GrowUp ( is a company specialising in the production of leafy greens (lettuce, rocket) through vertical farming and controlled-environment agriculture. Their main production facility in Kent, Pepperness, aspires to become the blueprint for vertical farming operations in the UK and abroad – using a tenth of the water compared to traditional farming. This site uses a highly automated production line and also manages to use 100% renewable energy. GrowUp’s produce can be bought from Iceland, Tesco, and Spar. Their main selling point is that the consumer’s hand being the first ever to touch the produce; due to the growing environment the salad does not need to be washed and thus has a longer shelf-life (double!).

The Student's visit to Leaf Labs introduced them to GrowUp's state-of-the-art research facilities, where they attempt to tune the growing process to perfection. Their visit also included a presentation detailing GrowUp’s operations, past, present and future, and a tour of the facilities. They had the opportunity to ask many questions to understand how vertical farming can operate commercially.

“I was astonished by the scale of their operations and the significant milestones they achieved. They have effectively created a lettuce factory – more so than a farm. It is hard to comprehend all the complex interactions at play, even in this highly controlled environment. I was happy to hear that they are keen to explore data-driven optimisation further and achieve results faster. Going from seed to harvesting in 3 weeks is incredible, especially considering this happens year-round. I would highly recommend visiting their facilities.” - Dimitris Paparas
“It was great to have an insight into the methods in which GrowUp tackles the problem of farming. I think it has great applications and would like to see more companies follow this trend. The largest barrier is energy costs and if these can be mitigated then vertical farming can easily become widespread.” - Benjamin Nicholls

Spot the robot dog counts aphids

AgriFoRwArdS Student Xumin Gao spent a week exploring how the University of Lincoln's newest robot team member, Spot the Dog, could assist his PhD work by completing the task of automatic aphid counting. Xumin and his PhD team did a preliminary field test with Spot, who went into the sugar beet field, walked to the location of yellow water pans which are used to catch aphids, took images and then counted aphids using an aphid counting network they proposed.

Unfortunately, when they conducted the tests, the migration of the aphids had already stopped, so there were hardly any there to count. But on a positive note, they did find that Spot can easily walk through crops and causes less damage to crops compared with wheeled robots, meaning crops can recover quickly from the intervention.

The Spot Robot reviews crops at the University of Lincoln's Riseholme Campus.

In the future, Xumin hopes to spend more time further automating Spot and developing Spot's intelligence to further assist his automatic aphid counting task.

This work is seen as an important exploration of the potential of Spot robots for the development of cutting-edge agricultural technology.

AgriFoRwArdS Events

Discover the exciting events and activities our students and staff have been undertaking this quarter, and what's coming up soon...

Upcoming AgriFoRwArdS Events

The AgriFoRwArdS CDT Annual Conference

The University of East Anglia (UEA) is delighted to be hosting the fifth AgriFoRwArdS Annual Conference in July 2024, which will take place on 22nd and 23rd July 2024 and will be held at UEA's Enterprise Centre, a building at the cutting edge of sustainable design.

Over the two days of the conference at UEA's Enterprise Centre, hear from the following speakers from industry and academia on the exciting theme of Robots in Action:

  • Dr Duncan Russell, Ocado
  • Cameron Ross, EPSRC
  • Trisha Toop, Agri-EPI Centre
  • Louise Manning, Lincoln
  • Becky Dodds, Agritech-E
  • Robin Wang, Living Optics

In addition to keynote speakers and presenters, there will be presentations and panel discussions led by current AgriFoRwArdS students at all institutions: Cambridge University, Lincoln University, and University of East Anglia itself. Poster displays in the foyer will be contributed by MSc students at Lincoln University.

Hosted at the University of East Anglia's award-winning Sainsbury Centre, an evening social event, which will include a Drinks Reception and canapés, followed by a three course Conference Dinner, will give delegates opportunity to network. The Sainsbury Centre is situated within the UEA's Sculpture Park, set within 350 acres of beautiful parkland.

