Origin and University College Dublin team up on €17.6 million crop science research partnership

Posted December 12, 2016

Origin Enterprises plc and University College Dublin have established a dedicated digital, precision agriculture and crop science collaborative research partnership. The €17.6 million five-year research programme is supported by Science Foundation Ireland.

The collaboration encompasses a strong multi and inter-disciplinary approach, combining the leading expertise of UCD in data science and agricultural science with Origin’s integrated crop management research, systems capabilities and extensive on-farm knowledge exchange networks.

A cornerstone of the partnership will be the creation of scalable, dynamic and integrated crop models which incorporate consistent and real-time data driven and data analytical approaches that optimise sustainable crop performance through enabling enhanced predictive intelligence capabilities at field level.  

“We are delighted to join forces and collaborate with UCD, a world-leading academic institution in agricultural science with excellent credentials in multi-disciplinary research,” said Origin’s Chief Executive Officer, Tom O’Mahony.

“We are particularly pleased with the support of Science Foundation Ireland under its Strategic Partnership Programme, the aim of which is to foster and develop partnerships of scale.”

“The collaboration provides Origin with a development platform which accesses the very substantial intellectual capacity, advanced data analytics, sensing technologies and modelling resources of UCD. The merging of conventional crop science and agronomic application with digital technology and prescriptive data analytics will enhance Origin’s knowledge-intensive offering along with improving the capacity to scale our service,” he added.

“The multi-disciplinary research teams at UCD will use our research expertise in data science and agriculture, together with Origin’s industry experts, to address the issue of crop sustainability, a major global food security challenge,” said Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact.  

“[The] announcement demonstrates our strategy of building a portfolio of strategic and mutually beneficial partnerships with industry which can deliver impact to the economy and society in Ireland and globally.”

“The SFI Strategic Partnership Programme supports unique research partnerships with strong potential for impact on the Irish economy,” said Director General, SFI and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Ireland, Professor Mark Ferguson.

“Investing in research that enhances the agri-food industry while protecting our natural resources is vital for Ireland’s future.”

“Combining the resources and expertise from these organisations will secure Ireland’s international position in the field of data-driven agriculture. The proposed integrated crop model will have global implications in the sustainable production of crops, addressing the challenge of food production for a rapidly expanding global population,” he said. 

Written with materials provided by Miceal Whelan, UCD Innovation