10 November 2020

Innovative project to use games technology to develop perfect potato

Innovative project to use games technology to develop perfect potato

A pile of potatoes

Videogame technology will be used to help develop the perfect potato as part of a ground-breaking new project involving Abertay University and a major potato seed supplier.

The University has entered into a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Agrico UK Ltd, with the aim of utilising artificial intelligence to shorten what is normally a lengthy and complicated process.

It takes more than ten years to develop new breeds of potato with disease resistance, tolerance to heat and drought and, importantly, taste among the factors taken into consideration.

It’s hoped the £118,000 project, funded by Innovate UK and the Scottish Funding Council, will devise screening techniques that will help select potatoes with clear consumer appeal and qualities that make them easy to grow.

Dr John Grigor (pictured above), from Abertay’s Division of Engineering and Food Science, said: “This project is scheduled to last for 30-months, and we are delighted to be working with Agrico UK Ltd on something that has the potential to make a real difference.”

Dr Paul Robertson, from Abertay’s School of Design and Informatics, added: “Abertay has an international reputation for its work in videogame technology and we’re excited to be able to use it in such a unique way.”

Dr Steven Muir from Agrico UK Ltd said: “This project is quite unique and uses new techniques to allow us to better predict successful varieties of potato for consumers. We have been involved in successful KTPs in the past and have found them to be extremely beneficial.”

Agrico UK Executive Director Archie Gibson said: “Integrating data science in combination with sensory and consumer science is an important part of our vision, and is key to our ambitions for the future.”

Abertay has worked with a wide range of industrial partners during KTPs, and outperforms many larger Universities in an area key to the UK Government’s industrial strategy.

The University has strong links with the food and drink industry, and the expertise of its academic staff is highly sought after by industry, professionals and the academic community.

For more information about studying Food at Abertay, visit: https://www.abertay.ac.uk/schools/school-of-applied-sciences/division-of-engineering-and-food-science/

For more information about Abertay’s School of Design and Informatics visit: https://www.abertay.ac.uk/schools/school-of-design-and-informatics/

Abertay is looking to recruit a Data Scientist to work on this project, for further information about this vacancy visit: https://www.abertay.ac.uk/about/working-at-abertay/jobs/

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