If you have not received an email inviting you to register for the Annual Conference, please contact us at

The AgriFoRwArdS CDT Summer School

This year the AgriFoRwArdS CDT are very excited to announce we will be travelling to the Netherlands for the annual Summer School. The week-long event will be held at the prestigious Wageningen Research and University (WUR) on the 8th to 12th July 2024. The focus for this year's Summer School will be robotic phenotyping.

The days will be filled with programming and development, socials, tours, and inspiring talks It will be a fantastic opportunity for students learn about phenotyping, why we do it, and get an introduction to the pipeline and its constituents. They’ll get to align with existing projects/research themes within the CDT and WUR, and cover different processing steps like Active Robot Control, Data acquisition, Data integration/mapping, and Feature extraction.

Other upcoming events and activities

Visit to the National Centre for Food Manufacturing (22nd April) - CDT Training and development opportunity focused on the UK's largest manufacturing industry: "food & drink".

Introduction to Agriculture: Challenges and Opportunities; Weeds (7th May) - Cohort 5 will attend Riseholme Campus to continue their introduction to the role of current technologies in agriculture to help ground their research in real challenges and opportunities. This session will cover 'Weed identification, biology and management' with Simon Goodger. 'Robotics at Riseholme' with Rob Lloyd, and also a visit to the Riseholme Farm.

Visit to Riseholme Farm (9th May) - Students will be visiting Riseholme Park Farm, a working farm at the beautiful University of Lincoln Riseholme Campus. They will be introduced to the initiatives that are taking place to help shape the farm, along with seeing how technology and the use of big data allows Riseholme Campus to improve welfare for the animals and run the farm.

Visit to the Dyson Farming Estate (4th June) - Students are invited to the Dyson Farming Estate in Lincolnshire to hear all about the cutting edge research taking place on the site.

AgriFoRwArdS Seminar Event: Visit to G's Growers (20th June) - This second AgriFoRwArdS Seminar Event will give students the opportunity to hear from leading experts within agri-robotics. Students will visit the G's Growers site in Ely in Cambridgeshire, take a tour of the facilities, and hear from people from various areas within the business.

AgriFoRwArdS Progress Meeting (21st June) - CDT Students from Cohort 2 will present their PhD work to other CDT Students and Staff at the University of Cambridge. For the majority of the Cohort this will be their last presentation as part of an AgriFoRwArdS Progress Meeting. We will hear about their project, the last few months of study, and what they have planned for the future.

Introduction to Agriculture: Challenges and Opportunities; Robotics at Riseholme (Date TBC) - This particular session will be with CDT Mechatronics Engineer Dr Rob Lloyd. The students will have the opportunity to discover the robotics currently being used at the University of Lincoln's Riseholme Campus, and consider how they may use those robotics in their research. Riseholme has fantastic facilities available for students (find out more about the campus here), including a working farm, a dedicated strawberry crop research site, and trial plots for teaching and research. Students will have the opportunity to really begin to understand the role robotics can play in a real-life agricultural setting. -

We want to make sure the training and events we are offering are geared towards our students interests. So students, if you have any suggestions for visits or training that you would like us to consider, please get in touch!

AgriFoRwArdS hold their first Seminar Series Event

Following Student feedback, the AgriFoRwArdS CDT have reimagined our Seminar Series for this academic year. Previously we have run a monthly hour-long online seminar (many of which you can still view on our YouTube channel – find out more via our Seminar Series Archive), but this year we decided to reboot, instead arranging two big seminar series events.

The first of these events took place at the end of January (24th to 26th), at the University of Lincoln’s beautiful Riseholme Campus, as part of the Lincoln Agri-Robotics (LAR) Mini-Conference, an exciting event focused entirely on agri-food robotics, involving engaging sessions, insightful discussions, and valuable networking opportunities.

Find out more about the event, which also included the AgriFoRwArdS Quarterly PhD Progress Meeting, on the Student Blog.

The AgriFoRwArdS CDT came together in January 2024 at the first of two Seminar Series events to be held this year.

