Registration is now open for an agri-tech 'hackathon' aimed at developing technological solutions to problems posed by Covid-19. Winners will receive a year of product launch support from experts at Agri-EPI Centre.

The hackathon will focus on the horticulture and livestock and veterinary sectors.

Participating teams will be challenged to explore solutions in two areas: The shortage of labour supply for field operations in horticulture, and the restrictions on how vets can travel to conduct farm diagnoses and prescription.

The 12-hour event will take place over September 23 and 24, 2020, and will see some of the UK's top tech talent come up with digital solutions for industry problems.

The winning project, if deemed by the judges to have market potential, will become the focus of the year-long ‘product launch programme’ delivered by Agri-EPI.

Agri-EPI’s business development director Lisa Williams explained: “We invite any businesses, organisations and academic institutions with an involvement or interest in agri-tech to take part in what promises to be a really exciting event, with the aim of delivering new products that address some of the serious impacts of coronavirus on the farming industry.

"Collaboration is key to innovation and we look forward to working with the participating teams, and the winners, to develop new ideas.

The winning teams will have 12 months of access to Agri-EPI’s technical and project management expertise, our world-class research and innovation facilities, testbeds and research assets, and our extensive network, which includes a membership of more than 120 companies across agriculture, technology and the supply chain.

The hackathon is supported by the European Horizon 2020 project Smart AgriHubs. The challenge partners for the veterinary hackathon are Vet Partners, Zoetis, Knowledge Transfer Network and Landmark Systems.

For the horticulture hackathon, the challenge partners are Bardsley, Grimme, NFU and Knowledge Transfer Network.