Agricultural technologies are used across the entire agri-food supply chain – from the planting of seeds to the harvesting of crops, breeding livestock and treating disease, transporting goods and managing commercial sales, agri-tech has a role to play at every stage. Agricultural science and technology is rapidly becoming one of the world’s fastest growing and exciting markets. It is driven by global changes: a rising population, rapid development of emerging economies with western lifestyle aspirations and growing geopolitical instability around shortages of land, water and energy. A technology revolution is also taking place. Breakthroughs in nutrition, genetics, informatics, satellite imaging, remote sensing, meteorology, precision farming and low impact agriculture mean agri-tech has huge potential for development. Also, the scale of farming worldwide has changed significantly in recent years, with a move towards larger, intensive, profit-driven enterprises due to market pressures. This has resulted in demand for cost and labour reducing advanced farm automation technologies which can increase farm productivity. This step change has resulted in a demand for technologies and equipment which can reduce costs and labour inputs with concurrent increases in capacity to provide economies of scale. These economies of scale however will not yield profit unless quality is maintained and this is a central focus of any new technologies developed for the sector. The WF will explore how IoT technologies contribute to address all of these challenges through improvements in yield and efficiency. There is a rich heritage of agriculture in Ireland & Ireland’s agri-food sector, in particular is flourishing. Exports & research and innovation have been identified as the twin catalysts for the success of Irish agri-food and agri-tech companies.
Mehmet Can Vuran, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Joe Walsh, Institute of Technology, Tralee
I. Andonovic, Professor of Broadband Networks, BSc, PhD joined the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering Strathclyde in 1985 following several years in the defence industry. He held a two-year Royal Society Industrial Fellowship, in collaboration with British Telecommunications (BT) Labs during which he investigated novel approaches to broadband networking. He has edited two books and authored/co-authored six chapters in books and over 380 journal and conference papers, secured funding in excess of £10M and has supervised over 30 successful PhD students. He was a member of flagship Scottish Enterprise (Government agency for economic growth) establishment team of the Intermediary Technology Institutes (ITIs), aimed at bridging the gap between basic research and company growth; he held the ITI Techmedia Chair facilitating the interaction between fundamental research in communications technologies and pre-competitive development of solutions that formed the input to commercialisation activities in Scotland. He is a co-founding member, Director and CTO of Silent Herdsman Ltd (acquired by Afimilk), a technology company providing a range of cloud based animal health services, the foundation data being acquired through a highly scalable wireless sensor platform. He has been Visiting Scientist at the Communications Research Laboratories of Japan, Visiting Professor at the City University of Hong Kong and Princeton University, USA, Topical Editor for the ‘IEEE Transactions on Communications’ and was Technical Programme Co-Chair for the ‘IEEE International Conference in Communications (ICC07)’. Prof. Andonovic is a Fellow of the IET and holds Senior Member status within the IEEE.
Talk Title: Internet of Things Animal Health Services Platform for Precision Farming
The features of an Internet of Things (IoT)-inspired platform with the capability to provision of a range of services that promote the adoption of Precision Farming (PF) principles is detailed. The platform design targets the provision of dairy animal health services and comprises a robust, wirelessly enabled, high node-count sensor network gathering data from individual animals and a cloud based environment that manages on-farm data to pro-actively inform the supply chain, real time, on key operational and management interventions. The platform is scalable in terms of the number of animals, farms of any size and has the flexibility to extend its service mix to other non-dairy environments such as beef and crops farming. The presentation reports on the design of the elements and features of the physical layer and details the methodology of feature extraction from raw acceleration data, a single (proxy) measurement that is the basis for the interpretation of a spectrum of cow states, the statistics of which in turn yield key animal conditions. Accurate indications of the onset of heat, important in increasing the fertility of individual animals and hence the overall productivity of dairy farms and the time spent eating and ruminating, both indicators of health state are provisioned.
Patrick Barrett is an Agricultural Inspector in the Research Division with the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine. He is the National Contact point for the EU Research & Innovation funding programmes in relation to Agriculture, Rural Economy & Bioeconomy. He is part of the secretariat for the National Bioeconomy Implementation Group and for the Food Wise 2025 High Level Innovation Team. Email: Patrick.Barrett@agriculture.gov.ie
Bobby grew up in rural Nebraska, where his first jobs were detasseling corn, rogueing beans, irrigating and driving tractors. He has a background in agricultural engineering and computer science, and has spent his 10 years at Bayer Crop Science in various R&D roles focused on field operations, logistics, software, geospatial science and engineering. He currently leads the digital phenotyping team in global breeding, focused on developing models and delivering insights and science at scale from imagery and sensor data.
Talk Title: How field automation, sensing, and IoT are enabling tailored solutions for every acre at Bayer Crop Science
Farmers make about 40 big decisions every season, and every acre on their farm is unique. Weather, soil, nutrition, microbiome, plant genetics, pests and crop protection all result in unique performance. Ensuring the sustainability of a healthy food supply in the midst of growing population and changing environment depends on developing tailored solutions for every acre and every big decision. At Bayer Crop Science, a critical part of developing these tailored solutions is using IoT and automation in the large scale field testing of our products. This transformation in technology is enabling us to sample every key environment and leverage high resolution data on the unique characteristics of every acre, every plant, and every seed. This talk will tell the story of how we have transformed field testing with IoT and automation, and the importance of hi-resolution data and real time decisions to developing products for the farm of the future.
