Posted 27 January 2016
This visit gives us a great opportunity to promote our work and find mutual opportunities to do research."
Representatives from Canadian universities and businesses have visited Harper Adams University to learn about current research into precision farming.
The visit was part of the ‘Smart Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture’ event, which hopes to share research, and build both academic and business links.
The visitors saw the work taking place within the University’s Engineering Department and National Centre of Precision Farming (NCPF).
Dr Sven Peets, Harper Adams University lecturer in mechatronics in agricultural engineering, helped organise the event. He said: “This visit gives us a great opportunity to promote our work and find mutual opportunities to do research.
“We had a similar workshop 18 months ago in Canada. This time we have continued to find further similarities."
Jean Caron, professor of soil physics, soil science and agrifood engineering department at Laval University was one of the participants, he said: “I’ve come on this visit because I am interested to see what research is going on, particularly in sensor development. I am very impressed with what I have seen; some is of the same level as we see in North America, while other parts are more advanced.
“I work both within Laval University and helping start-up businesses so this visit also provides me with the opportunity to create partnerships.”
Nicolas Tremblay, president-elect of the International Society for Precision Agriculture (ISPA) said: “I came because of the opportunity to build personal relationships. I believe that personal relationships lead to bigger things.
“This group originally met in Montreal 18 months ago, and that provided a great opportunity to get to know each other. Now we are getting more into the action, with a feeling of more organisation and common occasion.
“This week has allowed me to see better the nature of innovation in the UK and evaluate its originality.”
The event, which was also partly organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s UK Science and Innovation Network (SIN), saw the participants attend talks at the High Commission of Canada in London along with a visit to the Cranfield Soil and Agrifood Institute at Cranfield University.
Mario Rivero-Huguet, UK Science and Innovation Officer at British Consulate in Montreal, said: “The FCO helped fund this event which aims to aid collaboration between Canadian and UK experts in this field.
“We came to Harper Adams University to see the facilities and the research taking place. We’ve heard from experts in soil, livestock and robotics, which demonstrates how broad precision farming is.”