Past Winners

Winners 2016

First prize:
Team ISA Lille, France (Genevieve Baumann, Louise Vernier, Charlotte Lejoyeux and Marie Rolloy). "Optimization of plant cover properties using satellite imagery"

Second prize:
TTT Solutions, Czech Republic (Tomas Pour, Tomas Pohanka, Antonin Benc). "Crop Type Detection and Evalutation System"

Third prize:
Glorify, Italy (Ambrogio Zanzi). "A new forecasting system for rice production."
Special Africa Prize:
Shamballite, Kenya (Catherine Irura, Stephen Murimi, Wawa Enock). "A Mobile and Satellite based Farm Information System."


» Farming By Satellite results - overview (.pdf)

First prize: Team ISA Lille – France

Students at Institute of Live Science in Lille. The Team is composed of four students: (left to right) Geneviève Baumann, Louise Vernier, Charlotte Lejoyeux and Marie Rolloy

Title of Entry: Optimization of plant cover properties using satellite imagery

About ISA Lille

The Team is composed of four students: (left to right) Geneviève Baumann, Louise Vernier, Charlotte Lejoyeux and Marie Rolloy. They are all studying in fourth year in the school ISA (Institute of Live Science) in Lille (North of France). They all come from different places: Genevieve and Marie both come from Paris whereas Charlotte comes from Le Mans (West of France) and Louise from a small village in the North of France.

Except Louise, all the students had no experience in agriculture before studying at ISA Lille. This school offers the opportunity to learn about environment, food industry, landscape or agriculture and to become an engineer. They chose to take part in this prize because they are all interested in improving agriculture with techniques respecting the environment. Moreover, this was the opportunity for them to work on a transdisciplinary project.

Mentors: Bertrand Vandoorne and Eric Taisne

About their Entry

Cover crops improve the soil structure and its level of organic matter, reduce erosion and leaching, and avoid phenomena of slaking. Team ISA Lille’s model will optimize the properties of the cover crops to improve soil composition. The main purpose is to create a simple guide for farmers on how to best apply cover-crops to improve the nitrogen and compaction levels.

This requires mapping of an agricultural plot, bringing together information of the last crop nitrogen deficiency, the soil moisture and its structure. Then we select the best species from each zone: a specific mixing of plants for each kind of agricultural plot of land. With this map, we can give some advice about the composition of the mixing to maximize the benefits related to each plant species.

Judges’ comments

This team really impressed us with their “smart” concept which is a great use of earth observation data. We particularly liked the idea of pairing the issues of managing nitrogen levels together with soil compaction, and using cover crops to address this in an environmentally sensitive way. They showed great teamwork, everyone contributed to the project and we think their idea has potential for further development, linking satellite navigation systems to field operations, using all the instruments in the ‘orchestra’ of effective agri-business.

How is ISA Lille describing the experience

“The overall experience was unique. Winning the prize was a real opportunity for me. Since then, we have been largely supported by ISA Lille to develop our concept further. It also gave me a significant experience on my CV, and that really helped me to find my end-of-course internship. Trust in your ideas. Innovation is within the reach of everyone!!”

1st prize 2016, Team ISA Lille, Marie Rolloy (France)

 “It was great!! I would say that the best part was to work on the idea. We made it grow even if we didn’t always believe it could be possible, and finally it was a success! I would advise you to believe in yourself and in your team!”

1st prize 2016, Team ISA Lille, Louise Vernier (France)

Second prize: TTT Solutions – Czech Republic

Ph.D. students at Palacky University, Czech Republic
Title of Entry: Crop Type Detection and Evaluation System

About TTT Solutions

All three members of TTT Solutions are ph.D students at Palacky University at Department of Geoinformatics in Olomouc, Czech Republic.

Tomáš Pour: His specialization is remote sensing, image analysis and thermography. He studied both bachelor and master degrees at the department of Geoinformatics.

Tomáš Pohanka: He specializes in administering spatial databases, creating Python scripts for spatial analysis and data mining.

Antonin Benc: His work focuses on Geoinformatics in environmental applications, modelling and prediction of landscape units. Since 2015 he is the owner of the company SpatialComp, which deals with the collection of spatial data, analysis for municipal administration, property records, and environmental applications.

About Team TTT Solutions Entry

Crop type Detection and Evaluation System (CDES) is a project focused on improving the control capabilities of government regarding subsidies for agricultural purposes, agricultural market predictions and precision farming.

The project uses Sentinel 2 system data supported by national LPIS (Land Parcel Information System) data. This workflow will serve not only as a practical tool but as a scientific platform as well. That will allow us to improve the methodology in the future and extend the range of applications.

