From a competitive field of submissions, the European GNSS Agency has awarded the 2017 Farming by Satellite Prize to projects coming from France, Kenya, the Czech Republic and Italy.
The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has announced the winners of the 2017 Farming by Satellite Prize. The top prize went to a project that proposes using satellite navigation positioning, satellite data and cover crops to address the issues of managing nitrogen levels and solving soil compaction in an environmentally sustainable way. The project, submitted by a team from ISA Lille (France), received their EUR 5 000 prize during the International Green Week in Berlin.
This year’s Special Africa Prize was awarded to the Shamballite project, submitted by a team from Kenya. They were awarded EUR 4 000 for their innovative idea for a mobile, satellite-based Farming Information System. “We hope to be able to bring the project to the next level,” confirmed Wawa Abe, one excited member of the team.
The second prize went to TTT Solutions from the Czech Republic for their web-based service providing temporal analysis, spectral indices, crop behaviour and control and support for the payment of subsidies. Third place was awarded to Glorify, a new forecasting system from Italy that combines Earth observation and crop modelling to provide both quantitative and qualitative estimates for rice production. The projects received prizes of EUR 3 000 and EUR 1 000 respectively.
A competitive field
“I want to congratulate the winners,” says European Commission Vice President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič. “This young community is very agile and ready to embrace new technologies, making it a great time for entrepreneurs.” The winners were selected from a remarkably competitive field: over 85 individuals and teams from 13 European and eight African countries registered for the contest. From these submissions, judges shortlisted seven, including projects from Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy and two from Portugal. For the Special Africa Prize, finalists included two projects from Kenya and one from Morocco.
Finalists were invited to come to DG Agriculture’s stand at International Green Week to make their final pitch in front of the judging panel (finalists for the Special Africa Prize made their presentations via video-link).
“The judges were particularly impressed with the high quality and professionalism of all the finalists, and in particular the ones from the Special Africa Prize,” says GSA Market Development Officer and member of the judging panel Reinhard Blasi. “It was both this professionalism and the project’s holistic approach to addressing a real challenge faced by Kenyan farmers that gave Shamballite the winning edge.”
“We really want to encourage tomorrow’s innovators to apply their talents to the agricultural sector, which is why we have supported the Farming by Satellite Prize since its first edition in 2012,” says CLAAS Head of Finance and Administration Christian Radons, one of this year’s sponsors. “With each edition we notice the submissions improving in quality and applicability – a great sign for the future of farming and food production.”
“There is a real opportunity to help farmers by using advanced technology in simple ways to better manage their business and to lower costs,” adds Bayer CropScience Digital Farming Technology Lead Alex Melnitchouck, whose company also sponsored this year’s prize. “This prize is an excellent way to raise awareness about these opportunities and to make them happen by tapping into the talents of young people.”
About the Farming by Satellite Prize
The Farming by Satellite Prize, which aims to promote the use of satellite technology in agriculture, is a joint initiative of the GSA and the European Environmental Agency. The prize is open to students and young farmers across Europe and Africa with innovative ideas for using satellite technology to improve agricultural production, efficiency and profit, or to reduce the sector’s environmental impact.
“For the young generation, the success of this Prize is proof that Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus have several synergies in precision agriculture and we can count on future farmers to build on European space programmes,” adds GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides.
Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link the article back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).
Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (http://www.gsa.europa.eu).