Fenceless farming tech to collar pasture, profit.

Momentum is building for the Aussie company driving commercialisation of CSIRO’s virtual boundary technology.

AgTech startup Agersens has an initial strategic investor for its GPS-controlled cattle collar, dubbed eShepherd, and secured a spot at the National Farmers Federation’s SproutEx development accelerator in Melbourne, while a range of company and industry farm trials are in progress.

The pitch? “To provide a tool for farmers to automate grazing of livestock so they can increase productivity and profitability,” says Agersens founder and managing director Ian Reilly.

The product, patented from CSIRO’s experimental designs, is billed as a training program that habituates livestock to virtual boundaries – guided by audio cues and electrical pulse – operated through a smartphone, the collars on the animals are linked to a hub at an internet-connected homestead.

Mr Reilly, an engineer and product designer who grew up on a sheep and cattle farm in Victoria, spent 30 years working in aerospace, defence and medical sectors before he twigged to the idea of a cattle collar when he visited his dad’s Queensland property.

Animal welfare, environmental benefits and the bottom line all roll in to the Agersens package, he said.

agersens-founder-ian-reilly-says-new-tax-incentives-to-encourage-venture-capital-in-australia-are-key-for-the-future-of-agtech-down-under-image-supplied

Fenceless paddocks are the cheapest, best way to protect sensitive riverbanks and watercourses and the collars “can automate alerts to sick animals” as well as to redraw fence lines immediately, and for free.

Mr Reilly aims to get Agersens on the market next year. Next week, he will be at the investor pitchfest Tech23 in Sydney.

Dairy Australia secured $2.6 million government funding to trial the product for four years in conjunction with Rural Development Corporations.

Read more.

Professor Duncan Campbell to present on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) in Regional Australia

Professor Duncan Campbell, Director of QUT’s Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation to present on utilising unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) in Regional Australia at the Australian Regional Development Conference being held 26– 27 August 2015 in Albury.

Professor Duncan Campbell

Professor Duncan Campbell

Speaker Introduction: Professor Duncan Campbell is the Director of QUT’s Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA) in the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Discipline with the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He has 25 years of research leadership in control and automation.

Duncan serves as Treasurer on the Board of the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS) and was the IEEE Queensland Section Chapter Chair of the Control Systems/Robotics and Automation Society Joint Chapter (2008/2009). He is the Chair of CDIO Australian and New Zealand regional group of the global CDIO collaboration in engineering education, and was President of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education in 2011.

Duncan was the leader for the recently completed Project ResQu, a two year, $7M collaborative research partnership between QUT, CSIRO, Boeing Research & Technology Australia, Insitu Pacific Ltd and the Queensland State Government. Project ResQu fast-tracked research focusing on the enabling technologies and the regulatory environment toward the routine operation of unmanned aircraft.

Presentation Title: Flying Robots (Drones) in our Regional Areas

Overview: Unmanned Aircraft (UA), or as popularly referred to as drones, are rapidly becoming a ubiquitous technology with tremendous potential and impact in regional Australia. With lower population density than the metropolitan areas of our large cities, the lower risk profile provides avenues for more rapid adoption in certain areas.

We are already seeing significant interest and prospective productivity gains in agriculture, plant biosecurity, livestock management, feral animal management, native fauna conservation, infrastructure management and public safety.

There has been enormous progress made in technology and reduction in the cost of ownership of unmanned aircraft platforms, however, there remain a number of issues and challenges to be addressed before we see unmanned aircraft flying seamlessly and productively in airspace shared with manned aircraft users.

Public awareness and perception, insurance, cost of operation (rather than cost of ownership), regulatory compliance, airspace management compliance, safety management and advanced application technologies are receiving much attention, and there remains much to do.

This presentation gives a snapshot of the state of play today illustrating the opportunities, the challenges and the road ahead for this wave of disruptive technology.

About the Conference
The Australian Regional Development Conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation. The 2015 theme is “Redefining the Future of Regional Australia”, it will explore the issues and opportunities facing Regional Australia today and into the future.

  • Concurrent streams will focus on the following topics:
  • Sustainability / Renewables
  • Population Movements
  • Community Development
  • Government Policy
  • Innovation
  • Infrastructure
  • Cultural Tourism / Regional Tourism Development
  • Free Trade Agreements
  • Transport and Logistics
  • NBN / Broadband Communication
  • Banking / Finance

To view and/or download the Conference program, please click here.  For information on registration or to book your delegate pass, visit the website here.

Keynote Highlight: Len Olyott, Senior Consultant, Industry Solutions at Esri Australia

The Australian Regional Development Conference is pleased to announce Mr Len Olyott, Senior Consultant, Industry Solutions, Esri Australia will present a Keynote at the Commercial Club Albury on the 26– 27 August 2015.

The Conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation.

Len Olyott

Len Olyott

With over 18 years of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology experience, Len Olyott has a passion for helping government and industry organisations to realise the potential of GIS. As a senior consultant for the Esri Australia Industry Solutions team, Len specialises in working with government and private sector entities to develop location-based solutions to support organisational growth.

The author and co-author of several scientific articles, popular magazine articles and book chapters, Len’s experience has provided him with the opportunity to share his knowledge at a number of industry conferences around the world. Len’s particular passions include local government, geodesign and web GIS.

About Esri Australia

Esri Australia is the nation’s leading Geographic Information System (GIS) specialist. From humble beginnings in 1977 – a single office based in Perth – we have expanded into seven capital cities and have the capacity to service clients across the country. For almost 40 years we have worked with thousands of clients, across a diverse range of sectors. This gives us the confidence and capability to tackle any challenge, in any industry.

To us, geography is everything. GIS employs the science of geography to map and analyse information. As market leaders for GIS in Australia, we use cutting-edge technology to deliver valuable location-based intelligence to our clients – a process that helps them to see more and do more with their information. We are at the forefront of the $2.1 billion Australian GIS industry and have a peerless reputation for delivering solutions that transform how organisations identify opportunities and unlock potential.

Our people are problem solvers. Armed with premium products, the Esri Australia team applies an investigative, analytical approach to find solutions to the most complex challenges. We’ve successfully assembled Australia’s largest and most skilled group of GIS professionals including business analysts, environmental scientists, surveyors, cartographers and software developers. As a result, Esri Australia’s services continue to set both national and international benchmarks.

Underpinning our market position is a genuine passion for what we do. We are committed to making a difference – in the corporate world and wider community. This passion for the science behind GIS and our considered, insightful approach enables us to deliver exceptional results.

Collaboration is also central to the way we operate – with every assignment we bring our extensive experience and expertise. We’ve been an integral part of some of the most exciting GIS projects on Australian shores and work with the nation’s most progressive geo-enabled enterprises.

State and local governments and Federal agencies across the country, and fellow industry leaders, are among those who look to Esri Australia for truly transformative solutions.