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Game technology to speed up potato variety development process

November 17, 2020

A ground-breaking new project between a Scottish University and a potato seeds supplier will use videogame technology to help develop the perfect potato.

Abertay University, located in the city of Dundee, Scotland, recently announced a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Agrico UK Ltd. Together they aim to utilize artificial intelligence to shorten the normally lengthy and complicated process of developing new potato varieties.

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

‘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’, stated Dr John Grigor (pictured) from Abertay’s Division of Engineering and Food Science. Dr Paul Robertson from Abertay’s School of Design and Informatics added that Abertay has an international reputation for its work in videogame technology: ‘We’re excited to be able to use it in such a unique way.’

‘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’, said Dr Steven Muir from Agrico UK Ltd. Agrico UK Executive Director Archie Gibson emphasized that integrating data science in combination with sensory and consumer science is an important part of the company’s vision: ‘It is key to our ambitions for the future.’

In the press release, the university expresses it has worked with a wide range of industrial partners during KTPs before. ‘We have strong links with the food and drink industry, and the expertise of our academic staff is highly sought after by industry, professionals and the academic community.’


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