Celebrating the Women in AgriFoRwArdS for International Women's Day 2024

The AgriFoRwArdS CDT are always keen to shout about the fantastic people that make up our community, but during the week of International Women’s Day (8th March) each year, we like to particularly highlight some of the incredible women who are part of AgriFoRwArdS.

This year was no different, we heard from just some of the inspirational women in our community, as they told us more about why they chose their subject, why they love science, and the exciting points of their career so far.

Click on the links below to read the full articles:

IFE Manufacturing 2024

This March AgriFoRwArdS CDT had the fantastic opportunity to participate in one of the largest food exhibitions, IFE Manufacturing. The exhibition provides an ideal environment for product developers, packaging designers, ingredient buyers, and food manufacturers to explore the latest trends and discover transformative solutions and products. The event stands as one of the largest gatherings in the food and beverage industry, attracting exhibitors and attendees from around the world. This year's event took place at Excel London from March 25-27, spanning three days from Monday to Wednesday, and welcomed an incredible number of visitors, with 27,000 attendees from 102 countries.

The AgriFoRwArdS/University of Cambridge stand was positioned in the Trends and Innovation Platform of the exhibition, showcasing the latest agri-food technology to exhibitors. The stand was managed by Narges Khadem Hosseini, Cambridge CDT Principal Technician, along with Yi Zhang, AgriFoRwArdS CDT PhD Student, Fumiya Iida, AgriFoRwArdS CDT Deputy Director, and Fulvio Forni, AgriFoRwArdS CDT Co-Investigator, Veronica Egorova, AgriFoRwArdS CDT Administrator, and Yuki Nakagawa, from RT- Corporation.

It was a fantastic opportunity for AgriFoRwArdS CDT members to showcase their current projects, regardless of their stage of development. Leveraging this platform, they could demonstrate and discuss the automation levels of their projects, which garnered positive feedback from visitors. The AgriFoRwArdS stand, featuring robotic/automation processes, stood out among others and successfully attracted attention. AgriFoRwArdS even had the privilege of being interviewed by reporters, and several reporters captured videos of the stand.

"During the exhibition, we had fruitful discussions with investors and food manufacturers who expressed interest in collaborating on automation processes, not only in the UK but also internationally, including Africa and Asia. It was enlightening to understand the challenges and obstacles faced by food manufacturers and their enthusiasm for accelerating production processes, especially concerning low-profile tasks for pick and place and replacing human labour with robots. Additionally, we had the honour of meeting Dr. Bola Olabisi, CEO of Global WIIN and director of Intellectual Property Awareness Network (IPAN). This networking opportunity allowed us to connect with successful women in business and learn about their efforts to support women in developing their ideas and advancing in their careers."

The AgriFoRwArdS stand featured three robotic arms for food handling and control. The main purpose was to showcase the capabilities of CDT students in controlling robots, programming, and enhancing robot safety for pick and place tasks in the agri-food industry. A large TV displayed videos of the AgriFoRwArdS CDT Student's current projects, such as Will Rohde’s project supported by G's Growers, which garnered significant attention, especially the segments featuring the Thorvald robot moving in greenhouses and scanning strawberries.

This successful event has paved the way for establishing new partnerships with potential industrial partners and provided excellent networking opportunities with individuals interested in robotics.

Peer-to-peer support for the transition to PhD

The transition from a taught MSc programme to autonomous PhD research can feel slightly overwhelming, and as much as students can be provided with information and resources to help with this transition, nothing compares to hearing from those who have actually lived it.

Each year the newest Cohort to join the AgriFoRwArdS CDT come together in an online student-led session to hear from those who have already started their PhD. The event gives a brief look into the transition to PhD life at each of the three universities, and allows our students to share thoughts and experiences with each other and to support each other through this process.

During the session students had the opportunity to ask questions of their fellow students, and even learnt things they didn’t know they needed to know!

“The students running the session had prepared questions themselves, so once all of our questions had been answered, they continued with a quick-fire few minutes of answering their own questions. This was useful as we don’t know what we don’t know, and did not think to ask some of the questions they answered for us.”

