EU Kicks Off Second Annual ‘Farming By Satellite’ Prize Competition

Students and young farmers are invited once again to enter a major competition about how to use satellite technology in agriculture to improve production, efficiency, profit and to reduce environmental impact.

The €13,000 ‘Farming by Satellite Prize’ (converts to just over US $21,000 as of 10/28/13)  is an initiative of the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the EU agency responsible for European satellite activities, and is sponsored by CLAAS, a manufacturer of agricultural engineering equipment, and crop protection company Bayer CropScience. The competition ran for the first time in 2012 and has now been expanded, with a special prize for submissions that address the needs of farmers and growers in Africa.

The aim of the competition is to promote the use of satellite navigation in agriculture and its benefits to end users. Individuals or teams can submit case studies of trials, or new ideas and innovations, particularly those relying upon European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), the forthcoming GALILEO system and COPERNICUS (the European Earth Observation Programme).

The winner of the inaugural ‘Farming by Satellite Prize’ was Robert Fillingham, a PhD student from Harper Adams University in the UK, who said that “entering the competition provides a great chance to have your innovative ideas heard by leading industry experts and potentially taken on for further development. Winning the Farming by Satellite prize was an amazing experience which has opened up lots of opportunities, so don’t hesitate and get writing!”

Gian-Gherardo Calini, Head of Market Development at the GSA says: “We want to build on the success of last year’s prize and encourage even more entries of a high standard. Over 100 registrations were received from 25 countries, and this year with Africa included, we expect that to grow again. We are looking for imaginative solutions that employ ‘free’ satellite technology that can help all the world’s farmers. We anticipate entries from commercial teams as well as students of agriculture, horticulture and life sciences.”

Full details on the competition are available at www.farmingbysatellite.eu. Interested parties should register before February 10, 2014 to receive a full briefing pack and be prepared to submit their ideas by April 14, 2014.

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