Past Winners

Winners 2012

Winners left to right:  Second-placed Jonathan Bradbeer, first-placed Robert Fillingham and third-placed Verónica Sáiz Rubio

First prize: Robert Fillingham (UK)
Second prize: Jonathan Bradbeer (UK)
Third prize: Verónica Sáiz Rubio (Spain)

Read more about the the winning concept of Robert Fillingham

In his winning concept Robert Fillingham developed the idea of a geo-referenced online data platform with information services for farmers across Europe. With the title "European Farm Management Information System", his vision was for comprehensive data collection that would contribute widely to agricultural practices.

Robert Fillingham commented on the competition:
“Entering the competition provides a great chance to have your innovative ideas heard by leading industry experts and potentially taken on for further development. Don't be put off if your idea seems very futuristic or even whacky as the aim is to stimulate innovation. Winning the Farming by satellite prize was an amazing experience which has opened up lots of opportunities so don't hesitate and get writing!”

The core of his concept is the online database. This enables farmers to use satellite data, weather information and forecasting models in their daily work. In conjunction with regular expert analysis on user-uploaded operating and machine data, farmers would receive specific recommendations to increase their income and efficiency. Contributors to the network would also gain access to information and analysis from other farmers.

The judging panel of Dr Andrew Speedy, Fernanda Guerrieri, Dr Jens Möller, Hans-Joachim Duch and Dr Andrea Graham praised the vision of Robert Fillingham and emphasized the large number of innovative ideas in his winning concept. The judges declared: “Like the very best ideas, Robert’s is elegant and simple. Collaborative networks have been part of farming for thousands of years. What makes his idea ground-breaking is that it marries automatically downloaded and uploaded data using satellite technologies, with central analysis services, and then makes that analysis available at the local level.”

Read more about the excellent concept of Jonathan Bradbeer

In his excellent second place winning paper, Jonathan Bradbeer showed how satellite-based positioning can optimize the collection of hay bales in the field. His solution reduces the required operating time and saves fuel.

Jonathan Bradbeer declared:
“It's an excellent opportunity for anyone who has an interesting or innovative idea of how to use satellite navigation services in agriculture, no matter how big or small, or no matter how complex or simple.  It's an excellent opportunity for anyone to put across their ideas for new uses of satellite navigation services in agriculture. My impression is that the judges look for a good solid idea reinforced by evidence; you don't have to be the next Einstein.  A good idea doesn't have to be horrendously complex, it could be very simple.”

Read more about the innovative concept of Veronica Saiz Rubio

Awarding third prize, the jury recognized the work of Veronica Saiz Rubio. The Spaniard impressed with her innovative idea for the use of satellite positioning in combination with a camera-based recognition of biomass. The system developed is easy to install on existing vehicles and is easy to use. Veronica Saiz Rubio proposed a low cost solution for working with digital maps that helps small and medium sized vineyards.

Veronica Saiz Rubio added about her success:
“Regarding the experience of the prize, it is always a satisfaction that your work is recognized out of the frontiers of your country of origin and at a European level. Also, a prize is a unique merit, not only to include it in a CV (which is important indeed), but also for your career as a researcher: if you win a prize like this, people will be interested in your work and, what is more, they can be interested in offering you future collaborations. My winning idea is going to be further developed in a European Research Project.”

The competition was open to students and young people across Europe. A total of 114 people registered from 25 countries. In the final stage, the judges received 32 entries from 17 countries to assess.

Some examples of entries received for the 2012 Prize included:

  • Integrated Farm Management Data and Information System

  • Mobile Sample Collector

  • Virtual Pastures

  • Zero Draught and Scatter Robotic Seed Establishment

  • Total Field Management Programme

  • Vitismart: Digital Maps for limited-size vineyards

  • Agroplanning: Integrated Precision Farming

  • Advanced GPS guidance

  • Accurate monitoring of the machinery movement

  • Active sprayer boom levelling

  • A satellite aided bale collection system