Donagh Berry is a statistical geneticists at Teagasc, Moorepark (www.teagasc.ie) and director of the VistaMilk SFI Research Centre (www.vistamilk.ie); he holds professorship appointment at several (inter)national institutes. Following his bachelor degree in Agricultural Science at University College Dublin, Ireland, he undertook a PhD in dairy cattle genetics in Wageningen University, the Netherlands. In his Teagasc capacity, he is responsible for the research on genetics in dairy cattle and is responsible for the development and implementation of genomic evaluations in dairy cattle, beef cattle and sheep in Ireland. As Director of VistaMilk, he leads a team of > 200 scientists in the development and deployment of digital technologies in precision dairy production.
Prof. Harty has a strong background in both academia and engineering. He holds a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from UL and a Ph.D from UCD. He is full Adjunct Professor in the School of Biosystems and Food Engineering at UCD College of Engineering and Architecture.
He has won numerous business awards. He was the overall winner of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Through his vision and direction Dairymaster were awarded many innovation and technology awards across the globe. Dairymaster was also awarded at the Agribusiness Awards and Prof. Harty was announced as the inaugural winner of the Agribusiness Leader Award. He was also named Global Innovator at the Animal Health All-star awards. He received the Parsons medal from the Irish Academy of Engineering who awards the Parsons Medal for Engineering Sciences to engineers or engineering scientists of exceptional ability in research and engineering technology.
Prof. Harty’s concentration is always on future possibilities, scientifically developed and proven. The level of patent applications (over 100 so far) speaks to his commitment to innovation.
Mr. Atif Khan has been working at Bayer Crop Science since 2015 and is currently a Senior Manager for Connected Systems and IoT within the digital agricultural arm of the company called The Climate Corporation. In this role Mr. Khan leads a group of software/telematics engineers and data scientists to generate and capture agronomic data layers that are then analyzed to provide prescriptions to farmers on when and where to plant, treat, and harvest. Prior to his current role, Mr. Khan had been working in automation and robotics for 13 years in Production Engineering (Mining and Agriculture).
Talk Title: Digital Transformation in Agriculture
Agriculture was Industry 1.0 and it’s rather ironic, that it’s one of the last sectors to be truly transformed by the movements of the 4th Industrial Revolution. In many ways, agriculture is a manufacturing process where the majority of the variables are out of your control. It’s this variability of input that makes agriculture ‘fertile ground’ for disruption in the IoT space. This talk will be geared towards how one knows that their industry is in the midst of a digital transformation. Today agriculture is in the midst of one and it is an exciting time to be working at Bayer Crop Science’s industry-leading digital arm, The Climate Corporation (TCC). Mr. Khan will shed some light on how TCC is leveraging equipment data and sensors (proximal and remote) to develop cutting-edge algorithms to better prescribe farmers on how to achieve optimal yields.
What are the similarities between manufacturing and farming?
How do we deal with unpredictability in the past?
General discussion around Digital Transformation within Agriculture
How is The Climate Corporation positioned to be a leader in this space?
How is IoT fueling R&D at the Climate Corporation?
Disrupting by Connecting
Dr. Helena McMahon is a Principle Investigator at Shannon Applied Biotechnology Research Centre Institute of Technology Tralee. Research interest in the circular bioeconomy, in the exploitation and commercialization of biobased products derived from terrestrial and marine biomass, targeting functional foods, cosmeceuticals and regenerative medicine applications. EU level RDI activities focused in multi and inter-disciplinary projects integrating digitization, design, and business model and innovation ecosystem system approaches for the advancement of the circular bioeconomy.
Tomas Norton is a tenure-track assistant professor in Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) in the group of M3-BIORES (Measure, Model, Manage Bio-responses) at the KU Leuven. He holds a PhD in Biosystems Engineering from University College Dublin (Ireland). His current research focus is on PLF applications, focussing on real-time modelling and control of animal bio-responses. He is PI and co-PI on collaborative National and International projects funded by the Belgium government and USA. He is coordinator of courses on Measuring, Modelling and Managing Bio-responses and Sustainable PLF, and Animal Production Engineering at the KU Leuven. Since 2018 he is associate editor of Computers and Electronics in Agriculture (COMPAG) and Chair of Section 2 of International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (CIGR). Email: email@example.com
Stepan has almost 10 years of research experience in the area of ICT. Stepan received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland, where he has been employed as a postdoctoral researcher in the Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (www.tssg.org) since. During that time he was a principal investigator of a commercially-focused project funded by Enterprise Ireland agency and is currently a technical/research lead on a basic research project that builds an IoT solution for Future Dairy Farming. Stepan’s research interests lay in the areas of general-purpose wireless networks, Internet of Things and finally Fog Computing. Stepan has published multiple peer-reviewed conference and journal publications in these areas. Stepan serves as a reviewer for various international conferences and journals.
Shane Ward is Professor of Biosystems Engineering at University College Dublin. He was previously Head of the UCD School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine (including Biosystems and Food Engineering) and a member of the university’s Senior Management Team (SMT). He has published in excess of 200 peer-reviewed research journal papers and conference proceedings. He has led several national and international research projects, including ‘SafeMBM’ (safe disposal and utilisation of meat and bone meal in the context of minimising risk from BSE); EC FP4 ‘ECOWOOD’ (eco-efficient wood harvesting on sensitive sites); EC FP6 ‘SigmaChain’ (food chain traceability); and the current H2020 AgroCycle (agri-food ‘circular economy’). He is currently ‘Scientific Director’ of CONSUS, the ‘flagship’ €18 million SFI-Origin Enterprises Plc funded ‘digital agriculture’ research programme, based at University College Dublin. CONSUS is Europe’s largest ‘big data in agriculture’ university-based research programme, with a team of 70 researchers and access to extensive on-farm pilot and demonstration sites. Professor Ward has extensive international networks in the agri-food research and innovation domain, and is currently ‘coordinating chair’ of the EIP-Agri Focus Group 31, addressing the minimisation of waste on the farm, with particular emphasis on optimising operational efficiency through ‘digital agriculture’. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org