Positioning for Automation in AgriFood

Brought to you by The Location Group

Join the Location Group to hear speakers from a range of industries giving their perspectives on the impact of different technological developments on agricultural sustainability and efficiency – both now and in the future.

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About the event

Careful, responsible, and efficient management of resources has become increasingly important, not just to the agriculture industry, but to the planet.

From real-time scanning of large areas of farmland to individual plant-level monitoring and treatment, the technologies that enable digital and precision agriculture include machine learning, autonomous robots and drones, innovative use of sensor data, and positioning technologies.

In this event brought to you by The Location Group, speakers from a range of industries will be giving their perspectives on the impact of different technological developments on agricultural sustainability and efficiency – both now and in the future. 

This event is sponsored Qualcomm Technologies International, kindly hosted by PwC, in their Cambridge office and delivered in collaboration with the Royal Institute for Navigation and will provide delegates with ample opportunities for networking and discussion. 

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

Kindly hosted by PwC UK

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. Working across artificial intelligence, life sciences and AgriTech industry sectors with businesses in the region.

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Delivered in partnership with Royal Institute of Navigation

The Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN) is a learned society with charitable status and aims to advance the art, science and practice of navigation.

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Sponsored by Qualcomm Technologies International

Qualcomm Technologies Inc is the world leader in next-generation mobile technologies.

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


Registration and networking over refreshments


Welcome from CW; Paul Crane, CEO, CW


Welcome from our Event Host, PwC


Introduction to the event by Session Chair and SIG Champion David Bartlett, u-blox UK


‘The pivotal role of positioning in enabling AgriFood Automation‘ - Pedro Carvalho, AgriFood KTN


'The Robots are coming!' - David May, Deputy Director, Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Tech, University of Lincoln


Gemma Ball, Connected Places Catapult


‘Innovate UK; LaunchPad’ - Dan Dearing, Innovate UK


Lunch and networking


Welcome from our event partner The Royal Institute of Navigation and CW SIG Champion, Ramsey Faragher, FocalPoint


‘Combining sensors to assess the behaviour, health and welfare of individual dairy cattle’- Dr Zoe Barker, University of Reading


Ben Scott-Robinson, CEO and Co-Founder, Small Robot Company


‘A farm focussed approach to agricultural innovation‘ -Eliot Dixon, Head of Engineering, Agri-EPI Centre

Eliot will delve into the dynamic intersection of agriculture and technology, highlighting the role of Agri-EPI in fostering the development of new technologies for farming. Various Agri-Tech projects will be showcased as examples of how complex engineering challenges can be systematically addressed. The talk underscores the importance of understanding the problem at hand, rather than solely focusing on creating an innovative solution.


Panel Session: ‘AI: Friend or Foe?’, With all speakers and Chaired by Pedro Carvalho, AgriFood KTN


Closing remarks from our Event Sponsor, Ben Tarlow, Qualcomm Technologies International and CW SIG Champion


Gemma Ball - ., Connected Places Catapult

Zoe Barker - Lecturer in Animal Science, University of Reading

Zoe Barker is a lecturer in Animal Science at the University of Reading. Her research interests are centred around the health, welfare and sustainability of livestock systems. Her early research involved epidemiological studies of risk factors for lameness and also involved encouraging project farmers to implement interventions to reduce lameness by project farmers. This was followed by projects that used novel sensors for the detection of health and welfare conditions including lameness and dystocia. She has recently been awarded a £1.4 million BBSRC grant to continue working with novel sensor technologies to study the interactions between dairy cattle behaviour and their environmental microclimate.

Pedro Carvalho - Knowledge Transfer Manager, AgriFood KTN

Pedro Carvalho serves as a Knowledge Transfer Manager on the AgriFood team at Innovate UK KTN. In this role, he focuses on plant and crop production, assisting innovative companies and research organisations in finding collaborators and applying for public and private funding. Pedro's primary areas of interest include precision farming and sustainable biological solutions for agricultural challenges. Pedro holds a PhD in crop science from the University of Nottingham, and has extensive expertise in plant and crop-based agriculture; obtained through a career that involves research in both academic and commercial settings. His research areas encompass nitrogen use efficiency, water uptake, plant/crop phenotyping, and the development of novel microbial biostimulants.

Eliot Dixon - Head of Engineering, Agri-EPI Centre

As the Head of Engineering at Agri-EPI, Eliot Dixon leads a team of engineers who provide data, robotics and AI solutions for Agri-Tech projects. He also participates in innovation work in AI and Robotics, finding and forming projects that address the challenges in Agri-Tech development. His team offers services including remote spectral imaging, data labelling, and data management from a network of farms. Eliot has a background in Physics and Robotics, and has worked on autonomous cars, radar processing and drone design. Growing up in a farming business, he knows that agriculture is an enormous development challenge and requires design that regards it as a complex system. He is inspired to ensure that agricultural technologies are relevant to modern agriculture and robust enough to meet its demands.

