Eight teams have been selected for the Grand Finale of the 5th Farming by Satellite Prize, which aims to promote the use of EGNSS and Earth Observation in sustainable agriculture in Europe and Africa.
This year, the competition has challenged teams from across Europe and Africa to use Satellite Technologies to improve Agriculture and reduce Environmental Impact, providing an opportunity for new EU space empowered ideas.
The winners of the Farming by Satellite Prize 2020, featuring the Special Africa Prize devoted to young African innovators, will be announced live at the online awards ceremony on 30 November 2020, starting at 18:00 CET. The teams will pitch their solutions to the audience, sharing their visions for sustainable agriculture. They will be joined by keynote speakers from the prize partners the European GNSS Agency, European Environment Agency and CLAAS, who will share insights into the use of European satellite technologies to improve agriculture, from both a policy and industry perspective.
For the full agenda and to register for the event, head to the Farming by Satellite Prize 2020 website here.
Watch this: European Satellites for Agriculture
Space for Agriculture: Meet the top 8 solutions
With more than 80 submissions from across Europe and Africa received, 18 pre-selected teams participated in the Deep Dive Phase, presenting their innovations in pitch deck format. Eight grand finalists have been selected and are now competing for the first three places and the Special Africa Prize in a prize pool totalling €10,000:
- AI4Ocean Farming - Using satellite data for ocean farming
This solution studies the feasibility of establishing a space-connected ocean farming system. AI4OceanFarming identifies ocean farming threats to mitigate losses and increase the success rate and performance of this farm sector. This analysis is done by merging satellite data from Copernicus together with GNSS, Mercator Ocean, ECMWF, in-situ data from IoT devices deployed on the field, and their own specialised databases. The team hopes to optimise the performance of ocean farming, increasing food security and minimising the overexploitation of ocean resources.
- Genuine - Optimising tractor navigation route
Genuine is a unique web application to support farmers with identifying the crop borders, crop stress, and to guide tractor paths for optimal fertilization and irrigation. The solution combines Copernicus Sentinel-2 data and Galileo signals to generate prescription maps and to improve farmers’ activities in the field. The team aims to provide an integrated Copernicus and EGNSS solution that accelerates the transition to sustainable agriculture.
- Graniot - Satellite crop monitoring
One third of the water used in Europe goes to the agricultural sector. In Spain, that number rises to almost 80% and a part of it is wasted and/or contaminated by inefficient fertilising practices. Graniot offers a web application for agronomists and farmers to conduct weekly crop monitoring by using European satellite technologies to focus on vigour, chlorophyll, and water stress. With a background in telecommunications engineering, the co-founders are on a mission to bring a more sustainable agriculture to Southern Europe.
- RVRI - Irrigating the future
Water scarcity and CO2 emissions linked to pumping water are contributing to climate change. RVRI is a system that is able to detect the level of humidity of the soil and crop by analysing in real time the difference between the direct GNSS signal and the GNSS signal reflected on the soil. Copernicus Sentinel-2 imagery is used to show crop information in the mobile app. With this information the system can vary the irrigation rate and communicate with the cloud where the application data is stored. The team wants to create intelligent systems that do not overload farmers with data, but provide actionable insights.
- Harvesting Prizes - Farming correctly, we all win
Harvesting Prizes is a tool that integrates all Variable Rate Application (VRA) files for every land parcel in a farm. GNSS positioning data is used to localise the user and link all VRA maps. It is then able to translate the input rates into real monetary outcomes, like €/ha and kg CO2/ha. The solution integrates Copernicus Sentinel-2 images, Galileo Open Service Message Authentication Feature (OS-NMA), and cloud services to provide a robust service that is easy to use. Additionally, mobile networks will be used to transfer information to and from the cloud. The young innovators believe that sustainable agriculture practices should be rewarded directly to the farmer.
- BAOBAB - Bridging agriculture and satellite observations for the African farming business
The Baobab solution combines weather models and Earth observation data to support crop management by farmers. It exploits modern satellite technology to directly deliver timely and accurate weather forecasts to farmers. The data results are integrated into numerical weather prediction (NWP) models and delivered to the farmers for timely and accurate weather forecasts. This allows farmers to take early action and reduce potential damages. The team has the vision to significantly improve farming activities in Uganda.
GeoM&E offers farmers the opportunity to assess differences in agriculture fields over time and location, and enables users to assess vegetation phenology such as planting and harvesting. It specifically looks at the assessment of coffee farms in central Kenya, indicating the changes over time and areas where farmers could increase yield. The GeoM&E would provide African farmers with access to the geoinformation in just one click.
- HerdsAssist - The herder’s guide and foretell to pasture
HerdsAssist is a new way of grazing management for farmers to lessen the land competition in Africa. Using a mobile application that draws data such as land-use and land-cover maps from Copernicus, farmers can be better informed about the location of their kettle and where other farmlands are. For example, farmers can use a virtual fencing band that uses Galileo satellite positioning to determine the location of animals. The team behind HerdsAssist hopes to create the digital grazing management tool for farmers around the world.
Read this: From #EUSpace to farm to fork
About the Farming by Satellite Prize
The Farming by Satellite Prize rewards young innovators exploring the use of data and signals from the European space programmes Galileo, EGNOS, and Copernicus to improve agriculture and reduce environmental impact. A joint initiative of the GSA and the EEA, the prize invites applicants to submit their ideas for a more sustainable, productive, and efficient agriculture industry in Europe. Don’t forget to register for the award ceremony here.