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Webinar - Accelerating automation and robotics in the AgriFood sector Update

Webinar - Accelerating automation and robotics in the AgriFood sector Update

22 Jun 2020

Introduction and overview

The AgriFood sector (comprising e.g. agriculture, horticulture, food processing, food manufacturing) faces substantial challenges due to a shortage of labour caused by the COVID-19 crisis. This could cause severe problems for numerous market sectors, such as fruit and vegetable picking in particular. There is an opportunity for the UK AgriFood sector and technology providers to collaborate to accelerate the development and uptake of automation and robotic technologies to fill the labour gap (both COVID-19 and Brexit driven) to trial solutions this season that can be scaled and be fully implemented for the 2021 season.

Collaborating to find possible solutions – update


A group comprising the University of Lincoln, the National Farmers Union, the Agri-EPI Centre, the Manufacturing Technology Centre, and the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) are working together to bring the industry and technology providers together to try and address these challenges. The group has 3 highest priority working parties;

1) Soft fruit (Including those grown on the ground, table, bush) – group led by Simon Pearson, University of Lincoln (SPearson@lincoln.ac.uk)

2) Field vegetables (including broccoli and select veg) – group led by Dave Ross, Agri-EPI (dave.ross@agri-epicentre.com)

3) Top fruit (Apples, pears etc) – group led by Shamal Mohammed, Agri-EPI (shamal.mohammed@agri-epicentre.com)

The webinar will cover:

1) Introduction and overview - from the group leader outlining the progress to date and the process of this follow-up activity ( 5mins from each of the 3 leads)

2) Industry challenges – outlined via industry presentations.

If you have any urgent questions in advance of the webinar, please feel free to contact any of the group leaders mentioned above, or: Simon Baty, Knowledge Transfer Network - simon.baty@ktn-uk.org

Event Agenda


2.00pm Welcome and housekeeping - Simon Baty
2.05pm Highest priority area leads update
2.25pm What is happening in the fields
2.45pm Q&A
2.55pm Closing remarks
3.00pm Close


Register for your place here