News story

Improving farming with satellites: business projects win funding

More than 20 businesses have won funding for projects that investigate use of satellite technology to improve farming systems.

Satellites to improve agri-food systems

More than a dozen business projects have won a share of £3 million to explore and develop new ways to improve food production using satellite technologies.

The ‘Satellites to improve agri-food systems’ competition was jointly funded by Innovate UK and the Natural Environment Research Council and will support 4 collaborative research and development projects and 9 feasibility studies.

An increasing world population, greater wealth in developing countries and the trend towards urbanisation are all putting an increasing strain on the world’s food supplies.

Satellite technology and increased use of data are already helping to increase agricultural productivity in a sustainable way.

Find out more about how Innovate UK is working to improve agricultural productivity.

Projects aim to improve farm productivity

Among the projects approved for funding are:

  • creation of a UK soil map to enable precision farming techniques led by AgSpace
  • a satellite-data based management tool for pasture led by Rezatec
  • development of a drone crop spraying system led by VTOL Technologies
  • a study into increasing farm productivity through satellite broadband on farms without 3G/4G coverage led by Avanti Communications
  • a study into geolocation tracking of extensive livestock systems led by Hoofprints Technologies

The projects involve a total of 21 businesses and 11 universities and research organisations including the Satellite Applications Catapult.

Published 15 June 2016