Kindling Trust is hoping to get help from techy-minded PhD students in order to grow more food. If you know techies, or you are one, the deadline for application is 2 March. All details below.
Wired Farm Project
Kindling Trust is a not-for-profit working to create a just and ecologically sustainable society through enterprising solutions. They are a team of ten staff who deliver innovative, creative & participatory initiatives which have the potential to have significant impact in creating lasting opportunities to improve the communities who are most in need. A third of food is wasted, whilst 1 in 5 Mancunians do not eat enough fruit & veg. At the other end of the food chain, rural poverty is compounded by extreme weather events and pressure from supermarkets. Yet, 20,000 farming jobs could be created if we prioritised local food.
In partnership with small-scale farmers, new FarmStart growers and others at Kindling Trust’s new Urban Farming site in Stockport, Kindling wish to develop, test pilot and eventually roll out a technical solution to the challenge of inefficiencies in small scale growing which: 1) monitors localised environmental factors (e.g. temperature and light levels), resources use (e.g. water consumption); 2) automates remote operations to help improve resource efficiencies (e.g. a grower could receive a text message if a glass house reaches a particular temperature); 3) connects allowing the sharing of crop availability to customers; and 4) communicates by sharing raw data and records, and utilising webcams and time-lapse photography.
PROJECT OUTPUTS – This is a guideline and an updated project outline will be discussed and agreed between partners and research teams at the workshop of the 17th March.
The team will construct a working prototype that can be tested over a whole growing season. An additional output will be a method of communicating to Kindling Trust’s growers how to use the equipment developed. Guidance notes and training would therefore be very welcome.
RESEARCHER SKILLS NEEDED – We encourage researcher’s with the specific skill set that partner’s seek to apply, but also researchers who seek to grow their skill set to develop solutions for our partner’s specific needs. The benefit of researchers working on teams is that their individual expertise can support each other through exchanging knowledge and skills with each other for greater impact in delivery.
The research team is ideally composed by 1) technically minded individuals to help design, construct and test the proposed technical solution and 2) researchers with good communications skills to develop training and guidance for the device..
HOW TO APPLY:
For guidelines for participation and the application process, please read more here. If you are insterested in applying, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an expression of interest form. Please send the completed form and your most recent CV to us by 2 MARCH 2016.