Ag Tech News
New Ag-tech facility to make Melbourne smart farming hub
A first-of-its-kind ag-tech facility will be established in Melbourne’s’ southeast with the vision to innovate new smart farming techniques including automated harvesting and driverless vehicles in response to the growing challenges faced by the agriculture sector.
A partnership between Monash University and Bosch Australia to collaborate on future-oriented smart agriculture will enable the establishment of the ag-tech launch pad facility and accompanying development centre that will occupy one hectare at Bosch’s headquarters in Clayton.
The facility will house a prototypical ‘smart farm’ and will enable collaborative industry partnerships and research. The space will include cropping trials and early-stage prototype development, enabling the use of artificial intelligence, automation, robotics and advanced sensor technology.
The development comes at a crucial time for Australia with efforts to boost agricultural and food productivity in what is to become the biggest industrial sector by 2050, overtaking minerals and mining. It will add to the thriving billion dollar investment hub known as the Clayton Innovation Precinct.
Monash Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Enterprise), Ken Sloan said the facility would leverage the University’s close connections to industry and multidisciplinary capabilities across Engineering, IT and Science, to drive technological advances in agriculture.
“With rising temperatures and rapid population growth requiring food production to double by mid-century - it’s clear we need major innovations in how we eat and farm. We need inventions to increase yields, nutrient quality and sustainability of our food production to cope with the world demand and climate.
“This ag-tech launch-pad could prove instrumental in driving long-term collaborative efforts to address global food security and significantly advance farming practices to safeguard against rising demands.”