Welcome to Ethics and Innovation in New Agriculture, a PestNu project workshop. This workshop brings together practitioners interested in precision farming and sustainable agriculture to think through how we can sustain investment and innovation in the field of new agriculture. Key challenges addressed will be the ethical and societal impact of innovation, policy frameworks, investment and establishing standards to aid the take up of new innovations. Findings and discussion points developed via a roundtable will be used to form a policy recommendation document, presented to the project. Speakers include representatives, academics and officials from the University of York’s Centre for Novel Agricultural Products, LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), AgroInsider, and the Countryside and Community Research Institute.
If you are interested in attending online, please use the following link: https://meet.goto.com/898159733
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
10:00 – 10:15
Matthew Hall, Trilateral Research
10:15 – 10:45
Technology Adoption: An Inside Look from AgroInsider
José Rafael Marques da Silva,AgroInsider (online)
10:45 – 11:15
The ethics of AI and robotics in agriculture
11.15 – 11:45
Priority Research Questions for Digital Agriculture
Professor Julie Ingram, Countryside and Community Research Institute (online)
11:45pm – 12:15pm – Lunch
12:15 – 12:45
Standards in Precision farming: AI, Blockchain, DLT (distributed ledger technologies) Information security, cybersecurity
12:45 – 13:15
LEAF and Integrated Farm Management
Callum Bennet, LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming)
13:15 – 13:45
Targeted silencing of pathogen CAzyme genes as a biological control strategy
Professor Katherine Denby,University of York
13:45 – 14:00 – Coffee Break
14:00 – 15:30
Expert Roundtable hosted by Innovation for Agriculture and Trilateral Research
The Near Future: What innovations in agriculture are on the horizon in next five years. What investment do we need? What policy frameworks do we need? And what roadblocks are we facing and what are some opportunities? Affordability and accessibility in smart farming: Who has access and what needs to change?
Moderated by Matthew Hall, Senior Research Analyst, Trilateral Research and Evi Arachoviti, Head of Social and Policy, Innovation for Agriculture. This roundtable and earlier discussion will be used to develop a series of policy briefs presented to the project.
15:30 – 16:00 – Conclusion and Wrap Up
A big thank you to all of our wonderful speakers who are presenting, both in person and virtually, as part of our workshop. Learn more about their expansive expertise below.
Professor of Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture, Countryside and Community Research Institute
Julie’s main research interests are concerned with Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems. She works at the interface between science and practice in agriculture in the context of sustainable agriculture looking at systems for advisory, innovation and decision support. Her research examines socio-technical transition towards sustainable agriculture, for example, through digital agriculture, bioenergy crops, soil management, net zero approaches and agroecology. She will be presenting findings from a recent research prioritisation exercise for digital agriculture in the UK which highlights the potential implications (ethical, social, economic, political) of digitalisation for farmers and the wider agricultural industry.
Technical Officer, LEAF
Callum Bennett joined LEAF in August 2021 as part of the technical team to develop and conduct internal and external project activity and research, working closely with fellow technical team members and external project partners. His core work focusses on knowledge generation and exchange in EU Horizon 2020 projects such as IPMWORKS and SolACE. He has worked on a large range of projects, with a particular focus on crop diversification and integrated pest management. He also leads on the delivery of technical tasks within a number of European and national projects, leading dissemination activities including workshops, farm events and video production. He also provides technical support for LEAF’s partnership with M&S. His presentation will cover his work on Integrated Farm Management, what LEAF does, their recent and ongoing projects and their approach to fertilisers and pesticides.
Senior Research Analyst Trilateral Research
Matthew is a researcher on various EU-funded projects, specialising in ethics, technology, policy and the political sphere. Matthew analyses trends and conducts research to provide solutions to the ethical and social questions raised by emerging technologies across a number of sectors. Matthew’s research background is in political philosophy, specialising in the ways that emerging technologies are consequential for society, politics and policy making. During his PhD, Matthew specialised in the ethics and philosophy of surveillance technologies. Before joining Trilateral Matthew was an ESRC post-doctoral research fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London.
José Rafael Marques da Silva, PhD is an Agriculture Engineer and full professor at the University of Évora. In addition to being an MED researcher, he is also CTO/CSTO at AgroInsider, an Agrotech company and spinoff from the University of Évora. He has been a lecturer for 31 years focused on Geomatics and Smart Agriculture technologies. Additionally, he’s worked as a promotor on 5 PhDs, 19 masters and 27 graduation theses. He has participated in more than 30 research projects and coordinated half of them. José is author and co-author of more than 100 articles, 60 of them have been published in journals with international impact.
Research Analyst, Trilateral Research
Irma’s current focus is on the European Commission funded PestNu project, coordinating standardisation activities on the innovative technologies, targeting loss of nutrients and overuse of pesticides and fertilizers that are piloted within the project. Prior to working at Trilateral, Irma has most recently been working in a research role in various EU funded projects at Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia).Irma holds an MSc in International Security and Risk from the University of Southampton (UK) and a BA in Criminology and Psychology from Southampton Solent University (UK). Her MSc dissertation was on the role of media-driven public perceptions in UK counterterrorism policy. Irma’s most recent publications have been on the subject of the drivers and barriers in data exchange between public administrations across Europe.
Professor of Sustainable Crop Production, Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) Department of Biology, University of York
Professor Katherine Denby is a member of the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (cnap.org.uk) in the Biology Department at the University of York. Her research focuses on plant disease resistance, novel bio-control strategies and crop improvement for disease resistance, yield and quality traits through integrating genomics, transcriptomics, network analysis and quantitative genetics. Katherine’s work is focused on leafy vegetables, using large-scale data and new plant breeding techniques to meet the needs of UK and Global South agriculture and new production systems (e.g. vertical farming). She is an editor of The Plant Journal and the journal Plants, People, Planet, and an Executive Board member of the Global Plant Council.
Head of Policy and Social Innovation, Innovation for Agriculture
Evi works as Head of Policy and Social for Innovation for Agriculture (IfA), a UK based knowledge Exchange Organisation that helps farmers put innovation into practice. She is the project Lead/co-Lead for IfA on several H2020 and HE projects and she is also responsible for exploring international opportunities post Brexit, developing relationships with research international bodies and securing funding to IfA from UK, EU and international sources. Before joining IfA she was Head of Knowledge Transfer and Training and Head of Quality of Life in Rural Areas and Diversification of Rural Economy, in the Managing Authority of the Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food. She also draws experience and expertise from being Researcher in the Standardisation, Inspection and Certification Authority of Greek Agriculture and Research Fellow in the Agricultural University of Athens.
This roundtable discussion will be centred around what challenges and obstacles there are to the adoption of new technology in agriculture and what solution could overcome some of these? The outcome of this discussion will form the basis of a white paper or research paper by the PestNu project. Topics considered in this discussion could include: standards, ethics and trust, policy, and investment – all related to the future of precision farming. What follows are questions to guide our discussion:
Trust and Adoption:
Future of precision farming:
PestNu is a three year EC funded project (grant agreement No. 101037128) that aims to revolutionise technology and farming practice in order to reduce nutrient loss, pollution, and increase food affordability for all. It is coordinated by the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH).
The PestNu Consortium brings novel Digital and Space-Based Technologies (DST) including:
All the DST will be interconnected to a user-centric cloud-based Farm Management System, which features a robust Decision Support System integrated with a blockchain based system for DST data evidence, integrity and AI models verification and with a cybersecurity platform to prevent cyber-attacks and IoT vulnerabilities.
The project also utilises Agro-Ecological and Organic practices (AOP), including:
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programe under grant agreement No. 101037128