AgriTech

A taxonomy for AgriTech’s Real-Time Industrial Classification (RTIC)

We want to share our taxonomy for AgriTech, which is proving useful to capture real-time data. This is crucial, as far as we are seeing an increasing interest from the central government in the sector. In 2013, the UK Government published the UK Strategy for Agriculture Technology. Then, in 2016, it published an evaluation scoping study, sharing an in-depth analysis of the sector at the time. However, the evaluation study’s classification of AgriTech is not efficient to mine data from website text, so we had to adapt it to fit our platform. The result is a manageable framework that makes understanding and capturing data on AgriTech easier.

AgriTech in segments

After analysing evaluating study’s classification, we have identified 5 segments that represent the study’s categories. However, we are open to criticism and would love to engage in a conversation about which is the best approach to an AgriTech taxonomy.

  • Remote sensing: the category addresses all companies providing products that allow farmers to acquire data remotely. From mapping parcel boundaries with drones to soil moisture sensors, these technologies enable real-time tracking of the state of farms.
  • Monitoring platforms: these are companies producing technologies that facilitate farm management and data analysis. Hence, they are closely related to those that produce remote sensing products, as far as they provide the tools to understand agricultural big data.
  •  Automation: this segments target companies pushing for the automation of agricultural practice. Harvesting robots or automated milking are good examples to understand how agricultural automation looks like.
  • BioTech: this category groups all companies developing new biotechnical products that enhance agricultural production. This category represents a wide range of products, but animal and plant genetic improvement and the development of new bio-products (i.e. bio-pesticides) appear the most common.
  • Net Zero: these are companies specialised in the development of technologies or services oriented to greener agricultural practice. For example, carbon capture storage and utilisation tech and vertical farming products, among others, feature this category. Therefore, it groups all enterprises dedicated to sustainable agriculture and the circular economy.

Benefits of our approach.

 

Our approach to AgriTech is proving efficient to understand the sector. The evaluation study used a taxonomy based on produce-based segments (plants and animals), ICT, engineering systems and infrastructure; and environmental and harvest optimisation. In contrast, we have targeted the developments that make these possible. Remote sensing allows environmental monitoring of plant and animal produce. Monitoring platforms refer to the software that help farmers manage processes. Automation targets harvesting robots, machine vision tech and related infrastructure. BioTech addresses the companies optimising both plant and animal derivates, while Net Zero highlights there is a growing demand for sustainable products and services.

Therefore, we understand that our taxonomy aggregates relevant processes and products under function-specific categories. This approach helps us understand AgriTech in a simplified way while including the areas highlighted by the evaluation scoping study. We will be sharing insights on the data we collected using our taxonomy, so keep an eye out for it!

About the author

Fatima Garcia

Fatima’s background is in geography and the environment, after finishing her degree in Spain, Fatima decided to start a career in research in the UK. Fatima has a PhD in social and political sciences from Nottingham Trent University.