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  • Writer's pictureFlockFinder Team

We've won funding from Innovate UK - AGAIN 🎉🎉!


FlockFinder - winners of Innovate UK AI Solutions to Improve Productivity Grant

We're delighted to announce that we've won MORE funding from Innovate UK!


FlockFinder will receive support from Innovate UK's competition aimed at providing AI Solution to Improve Productivity in Key Sectors (e.g. agriculture). Specifically, this funding will help to deliver:


An innovative platform that will use Generative AI to provide farmers with tailored advice to inform farm decision and deliver insights that help improve farm performance.


Who are Innovate UK 🧐

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is the UK’s innovation agency. They work to create a better future by inspiring, involving and investing in businesses developing life-changing innovations.


With an annual budget of over £1billion they provide businesses with the expertise, facilities and funding they need to test, demonstrate and evolve their ideas, driving UK productivity and economic growth.


You can find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/innovateuk


What will the project deliver 🚀

Endemic diseases apply constant pressure to the cattle and sheep food systems by increasing labour and medicine use and decreasing productivity and efficiency of converting feed to energy.


Looking at just five key diseases in sheep, Lameness (£80m), Abortion (£51m), Ectoparasites (£78-202), Intestinal Parasites (£42m) and Liver Fluke (£13-40m) - the cost of disease to UK sheep farming industry is estimated to be in excess of £400m/yr.


To mitigate this, improvements need to be made across the industry for prompt and accurate diagnosis, as well as refined treatment strategies and preventative measures.


Smaller farms are less inclined to seek veterinary guidance because of the relatively higher cost in proportion to the size of their flocks - 68,000 sheep farms in the UK have a flock size under 1,000.


Small and medium-sized sheep farmers (the majority in the UK) are also particularly struggling to profit from their livestock. With lowland grazing farms income predicted to half in 2022/23.


Minimising the financial impact of disease can make a considerable difference to farmers and their livelihoods.


With existing livestock management software solutions only provide minimal benefits beyond simple data capture the identification, treatment and prevention of disease is primarily based on farmer intuition - missing vital opportunities for improvement.


It is therefore important to give farmers the tools they need to identify, and treat, diseases quickly, preventing their spread across the farm and/or wider industry and minimising its negative impact and improving profitability.


The innovation will focus on the development of AI chatbot designed to assist farmers with the identification, treatment, and prevention of common livestock diseases.


By utilising AI, farmers will be able to enter observed symptoms and the system will return a list of potential diseases. A multi-layered Q&A inquiry can then help narrow this list down to the most likely cause, improving the speed & accuracy of diagnosis and, importantly, treatment.


The treatment guidance will also be dynamic, staying up-to-date with the latest industry best-practise. This advice will also be available in-the-field, where farmers need it most.


By improving the approach to disease identification and treatment, farmers will be able to improve flock performance, reduce their medication usage (and costs!), whilst improving animal welfare and increasing profitability.


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