One of the key takeaway’s from the session seemed to be the positive impact our PhD Supervisors have on student’s experience of the PhD.

“I realised how it is normal to feel intimidated by other published research and how we are not expected to produce work of that level right away. The supervisor will help guide us throughout our first year and we’ll drive the direction of the project more independently later.”

Thank you to all our PhD students who engaged with this session to provide support for their fellow students.

The 4th International Embodied Intelligence Conference

It has become tradition that every March the Bio-Inspired Robotics Laboratory (BIRL), University of Cambridge, with help of the EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne) organises the Embodied Intelligence International Online Conference.

For the fourth year the conference brought together engineers, biologists, philosophers, and phycologists in attempt to answer questions about embodied intelligence, exploring facts and uncovering complexity of its phenomenon and making yet another attempt to formulate ethical dilemmas related to Embodied Intelligence research.

The conference ran for 3 days (20-22 March 2024) and consisted of 5 sessions, with 32 talks from leading academics, 50 post-doctoral researchers and PhD students representing universities from Asia, Europe, and America.

Each year the AgriFoRwArdS CDT students have attended the EI International conference and used it as a platform to show-case their research and discuss their ideas with wider EI community. This year, Cohort 2 student, Elijah Almanzor, gave a presentation titled “Twitch-Based Sensory-Motor Coordination: From Reflexes to Coordinated Behaviour” and for the first time Cohort 4 student, Yi Zhang presented her paper "Virtual model control for compliant reaching under uncertainties".

If you wish to see what questions the global EI community is currently focused on, please visit the 4th Embodied Intelligence conference website and watch the talks’ recordings: Day 1 Recordings; Day 2 Recordings; Day 3 Recordings.

Meet the AgriFoRwArdS Team

Get to know the AgriFoRwArdS team, below we introduce key members of the CDT's academic community...

Dr Helen Harman

Dr Helen Harman is a Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Lincoln within the School of Computer Science. She is a member of the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems (L-CAS). Helen is the primary supervisor of Cohort 5 student Omar Ali, who is currently studying his MSc and will be beginning his PhD work in October this year.

Helen gained a PhD from Ghent University, Belgium in 2020 and an MEng in Software Engineering from Aberystwyth University, Wales in 2016. During her time as an undergraduate student, she took a year in industry at CERN and a summer placement at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. After completing her PhD, she spent two years as a Post Doctoral Researcher within the Lincoln Agri-Robotics Centre (LAR).

Helen’s research interests include multi-agent task allocation, robot/human task planning and intention prediction. She enjoys applying AI techniques to real-world challenges. Helen has worked on the Co-FARM.AI (Ceres Agri-Tech) and Co-FRUIT (Innovate UK) projects, which looked at allocating work to human and robotic workers on soft-fruit farms.

Prof Amanda Prorok

Professor Amada Prorok has taken an active approach to the AgriFoRwArdS CDT over the past year, assisting with interview panels and presentations, including at the CDT Annual Conference last year. She is well-known within the area of AI, and has given many interviews to national and international press. She also runs a Research Laboratory at the Computer Sciences Department, University of Cambridge.

Amanda is Professor of Collective Intelligence and Robotics in the Department of Computer Science and Technology, at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of Pembroke College. Her lab's research focuses on multi-agent and multi-robot systems. Their mission is to find new ways of coordinating artificially intelligent agents (e.g., robots, vehicles, machines) to achieve common goals in shared physical and virtual spaces.

Together with her lab, Amanda pioneered methods for differentiable communication between learning agents. Their research brings in methods from machine learning, planning, and control, and has numerous applications, including automated transport and logistics, environmental monitoring, surveillance, and search.

Prior to joining Cambridge, Amanda was a postdoctoral researcher at the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. She completed her PhD at EPFL, Switzerland. She has been honoured by numerous research awards, including an ERC Starting Grant, an Amazon Research Award, the EPSRC New Investigator Award, the Isaac Newton Trust Early Career Award, and several Best Paper awards. Her PhD thesis was awarded the Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) prize for the best thesis at EPFL in Computer Science. She serves as Associate Editor for IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (R-AL) and Associate Editor for Autonomous Robots (AURO).

