Our Applied Informatics capability draws together focus and research interests on the role of computational analytical approaches and data-driven processes and methodologies for addressing key pressing societal challenges across the environmental, agricultural and biological domains.

We have developed world-leading informatics capabilities, applying these approaches and techniques in practical solutions including food security, optimal land and production systems, ecosystem services, genetic and genomic analysis and handling of genomic, proteomic and metabolomics data, environmental contamination and fate and behaviour, and geohazard assessment. 

This involves the applications of machine learning and pattern recognition techniques to reveal hidden patterns in multivariate and high throughput datasets. These techniques are applied from global to field scale, and focus from explicit biotic cellular activities to full ecosystem dynamics. 

Our informatics expertise is drawn upon by a broad range of clients and research partners nationally and internationally in is applied in practical real-world applications.

Key recent clients include Unilever, Defra, Produce World Group Ltd, G’s, Anglian Water, Waitrose, Central Networks, EDF, EU-JRC, finance and insurance sector partners.

About our research

Our ‘Informatics’ research centres upon the concepts of environmental and agri-informatics, assembling and manipulating ‘Big Data’ sources of spatial and temporal information in order to derive improved understanding of environmental systems and their management.

Our informatics research expertise is applied across a number of themes, including: supply chain management, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), precision agriculture and proximal soil sensing, fruit and vegetable postharvest biology and technology, resource use efficiency, vegetable genetics, plant genomics and bioinformatics, soil systems and land management, water management and irrigation, ecosystem services, geohazards, land suitability modelling, landscape mapping, GIS/remote sensing and data visualisation.

Our facilities

AgriFood has been a key strategic theme of ours for over 40 years. We have internationally recognised expertise across both domestic and international food supply chains, from primary food production and inputs through to point of sale and waste reduction/utilisation.

We are the national centre for the investigation of soils within England and Wales, recognised by Defra, and houses the National Land Information System (LandIS) for England and Wales, and the National Soils Archive collection and the World Soil Survey Archive and Catalogue.

Working with us

There are a number of effective means to partner with Cranfield. Sponsoring a Doctoral study over three years offers an in-depth means to explore fundamental aspects of a research area or domain.

Doctoral ‘CASE Studentships’ are a valuable method of providing a mutually beneficial research collaboration between academic and partner organisations in the private, public and civil sectors.

Another option is to sponsor a shorter, one year MSc by research student, which will address a subject and lead to more rapid outcomes.

A number of other mechanisms have been used to enable successful collaborations between companies and Cranfield researchers, including part-Government funded Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), or more substantive linkages through the various Innovate UK initiatives.

Our researchers also reach out nationally and internationally to undertake a range of contracted, bespoke and custom research on behalf of clients, where such work can vary from short exploratory desk-studies, to a full programme-based research offerings over several years.

Organisations engaging with Cranfield can benefit directly from our world-class facilities and services.