David May - Deputy Director of LIAT, University of Lincoln

David May is Deputy Director of Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology (LIAT) and an advisor to a number of start-ups within the food and Agri sector. He is an agronomist by training having studied Horticulture at the University of Reading (BSc Hons) and worked for ADAS as a BASIS trained crop advisor, specialising in Ornamentals.  He has over 30 years’ experience working within the food and ornamentals supply chain, including more than 20 years at Tesco, including as Category Technical Manager for Horticulture. The Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology (LIAT) aims to support and enhance productivity, efficiency, and sustainability in food and farming through research, education, and technology.  A specialist research institute of the University of Lincoln, our multi-disciplinary team brings together sector-leading expertise in a diverse range of subjects. This includes the newly formed Lincoln Agri-Robotics (LAR) is the world’s first global centre of excellence in agricultural robotics, recently funded by UKRI’s Research England as part of their Expanding Excellence in England (E3) fund.

Ben Scott-Robinson - CEO and Co-Founder, Small Robot Company

Ben is the co-founder and CEO of The Small Robot Company, a pioneer in per plant farming. For over six years, he has been leading a team of experts in agriculture, engineering, machine learning, and design to create a new way of farming that is healthier, more efficient, and more sustainable for the planet and the people. Small Robot Company have developed an end-to-end system of autonomous, precision agri-robots and an AI-driven operating system that can increase crop yields, reduce chemical usage, and preserve soil condition. Their robots Tom, Dick, and Harry, and their smart assistant Wilma, are already delivering our 'Farming as a Service' model to farmers across the UK and beyond. The company has won multiple awards, secured over £13m in funding, and partnered with leading organisations in the industry. Their vision is to scale up the service and impact by 2025, and to help farmers feed the world while regenerating the planet.

SIG Champions

David Bartlett - Head of Technology Positioning, u-blox UK

David Bartlett works in the positioning technology (R&D) group at u-blox with a focus on hybrid positioning: bringing together GNSS with terrestrial systems such as UWB and V2X, primarily in support of future autonomous vehicle, driverless car and robotics applications but also for IoT and indoor positioning. Prior to this he was CTO and co-founder of Omnisense delivering high precision indoor IoT tracking solutions. He also worked at Cambridge Positioning systems with a focus on cellular positioning and network aided GNSS techniques.

Bob Cockshott - Knowledge Transfer Manager, Positioning, Navigation, Timing and Quantum, KTN

After 25 years in the space industry working mainly on electro-optical payloads, Bob has spent the last 13 years in the government-funded Knowledge Transfer Network, supporting business in position, navigation and timing, and more recently also quantum technology. Bob has taken a special interest in GNSS vulnerability, and has organised international conferences on vulnerability and its mitigation. Bob is a member of the Cabinet Office PNT Technical Group and chairs the Royal Institute of Navigation’s Technical Committee. Bob is a member of the International Time and Sync Forum Steering Group and is also a Cambridge Wireless Location Based Services SIG Champion.

Ramsey Faragher - AI Working Group Chair, Royal Institute of Navigation

Dr Ramsey Faragher is the Founder, and former President and CTO of Focal Point Positioning, a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation, and a Fellow of Queens' College, at the University of Cambridge. He is the inventor of the Supercorrelation digital signal processing technique, which has redefined the state of the art in GPS positioning. He is the author of dozens of patents, and has been the recipient of numerous awards within the positioning and navigation ecosystem. His company is pioneering improvements to smartphone and automotive navigation systems, and in the past during his time in the Defence sector he has developed technologies that have been to the bottom of the ocean and all the way to Mars. He also helped to improve the bluetooth tracking capabilities of various globally-deployed contact tracing technologies during the Covid pandemic. He regularly contributes to technology podcasts, writes for Forbes, and has provided science advice for two television production companies. Ramsey lives with his family in Cambridge and is currently navigating the challenging landscape of having three small and adventurous children.

Ben Tarlow - Senior Staff Engineer, Qualcomm Technologies International

Ben has worked in positioning for 15 years, developing algorithms for satellite, cellular and other terrestrial RF technologies. At Qualcomm, Ben works in the Advanced Algorithms group, where current research areas in location are data fusion, use of sensor data for positioning and fitness applications; one day, he hopes to be given the remit to explore the area of olfactory positioning. Ben has a background in Pure Mathematics and a PhD in Combinatorics. He has over 20 different patents filed or granted, mostly on subjects relating to positioning.

Event Location

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Location info

PwC, Cambridge, The Maurice Wilkes Building, St. John's Innovation Park, Cowley Road, Cambridge CB4 0DS

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