Industry Partner News

Find out more about the AgriFoRwArdS Industry Partner's and their exciting work...

While we rest, Thorvald is hard at work on strawberry farms

AgriFoRwArdS Industry Partner Saga Robotics are leading the way in agricultural robotics with Thorvald, a multi-functional robot capable of various autonomous tasks around the farm or vineyard.

Thorvald is hard at work on strawberry farms even while we rest, employing UV-C light treatment for powdery mildew control, alongside dispensing predatory mites and cutting runners. This weekly operation spans the entire season, enabling Thorvald to gather essential data for functions such as yield forecasting and disease detection.

Curious to witness Thorvald's approach in action? Dive into the video for a firsthand look at how he empowers growers to maximise yield sustainably.

Saga are partnered with our Cohort 1 students’ Karoline Heiwolt and Roopika Ravikanna, supporting their PhD research into 4D scene analysis for Autonomous Operation of Mobile Robots on Farms’ and ‘Fleet Management of Autonomous Agricultural Robots with Human Awareness respectively’.

Robotics and Automation: For a Sustainable Future

14th & 15th May, MTC, Coventry

The Manufacturing Technology Centre invites the AgriFoRwArdS community to join them at the Robotics and Automation: For a Sustainable Future event on 14th & 15th May 2024.

This free event is a must for both small and large businesses, robot vendors, system integrators, researchers and educators looking to understand the latest robotics and automation trends, make new connections and learn from peers.

For those interested in taking the first step towards automation adoption, or identifying bespoke solutions to meet specific challenges, independent support and guidance will be available to help with your journey.

Highlights include:

  • 🌟 Inspiring live keynote presentations and speakers
  • 🌟 Panel discussions
  • 🌟 Educational workshops
  • 🌟 Live robotics demonstrations
  • 🌟 Tours of the MTC facilities
  • 🌟 Exhibition featuring leading suppliers and support organisations

Find out more and register using the link below:

Robotics and Automation: For a Sustainable Future 2024 (

Agri-Food and Robotics Research Continues

What else is going on in the area of agri-food robotics? Find out below...

Queens Anniversary Ceremony at Buckingham Palace

On February 22nd, a group of representatives from the University of Lincoln were invited to attend Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Anniversary Prize presentation ceremony. The award recognises outstanding work carried out by UK universities focusing on quality and innovation which benefits the wider world. The Queen’s Anniversary Prize is the highest honour that can be given to a university in the UK; the University of Lincoln was awarded this for the work of the Lincoln Institute for Agri-food Technology (LIAT). Specifically, for supporting the success and sustainability of the UK’s food and farming industries through innovations in research, education, and technology.

The representative party included Professor Neal Juster, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, Professor Simon Pearson, Director of the Lincoln Institute of Agri-food Technology and Professor Elizabeth Sklar, Professor in Agri-Robotics, who were accompanied by a group of PhD students involved in innovative agri-tech projects, along with other academics and professional service staff.

Group of Representatives at Buckingham Palace, from Left to Right: Katherine James, Research Assistant in Agri-Robotics; Yoon Cho, Research Assistant in Data Science; Nikolaus Wagner, Research Assistant in Agri-Robotics; Phil Johnson, Research Assistant in Soft Robotics Manipulation; Prof Simon Pearson, Director of LIAT; Dr Amir Badiee, Senior Lecturer; Prof Elizabeth Sklar, Professor of Agri-Robotics.

