Agtech startup Origo Farm wins $375K Accelerating Commercialisation grant

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// The fifth Accelerating Commercialisation grant awarded to a WA company this year has gone to the monitoring, control and connectivity agtech solution, ‘Origo.farm’.

The $60B Australian ag industry is wide, dispersed and is attracting an influx of agtech and specifically Internet of Things (IoT) technology applications.

At last count, over 120 separate agtech IoT products were active in the Australian marketplace, and the list seems to grow almost weekly.

However, nearly all these products focus on monitoring/dashboards only. This means they can provide all kinds of lovely colourful charts and graphs, but if the farmer has limited or patchy internet connection across the paddock, or they can’t get the data into the dashboards, then the agtech solution is not that helpful.

Checking the operations of a remote Origo.farm sensor

Founder and CEO Annie Brox set out to solve this issue with the development of the ‘Origo.farm‘ system.

Backed by prominent farmers and high net worth individuals in the sector, plus a recent $375K Accelerating Commercialisation grant, the team are developing a scalable ‘kit’ solution that can be sold to Australian farmers that will provide:

  • appropriate and sufficient internet connectivity where required across the paddock;
  • hardware devices that will work in the environment;
  • software that will collect, analyse and present the data to the farmer on a PC or mobile;
  • the ability to control assets remotely on the farm; and
  • which is locally made and supported.

“It’s a holistic, end-to-end solution that has been built specifically with the Australian farmer in mind, by a local Australian company,” Annie told Startup News.

“The system allows the farmer to not only monitor (water tank levels, soil moisture…) but also control (turn on irrigation pumps, open/close gates…) remotely, while also providing internet connectivity.”

Annie Brox, Origo Farm

Of all the products on the Australia market, there is none that aim to provide all this, and for a set-up fee and ongoing price that has been tested and accepted using pilot trials.

A remote weather station, part of the Origo.farm solution

Annie and her team have put in almost $1 million into developing the system over the past five years, and have run more than 20 pilot trials at various sites around WA.

Originally from a farming background in Europe, Annie has been working in ICT and telecommunications since the 1980s, and so brings both sides of these industries together.

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Images: Origo.farm’s IoT devices in the field. For more on Origo, please visit their website.

Accelerating Commercialisation has provided 23 grants to WA companies over the past few years, totalling more than $12M. For more information on the AC grant, contact Charlie Gunningham or Sheryl Frame in WA, or visit the AC website.