A team from Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority, took the first prize in this year’s Farming by Satellite competition with FODDERApp, a mobile app for grass and grazing management.
Second prize went to the pan-European team TREASURE for their project "GALILEO for automated transplanting of crop seedlings"; and the project "Copernicus Satellites Data Fusion for Management Zones Definition" from the University of Padua’s Space Junk team took third prize.
The winning teams overcame stiff competition from 42 other young people across 17 European countries. The competition judges selected six teams to take forward to the final ‘live’ judging round, held on Wednesday 5 December as part of European Space Week in Marseille.
The finalists came from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and, for the first time in the competition, Ireland and Finland.
“This was an amazing experience we really enjoyed brainstorming and developing the idea back in Ireland. And meeting all the other finalists and judges here in Marseille was fantastic! We hope to keep these connections in years to come,” Teagasc team member Gabriela Afrasinei said.
Interesting times ahead
The Farming by Satellite Prize, which promotes the use of satellite technologies in agriculture, is an initiative of the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and the European Environment Agency (EEA) and is sponsored by agricultural equipment manufacturer CLAAS.
“The outcome of this year´s Farming by Satellite Prize once again showed there is no better way for innovation than investing in and rewarding the next generation of farmers. The amount and quality of the entries we received indicate that we have interesting times ahead in the area of smart farming,” said GSA Market Development Officer Reinhard Blasi, who was part of the judging panel.
Commenting on the environmental focus of the entries, Hans Dufourmont from the EEA said: “At a time when we are facing critical environmental and climate challenges, it is of increasing importance that we continue to encourage this type of strong innovative thinking from the next generation.”
Marcel Foelsch, Head of Precision Farming Services at CLAAS E-Systems noted that the past summer, with its unusually high temperatures and low rainfall, had highlighted the need to even further optimise the ecological benefits in the field of agriculture. “The participants of this competition are aware of this and submitted great ideas that tackle the challenges of today. I was impressed by the quality and level of innovation of the concepts that made it difficult to nominate the best one,” he said.
If you missed out on this year’s competition, but think you might have an idea that you could develop for next year, you can find all you need to know about entering the competition here.
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