Posted 25 January 2013
Harper Adams University has been awarded £36,000 to fund collaborative research activities with the leading agricultural university in China.
The ‘Higher Education Research Partnership for PhD Studies’ programme forms part of UK-China Partners in Education (UKCPIE), a new framework for educational cooperation between the two countries.
It is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Chinese Ministry of Education, and is sponsoring 28 new partnerships, of which Harper Adams is one.
The purpose of the programme is to increase the number of higher education partnerships between the UK and China, in emerging academic areas of interest, as well as traditional areas such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and business and finance.
Director of International Policy, Professor Brian Revell, said: “The partnership will link the research of both the Engineering Departments of Harper Adams and China Agricultural University, focusing on developments in precision agriculture.
“Both universities are researching precision farming technologies and intend to create a joint research programme that will develop ground-based robots and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
“The research will develop the protocols and controls required to operate a mixed fleet of robot agricultural vehicles that will be capable of a diverse range of farming tasks anywhere in the world.
“Examples of application include locating and rounding livestock in remote areas, precision application of fertilizer and the integration of Controlled Traffic Farming.”
The collaboration will enable three members of staff and three PhD students from Harper Adams to visit China during the next two years, and vice versa. Head of Engineering, Professor Simon Blackmore, will supervise the project work.