Judges’ comments

TTT solutions is a very strong team, comprising software, sensing and environmental specialists and they made great use of Sentinel satellite data. We noted the excellent teamwork which looks beyond the existing regulation to make sure that a larger agricultural community can benefit from it. Their project will improve the control capabilities of government regarding subsidies for agricultural purposes, agricultural market predictions and precision farming.

How is TTT Solutions describing the experience

“Working on our project and finally meeting all the other teams was awesome. Going to Berlin was really great. It was very well organised so we had enough free time to see the city, have a nice talk with other teams and enjoy the stay. After the Prize, we were contacted by many big players in remote sensing in our country.”

2nd prize 2016, TTT Solutions, Tomas Pour (Czech Republic)

Third prize: Ambrogio Zanzi (Glorify) – Italy

GIS solutions Consultant
Title of Entry:
A new forecasting system for rice production

About Ambrogio Zanzi

Ambrogio Zanzi holds a bachelor and a master degree in agricultural science both from Università degli Studi di Milano (Italy).

He graduated magna cum laude with a dissertation on the development of a new crop forecasting system – the subject of this entry – to foresee both quantitative and qualitative aspects of rice harvest. Then, he completed his studies at University of Massachusetts Amherst (USA). He is currently working as a consultant for his family company all over Italy promoting the use of GIS solutions into the fields of arboriculture and urban environmental management.

Moreover, he has been involved in different European founded projects regarding environmental protection and agricultural working safety, such as the Interreg project “Pro Arbora” and the Erasmus Plus project “Vet Safety”.

Mentor: Dr. Giovanni Cappelli

About his Entry

Glorify is a new forecasting system that combines earth observation and crop modelling to provide estimates of the rice production both on quantitative and qualitative aspects. It has been tested in the Northern Italian rice district considering as quality variable the Head Rice Yield (HRY) – one of the main determinants of rice market price – with encouraging statistical results.

Applying this combined forecasting method to different crops, it can be possible to have more reliable prevision of the agricultural performance under different conditions, allowing authorities to better control and foresee agricultural production.

Judges’ comments

Ambrogio Zanzi presented a solid approach to mathematical modelling to a high academic standard. His idea focusses on rice, a highly relevant crop that feeds the world, but one that we don’t tend to see in European precision agriculture applications. He has proven his concept in Italy, but it could apply to other regions of the world.

How is Ambrogio describing the experience

“When I got the acceptance, it was a really happy moment! To go to Berlin, it was a fantastic experience. I was quite anxious at the idea of presenting in front of the judges, but my advice would be: don’t worry and enjoy every single moment of the prize! The prize made me realize how much I wanted to continue studying. I am now a PhD student at University of Milan!”

3rd prize 2016, Glorify, Ambrogio Zanzi (Italy)

Special Africa Prize Winners: Shamballite – Kenya

Environmental Engineers and Lawyers
Title of Entry: A Mobile and Satellite based Farm Information System

About Shamballite

Catherine (left) is an environmental lawyer and sustainability enthusiast with a Bachelor of Law (LL.B) from the University of Nairobi and a MSc. in Environmental Governance at the University of Freiburg. She works at a renewable energy company, undertaking land securing; social economic and environmental impact assessments: and other aspects of project development.

Stephen (middle) is an alumnus of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology where he gained knowledge in both agriculture and technology. As a Civil Engineer, he has a keen interest in water resources, environmental engineering and farming. He is currently involved in design of wastewater recycling plants in Nairobi.

Abe (right) is a Geospatial Engineer who works in the spatial Industry with interests in energy, entrepreneurship and diverse environmental matters. He has worked with various agencies that deal with environmental related issues and in local engineering projects. He hopes to provide solutions to problems faced by Kenyan and African people.

About Their Entry

The lack of timely and actionable information is a major challenge to many farmers. Our idea envisions the gathering of information from terrestrial measurements, airborne sensors and satellite-based systems, to benefit farmers from an information access system. The proposed solution leverages on mobile technology to provide farmers with real-time information on rainfall, soil fertility, crop health, best crops to plant and markets, using satellite technologies.

Information will be communicated to farmers through mobile platforms, allowing them to make timely decisions. This technology will enable data collection, prediction and integration as a tool for improved agriculture production.

Judges’ comments

Team Shamballite presented their idea on a farmer information service very clearly. The concept had been very well thought through and addresses many issues that farmers in Kenya and the rest of Africa face with a very simple solution.

Their concept works by processing NDVI satellite data and soil analysis data and then providing recommendations to farmers in real time. We also liked how their team members had a range of backgrounds, including; environmental engineers and an environmental lawyer.