All times below in BST.
Tuesday September 20
- How have recent shocks to the food system caused by the pandemic, war and climate change changed how we look at food security and food quality, particularly in areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East?
- Where and how are governments and regulators starting to promote the use of technologies that have a positive impact on the quality and resilience of our food system and how can we as an industry accelerate the deployment of these solutions?
- How can we encourage more systematic collaboration between the value chain, including farmers, producers, manufacturers, retailers, technology providers and financial investors to accelerate the transition?
- New regulations on data transparency and commitments to net zero mean that access to data is becoming vital for corporates, investors, banks, and regulators. What type of sustainability data is needed and what are the current challenges to overcome? How is verification currently managed and how is this likely to change?
- What does this mean for farmers where there is currently huge mistrust around data sharing? What new frameworks are being put forward by co-operatives to enable access to field level data whilst respecting the privacy of individual operations and controlling how data is used?
- There is an increasing drive towards tracking the carbon footprint of all fast-moving consumer goods in real time. How could the industry set up data protocols to enable this and what investment and infrastructure are needed?
- Regenerative farming still has no clear definition. What framework and standards are needed to provide consistency across the industry and ensure that specific climate, nature and societal outcomes are met?
- What tools are available to farmers when it comes to building soil carbon and ecosystem services? What does technology deployment and adoption look like on the ground?
- How are farmers developing their thinking around new business models and economic practices? What is the farmers’ perspective on the pros and cons of regenerative agriculture and what do they need in the way of on the ground technical assistance?
- What incentives and new insurance products are needed to fully de-risk the economic and psychological barriers that farmers face?
- How are different countries approaching carbon farming? Can we steer a course between insetting and offsetting?
- How do you measure sustainability in agriculture? What advances are we seeing in the use of remote and infield sensing and the development of new models?
- How are IoT, cloud and edge computing coming together to create platforms that integrate above and below-ground data with predictive analytics to allow farmers to track their sustainability performance?
- What building blocks are needed to enable full autonomy and decision support on the farm? As new technologies become available, how do we ensure industry collaboration and alignment to streamline integration and make solutions simple for farmers?
- How are technologies arriving at the farm gate? What new business models and collaborations are being created to make field services accessible to both large enterprise and smallholder farms?
Each roundtable discussion group is hosted by an industry expert on a specific theme offering you a valuable opportunity to network, brainstorm solutions, and discuss ideas. Come prepared for lively discussion and diverse debate!
- With the UK becoming the latest to relax its rules for gene editing in field trials, jurisdictions around the world are starting to indicate a more positive stance on the use of gene editing. What is the timeline for a legislative proposal coming to the European Parliament? What outcomes can we expect over the next 12 months?
- What new possibilities does gene editing open up for major agribusinesses and research institutes in plant science? What are the next frontiers and what new capabilities can be expected as this industry matures?
To build confidence in soil carbon as an asset class we need to measure soil organic carbon in a more efficient and effective way. What new technologies are on the horizon? We meet three start-ups who are tackling this urgent challenge.
- How is the farming industry addressing the current shortage in synthetic fertilisers resulting from the conflict in Ukraine? What are the near-term and mid-term solutions that will reduce the industry’s reliance on fertiliser imports?
- What impact could these supply constraints have in the longer term on microbials and biological alternatives to traditional synthetics? Are we likely to see more rapid adoption and long-term acceptance of replacement technologies?
- What does the current regulatory landscape look like for biologicals and how do they fit into the broader landscape of traditional synthetic inputs?
- How is our growing understanding of soil health and the science of the soil microbiome informing the development of new biological solutions for different soil types? What’s possible at scale?
A pitch session where you get to decide the outcome! Six start-ups have one minute to pitch their solutions to the audience. The audience then votes for three start-ups to go through to the final, taking place the following day.
- An estimated $350 billion a year is needed to make the food system more sustainable and capable of coping with the risks from climate change, population growth and changing dietary patterns. What is the potential of impact funding in this sector and where are we on this current trajectory?
- What new investment instruments and advisory services are being developed by banks, family offices, insurance companies, foundations, and asset managers to provide greater access to innovation, companies and projects within the food and agtech sectors?
- Greenwashing or impact washing is increasingly becoming a problem as the industry goes mainstream. How are investors thinking about solving the lack of benchmarking and standards when considering the deployment of capital and quantifying its impact?
Wednesday September 21
- How can we forge the right partnerships between corporates, investors, accelerators, start-ups, universities and policymakers for agri-food technology innovation and commercialisation?
- Looking across the corporate innovation landscape and the structures that have been put in place, what has the industry got right? How far are organisations now willing to stretch along the value chain to find mutual beneficial partnerships?
- What new approaches to open innovation are needed to service the multi-disciplinary, bilateral collaborations needed to address the green climate transition?
- What public private partnerships are needed to reach into new countries and crops such as tropical agriculture that are currently underserved in the innovation landscape?
The three start-up finalists, voted for by the audience from Gone in 60 Seconds the day before, have 5 minutes to pitch their solutions to a panel of judges followed by questions. The winner of the Pre-Summit Pitch Day & Tesco Agri-T Jam will also get a chance to present.
- How are robotics and autonomous vehicles currently relieving pressure on farms from labour shortages and restrictions on chemical and fertiliser usage? What competitive advantages do they offer farmers, and which business models are proving most successful?
- How can we drive more collaboration on standards and data exchange to enable greater interoperability and compatibility between different platforms and brands of robots? What are the friction points around shared standards that start-ups face as they scale?
- How are traditional OEMs and growers partnering with start-ups to co-develop and pilot robotics and automation on the farm? What collaboration models deliver greatest value to both parties and how can we overcome challenges around IP?
- As we move towards greater automation in the field, what influence will this have on the design and appearance of the crop? How should we be breeding for these new systems and what physical attributes will be needed for robotic harvesting and spraying?
- Why are ag robotics still considered a futuristic solution and is this perception holding back investment in the sector?
- As the pipeline for traditional crop protection starts to dry up, what areas of innovation are starting to fill the gap in the market?
- Does the investment going into new products such as pheromones and RNA equate to the largest opportunities? Where are the funding and investment gaps?
- Europe has given the greenlight to the use of biopesticides, but what does this mean for the industry?
- How can emerging technologies like plant sensors play a role in tackling diseases and crop stress?
Hemp is now moving towards deregulation in Europe, opening up opportunities in the circular economy as an industrial input. How should the ag industry push this forward? What are the market opportunities for this product in paper manufacturing and the car industry?
- As more capital flows into food and agriculture, what deployment of capital have we seen in this space over the past 12 months and what opportunities are VCs, corporates, private equity, and family offices targeting?
- How is the agri-food tech investment landscape maturing globally? How are VCs and accelerators nurturing start-ups as they scale? Where are the funding gaps that need to be plugged to ensure a thriving innovation ecosystem?
- How are concerns over climate and food security driving new opportunities for investors to support mission-driven businesses that are targeting the sustainable development goals?
- Where are we seeing the most exit activity? What is the long-term outlook given the current economic climate?