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CW Unplugged: Tech for Earth

Brought to you by CW (Cambridge Wireless)

CW Unplugged is back for 2019 bringing you Tech for the Environment. This year we're exploring the four elements, our second event is Tech for Earth.

About the event

CW Unplugged Hero Earth

This is the second of four events as part of the 2019 CW Unplugged: Tech for the Environment series. CW are proud to be making our contribution to work towards the Sustainable Development Goals through our events and partnerships with companies that will help deliver the 2030 Global Goals Agenda. 


In partnership with Arm, UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP - WCMC) and the Centre for Global Equality (CGE), we're hosting CW Unplugged: Tech for Earth an event that explores innovative technologies contributing to tackling agriculture in developing and emerging economies.

Plant life provides 80% of the human diet. Forests account for 30% of the earth’s surface, providing vital habitats for millions of species and important sources for clean air and water. Due to climate change and deforestation, today we are seeing unprecedented land degradation and loss of arable land at 30 to 35 times the historical rate. Drought and desertification is also on the rise each year, contributing to the loss of 12 million hectares and affects poor communities globally (UNDP).

This land degradation affects the 500 million small holder farmers globally, but is a particular challenge for farmers in developing countries. Better access to agricultural technologies, education and resources could revolutionise farming practices and provide increased yields, promote biodiversity and improve livelihoods.

This event will showcase two groups developing novel, affordable, appropriate soil monitoring technologies.

  • InfoSoils

Bringing together impact investors, designers, engineers, we'll help create solutions to specific challenges currently faced by startup ventures working on Tech for Earth. Check out the challenges in the agenda below.

To ensure we have the right group of people attending this exclusive event we would like to invite you to register your interest by clicking 'reserve a place' and we will reply back to confirm your suitability (within a week).

You can follow @CambWireless on Twitter and tweet about this event using #CWUnplugged.

Series Sponsor Arm

Arm technology is at the heart of a computing and connectivity revolution that is transforming the way people live and businesses operate. Our advanced, energy-efficient processor designs have enabled intelligent computing in more than 125 billion chips. Over 70 percent of the world’s population are using Arm technology, which is securely powering products from the sensor to the smartphone to the supercomputer. Arm is committed to ensuring our work helps meet the United Nations Global Goals. Through our international partner ecosystem and philanthropic collaborations, we’re enabling technology to deliver the 2030 Global Goals agenda.

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Series Partner UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre

UNEP-WCMC confronts the challenges faced by our world's biodiversity.

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Event Partner Centre for Global Equality

The Centre for Global Equality (CGE) evolves innovative solutions to global challenges. Our aim is to solve problems that undermine the wellbeing of the poorer half of the world’s population. Focusing on people who live on less than $3 a day, we facilitate collaboration between business, academia and civil society, drawing particularly on capacity in one of the world’s leading universities and companies in the Cambridge Cluster - the most successful entrepreneurial ecosystem in Europe.

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Sponsored by u-blox UK

As a global leader in wireless communication and positioning, our products and services are used by billions of people every day. And with this great power comes great responsibility, which is why we are always looking for ways to ensure that every part of our operations is run as sustainably as possible. We take great care to maintain a sustainable business model that looks after the interests of our customers, shareholders, the environment and the communities we operate in. Underpinning this aim are our five pillars of corporate social responsibility.

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Event facilitator Cambridge Consultants

World-class wireless product development services

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Startup Challenges: eCO-SENSE

eCO-SENSE creates simple, affordable, low-power soil monitoring sensors for farmers in developing countries. The sensor can monitor the pH, temperature, humidity and salinity of soil. The sensors are powered using a biophotovoltaic cell (BPV) that generates electricity from the growth of algae or plants (photosynthetic organisms). Our aim is to enable better crop management and higher yields for farmers in developing economies, by using a sustainable and context-appropriate power supply.

Startup Challenges: InfoSoils

Details coming soon...


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The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.


Arrival, registration and networking


CW Unplugged Introduction: Abhi Naha, CCO, CW


Setting the scene

Details coming soon...


Understanding the impact of agriculture on the environment: Prof. Neil Burgess

Today, land degradation caused by unsustainable agricultural practices is the biggest threat to both biodiversity and ecosystem services. Improving identification and monitoring of these threats is therefore crucial for the future of our planet. Knowing this, are there ways in which we can improve existing data, harness other relevant data and bring them together to advance the conservation and tech sector’s understanding of agricultural pressure on the environment?


Startup Challenge: eCO-SENSE


We are presently working with partners in southern India. Our long term aim is for our technology to be accessible and affordable for end-users – farmers in developing countries. The income of farmers in rural India is rarely documented and, dependent on state and location, is vastly varied across the country. Therefore, we have experienced difficulties in assessing the average income of farmers. This means that deciding upon a reasonable market value price for our technology has proved challenging. How can we price our product accordingly in such a large and economically varied country?

With a power output of roughly 30mW per m2, we would like to understand the feasible amount of land we can monitor with our technology to provide adequate data coverage. For instance, if we have 1 hectare of land, how many eCO-SENSE data points should be installed?


Startup Challenge: InfoSoils

Details coming soon...


Intro to the Ideation workshop facilitators

We'll split into groups and intro you to your group leader before a quick break to refuel.




Ideation Workshop

A fast paced hour of brainstorming discussing the challenges Tech for Water faces. Attendees have the opportunity to contribute their ideas and experiences in facilitated groups ran by our partners.


Workshop Presentations

Informal presentations and discussion of the main outcomes from each Ideation group.


Next Steps


Join us in the atrium for food, drink & networking


Event Close

Event Location

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Location info

The Bradfield Centre, 184 Cambridge Science Park Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 0GA

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