CHAP was established to make sure that the knowledge and insight from the UK’s science base is translated into benefits for farmers, growers and the food industry both at home and abroad. CHAP is unique in that it operates through collaboration between multiple strands of the sector.
Four agri-tech centres come together at Harper Adams
March 21st 2018
All CHAP Partners were represented at the Innovate UK ‘show and tell’ agri-tech event at Harper Adams today. More than one hundred industry players queued up to inspect CHAP’s state of the art technologies. Scientists were on hand to explain more about what they do and how they can be used in collaboration with other partners. It was the first time that the four agri-tech centres had come together under one roof to show off their collection of technologies and, most importantly, how they interact and work with each other. After the event CHAP Chairman, John Chinn, said “ What made my day was so many of our guests describing the day as ‘exciting’ and ‘having a real buzz’. I feel really proud to be part of CHAP, as we move from asset building to transforming food production practice – through research work utilising our scientists’ brains and our great facilities”.
Pictures from day can be viewed here.
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February 28th in London
On 28 Feb CHAP held, with the support of KTN, it’s very first “SME Day” in central London, bringing together a small number of targeted SMEs that would have an interest in learning more about and potentially collaborating with CHAP in 3 areas: Vertical Growing/Hydroponics, Novel Chemicals/Bio-pesticides and Diagnostics/Sensors. Despite the weather and travel disruptions we had representatives from 11 SMEs attending, together with staff from our partners at Rothamsted, Fera, CABi. Unfortunately, the weather got the better of STC who were unable to attend due to localised travel issues In Yorkshire, but between KTN, CHAP and CABi we were able to cover off the vertical growing/hydroponics and biopesticide capabilities at STC. Although it was a relatively small audience, there were many highly engaging discussions and individual one-to-one meetings between the SMEs and specific asset holder partners. We believe a significant number of those discussions will now be taken further to develop project proposals aimed for funding calls in the immediate future. Initial feedback from the attendees was that this was a well-organised event and a real opportunity for them to understand the capabilities within CHAP (and partners) and more importantly how we can help the SMEs to support the development of their respective businesses. A more formal feedback will be obtained, but we will use this “pilot” SME Day now to hold similar SME Days on other specific topics in the near future.
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October 23rd at NAFIC, Sand Hutton
CHAP hosted a group of Chinese scientists from the Department of Agriculture at Yiln University. They were in the UK to look at ways of increasing crop yields to feed the growing population of China. They were particularly interested in CHAP’s smart farming technologies and the mesocosm. After an introductory presentation to CHAP, they were given a tour of the site, which they said they found ‘most interesting and informative’.
CHAP – Farmers Day
October 25th at NAFIC, Sand Hutton, York
CHAP hosted its first workshop for farmers in Yorkshire and the North East at CHAP’s headquarters in Sand Hutton, near York on October 25th 2017. Farmers were given an introduction to CHAP by Chairman, John Chinn, himself a farmer, who understands only too well the challenges faced by farmers in the field. They were then given a tour of the site which included an introduction to our precision farming techniques. Over the summer CHAP has created a national weather monitoring service with 30 bespoke met stations to collect and report data relevant to the understanding and prediction of pest and disease risk. We also have 4 mobile laboratories which go straight into the field, avoiding the time- consuming task of taking samples to the laboratory and which connects the farmer direct to a researcher and bespoke advice. The farmers were also given an introduction to Stockbridge’s LED unit and Cranfield’s root camera as further examples of what CHAP has to offer.
Industry day September 13th 2017
Brandon Hall Hotel, Brandon, Coventry CV8 3FW
We had a hugely successful Industry Day with 25 companies represented from across the agriculture sector. It was a big milestone for CHAP because it helped us better understand the problems facing our industry and this, in turn, will inform our thinking for future projects. Attendees were asked to submit 3-4 priorities in advance. Four themes emerged from the day – sustainable production of Oilseed rape; Reducing the impact of grass weeds; reducing the impact of cereal disease; increasing the control of insect pests. Out of these some very exciting new project ideas were born. There was a real buzz amongst the delegates about what CHAP can do and its vision for the future. CHAP is absolutely committed to following up and will be taking the ideas forward for funding opportunities. This is very much the start of a journey where the main benefactor will be UK farming and UK Plc.