Agri-Tech Innovation Export & Supply Opportunities: UK Business & Argentina

Tuesday 11 September 2018, 10:30am to 3:00pm


Training Rooms 1 & 2, Gordon Manley Building, LEC Blue Zone (LEC 3), Lancaster University - View Map

Open to

Alumni, Postgraduates, Public, Staff


Free to attend - registration required

Registration Info

To register for free please visit

Absolute deadline: 10th September 2018 at 10:00 B.S.T. 

Event Details

N8 AgriFood Programme & Lancaster University invite academics & UK businesses to a half-day workshop to learn more about Agri-tech opportunities in Argentina. Featuring senior researchers from the Argentine National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) & the Argentine Farming Association (AACREA).

The Opportunity

Argentina is one of the world leaders in the export of key commodities such as soya, maize and wheat, much of which supplies the UK food sector. The UK Department for International Trade lists Argentinian agri-tech as a key area of interest for British investment. Furthermore, the UK industrial strategy has identified bioscience and biotechnology supporting food security as a priority area – with clear potential for IP commercialization in overseas markets. The UK Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund also identified robotics & artificial intelligence, and satellites & space technology as just two areas where research and innovation by businesses can contribute to the UK’s economic development. All of these areas are also of interest to Argentina as areas for collaboration to update their agricultural sector and develop new outlets for their agricultural produce. Addressing a common food system, economic development and technology gap would provide an excellent opportunity for UK and Argentinian businesses to explore how agri-science-based business collaborations can be exploited for mutual benefit.

Priority areas

In Argentina, the prevalence of monocultures in an export oriented system focusing on grains and high protein products have increased exposure to weather shocks and degradation of the broader ecosystem. This situation is taking a toll on the productivity of the agricultural sector, increasing risks for both supply and quality of exports.

Following an N8 AgriFood Programme led mission to Argentina in March 2017 these focused areas for collaboration were identified:

  1. Preventing and managing impacts of weather shocks, pest and diseases on production, logistics and transport, by using earth observation and agri-sensors.
  2. Metrics for low-emission development and corporate social responsibility: supporting agri-business to track the impact of their investments, exploiting synergies and minimizing trade-offs in business value and ecosystem conservation.
  3. Re-designing production systems to diversify production: identifying new markets, evaluating & testing new genetic material, delivering productivity (grain quality, drought tolerance etc) and environmental indicators (low water use and GHG emissions).

The N8 AgriFood Programme involves the 8 most research intensive universities in Northern England and has substantial R&I expertise in each of the above areas.

Half-day Workshop - Speakers

Professor Mariana Rufino, Chair of Agricultural Systems, and Director of the Rutherford and CONICET funded 'Innovations in Food Security' programme at Lancaster Environment Centre.

Dr Lucas Borrás is a professor at the National University of Rosario and a member of Argentine National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET). His group works in close collaboration with industry and farmers to help optimise production systems for increased yield and industrial quality of their goods. Current activities include: Supporting the maize non-gmo supply chain Argentina has developed to export premium dry milling grain to the EU funded by Kellogg Company, DACSA, and the Argentinean government. Projects investigating optimized maize fertilizer use, genotype selection and seed treatments funded by farmer associations (AAPRESID) and industry (Yara, Dow). Investigating the importance of plant quality and N fixation for crop yield potential in soybean, funded by Syngenta, farmer associations (CREA Sur de Santa Fe), and the Argentinean government.

Dr Esteban Jobbágy is an Agronomist and Ecologist at the National University of San Luis and Principal Researcher of CONICET. He leads a team of 20 researchers exploring water cycling, land use changes and crop production in Southern South America and globally. His research involves the use of remote sensing, stable isotopes, crop and hydrological models together with multiple field sampling approaches. This work involves hands-on collaboration with multiple commercial, research, government and farming organisations. Current activities include: Selection of drought tolerance crop trial sites for Bayer; global matching climate location software with Monsanto; water impact assessment of forestry production in Uruguay for United Paper Mills and groundwater-crop monitoring and planning logistics with LIAG.

Dr Federico Bert is the director of Research and Development at Argentine Farming Association (AACREA), leading a team of 40 people with the mission of identifying farmers’ technical needs and contributing solutions by working together with other R&D and commercial entities. He interacts daily with farmers and advisors from our organization and other related institutions, companies and policy makers. Federico has co-led the development of public and private tools aimed to support agricultural decisions, co-developing a public system to generate within-season yields predictions for key crops in the Pampas (see He also co-founded a web site where farmers may contact experts on many farming issues (see that has become a key reference for farmers and advisors in Argentina. Finally, he co-founded an app to record data during farmers’ field visits that today is used on more than 1 million hectares in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.




Contact Details

Name Professor Mariana Rufino

Telephone number

+44 1524 592819