Titled ‘Building Future Proof and Climate Smart Partnerships’, this virtual visit brought together policy makers, scientists, innovators and incubators, from the UK and three Indian states (Maharashtra, Telangana and Tamil Nadu), with the aim of fostering partnerships to deliver a tangible impact on climate resilience, plant productivity and reduction in agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. The programme focused on climate resilient crops, soil health, sensors and remote sensing, horticulture, digital technologies, agri-meteorology, farm mechanisation, geoinformatics, nanotechnologies, integrated farming systems, processing and value addition, as well as market resilience and value chains.
Opening discussions were led by Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, Dr Robert Bradburne, Deputy Chief Scientific Advisor UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Tom Child, Deputy Director, Global Research and Innovation UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
This was followed by a panel discussion focused on barriers and enablers to piloting innovations in India, and gave an overview of key policy priorities, current and future innovations, diffusion into the market and harnessing opportunities for the future. CHAP’s International Business Development Manager, Dr Jenna Ross, was invited to participate in the panel discussion and gave an overview of CHAP’s capabilities and projects. Jenna was joined by Louise Court, Innovations Team Lead UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Dr K Srinivas a-IDEA, National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM) and Dr Sanjay Saxena Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council of India (BIRAC).
Later in the week, there were presentations from Prof Jane Rickson, Cranfield University, on the CHAP Phenotyping and Soil Health Facility, Chris Delf, CHAP’s Business Development Manager, on CropMonitor Pro, Dr Tom Ashfield, Rothamsted Research, on the CHAP Digital Phenotyping Laboratory, and presentations from CHAP members/project partners, PES Technologies and Small Robot Company.
Other UK organisations that were involved with organising and delivering content for the virtual tour included fellow Agri-Tech Centre Agrimetrics, CHAP partners, Rothamsted Research, Cranfield University and Liberty Produce, CHAP member University of Greenwich Natural Resources Institute, as well as the John Innes Centre, Harper Adams University, Satellite Applications Catapult, University of Lincoln, University of Manchester, Clearwater Sensors, University of Sheffield and UK Department of International Trade.
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