A HOBART, Tasmania AgTech start up has partnered with one of the world’s leading global technology companies, Bosch, to cut costs for the oyster industry.
The Yield has signed a direct investment deal with Bosch to advance its “Internet of Things” (IoT) research and technological applications.
Robert Bosch Australia president Gavin Smith said the company’s engineering and manufacturing capability, built up in the local automotive component business, would now be applied to agriculture and aquaculture.
“The Yield's innovative managed solutions could be the next big thing to lift Australia's agricultural productivity, combining Big Data analytics with grass-roots farming know-how,” Mr Smith said.
"Bosch’s investment in The Yield is part of the local subsidiary‘s diversification strategy, and a sign of confidence in the global potential for The Yield’s managed solutions.”
With the aid of an Accelerating Commercialisation grant from the Federal Government, The Yield will release the first of its patented IoT solutions in the coming months.
The Yield managing director Ros Harvey said the first application of the novel technology would be used by the oyster industry, but agricultural solutions were also in the pipeline.
Ms Harvey said Big Data analytics could help improve productivity throughout the entire food value chain.
“The benefits can extend to growers, wholesalers and retailers and also to government food regulators,” she said.
“We intend to develop our solutions in Australia and then aggressively scale globally.
“The partnership with Bosch is an important part of that strategy.”
The Yield’s Oyster Solution would reduce unnecessary harvest closures that cost the industry millions of dollars a year, aid labor scheduling based on localised tides and improve food safety tracking.
Ms Harvey said it was estimated the oyster industry lost $34 million a year in closures, mainly due to rain, which affected water salinity.
Currently, food safety and environmental authorities used information from the nearest weather station, when determining whether to open or close leases.
“Not only can we predict salinity levels, using data analytics, if it can be predicted when the leases are to be closed, growers can get stock out of the water, prior to that happening,” Ms Harvey said.
“What we are doing is making that regulatory system more efficient, as we are better able to predict the actual levels of salinity the oysters are drinking.
“Using our technology, we can improve the productivity for the farmer and farm gate returns and also reduce cost of running compliance systems.”
National Farmers Federation CEO Simon Talbot, welcomed the announcement.
“Bosch’s investment in The Yield is exactly the sort of shot in the arm the Australian AgTech industry needs,” Mr Talbot said.
"We see enormous potential to develop AgTech in Australia which can increase our own agricultural productivity but also grow knowledge-intensive exports of the future.”