Professor Simon Pearson commented:

“This award is recognition of the work the University is doing to change people’s lives, in the UK and all over the world. The Lincoln Institute for Agri-food Technology has extraordinary diversity of projects that are multi-disciplinary and genuinely impact, agriculture and society. We have the opportunity at Lincoln to continue transforming lives with the technologies we develop, and I’m proud of everybody at the University who contributes. The Queen’s Anniversary Prize is a fitting tribute to our dedicated staff and students.”
Group of Representatives at celebration Dinner, from Left to Right: Prof Simon Pearson, Director of LIAT; Prof Neal Juster, Vice Chancellor; Prof Elizabeth Sklar, Professor of Agri-Robotics; David May, Deputy Director of LIAT; Prof Louise Manning, Professor of Sustainable Agri-Food Systems; Prof Andrew Hunter, Former Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation (now retired); Dr Paula Eves, Senior Project Manager; Diane Lees, University Governor; Prof Simon Parsons; Head of School of Computer Science / Global Professor.

Helping Young Business Shoots to Grow

LINCAM Ceres Agri-Tech: April 2024 Funding Calls

The Universities of Lincoln and Cambridge have been awarded a £4.9 million grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to support Agri-Tech start-ups and technology development in the Lincolnshire and north Cambridgeshire (LINCAM) region.

The East Anglia region is already a major UK production centre for crop-based agriculture and the associated supply chain. Its significance and sheer scale have led to the establishment of a nationally renowned Agri-Tech research cluster centred on the Universities of Lincoln and Cambridge where inter-disciplinary innovation approach is focused on application of a wide range of digital technologies, including Robotics and AI, in the agricultural and food production and distribution sectors.

The main goal of the LINCAM Ceres project is to establish an Agri-Tech gateway for the world-leading innovation in Agri-Food technology and enabling the development of technologies at industrial scale by providing export opportunities for Agri-Tech companies by opening investment opportunities within both the Agri-Tech and primary production sectors.

To achieve its goals, the LINCAM Ceres Agri-Tech project will run a number of funding calls that will be open to researchers from UK universities and EPSRC-approved research technology organisations.

If you need to develop your Agri-Tech innovation or get proof-of-concept data to start commercialising your product or application, the LINCAM team want to hear from you.

Awards ranging from £5,000 to £150,000 funded to charity/IAA rules (no FEC) aim to support the commercialisation of crop-related innovative Agri-Tech research and Expressions of Interest are invited for either a Proof of Concept Award or Project Award to no later than close of play on 29th May 2024. Ceres can help to develop your idea and pitchdeck.

For all interested to apply, further information can be found on the LINCAM Ceres Agri-Tech website or by emailing

Agri-Tech Global: April 2024 Funding Calls Open for Universities of Lincoln, Cambridge and East Anglia

Agri-Tech Global is a novel mechanism designed to translate UK agri-tech research and build international academic and commercial links for partner Universities, Lincoln, Cambridge and UEA, to facilitate commercialisation and is funded by Research England.

Agri-Tech Global is heavily focussed on research translation and will support academic teams from the three partner Universities to develop and commercialise their agri-tech innovations using the established Ceres Agri-Tech model.

We will support impact delivery for plant agri-tech technologies, e.g. plant or crop sciences, as well as robotics, chemistry, computer science, etc, which support the crop-based production sector and its supply chains in Lincolnshire and the East of England

Projects must be internationally collaborative, preferably with universities or businesses from the US, Australia and the Netherlands. Our secondary aim is to build international links that may enhance the economy and society in the Greater Lincolnshire and East Anglian region. Please submit expressions of interest to no later than close of play on 29th May 2024.

For further information, visit our dedicated web pages at Lincam Ceres Agri-Tech.

Agri Opencore Robot Acceptance Survey

The University of Lincoln's Agri OpenCore project is looking for participants to take part in a short survey investigating robot acceptance in UK agriculture.

Your participation should take around 10 minutes and is completely voluntary. Participants must work in UK agriculture and be fluent in English. Ethics reference UoL 2023_15873. If you would like to take part, please click on the following link,

Contact Us

If you have any comments, information or news you wish to share with the AgriFoRwArdS community, please do get in touch - We'd love to hear from you.

The AgriFoRwArdS CDT Delivery Team -

Visit us on the web at and don’t forget to subscribe to the AgriFoRwArdS CDT YouTube channel, and follow us on LinkedIn.