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FPC Futures Event

FPC Future is a bespoke event for the Fresh Produce and Flowers industry to highlight how agri-technology is contributing to their sector, as well as share the latest research taking place. The event brought exhibitions, stands, working displays and conferences as well as tours around the University of Lincoln’s specialist Riseholme Campus.

CDT students, supervisors and lecturers attended the event and were able to meet with local and regional businesses to identify future needs as well as hear how robotics and automation is impacting pre to post farm.

There were many fantastic discussions ranging from data driven technologies, waste packing through the supply chain, sustainability, as well as funding opportunities from UKRI. A highlight of the event was Professor Simon Pearson, Director of Agri-Food Technology and University of Lincoln, discussing the future of work in horticulture (slides here) and Professor Pål Johan From, of SAGA Robotics, sharing the state-of-the-art developments in automation using UV technology to tackle mildew in strawberry and wine crops (slides here).

Professor Simon Pearson presenting at the FPC Futures 2021 Event

Bethan Moncour, part of the AgriFoRwArdS CDT Cohort 3 and FPC attendee noted that ” The FPC event provided an amazing opportunity to hear about the latest research and innovation occurring in the agri-tech sphere – I attended to learn more about real-world projects being deployed in industry and gain inspiration for my own MSc and PhD projects.

Kyle Fogarty, also part of AgriFoRwArdS CDT Cohort 3 commented that “One of the most interesting aspects of the FPC event was being able to interact with companies that are endeavouring to turn technological research into viable products; it was interesting to hear of the challenges, especially around adoption of new technologies and the associated costs, in the agri-food industry and it highlighted to me that research is only the first stage in tackling many of the problems that the industry faces.

The event was significantly well attended by the public and the agri-tech sector as a whole with over 1100 visitors. Attending events such as these is crucial for new and future students’ to understand how robotics and automation continues to impact the sector and to identify further opportunities where they can positively contribute.

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