Sunday 18th Mar, 2018

Monash, Bosch partner up for ‘smart farm’ research site

Graphic: Bosch
Graphic: Bosch

Automated harvesting techniques, sensing networks and driverless vehicles will all be on the menu at a new ag-tech facility to be built by Bosch Australia and Monash University in Melbourne’s southeast.

The facility and accompanying development centre will occupy one hectare at Bosch’s headquarters in Clayton.

It will include a prototypical ‘smart farm’ and will enable collaborative industry partnerships and research, Bosch and Monash said this week.

“This Monash-Bosch collaboration represents our shared capabilities in agriculture technology and creates the opportunity to lead future advancement of the ag-tech sector – the next big growth industry for Australia,” Monash deputy vice-chancellor and vice-president (enterprise) Ken Sloan said.

“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.

“The 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.”

The joint project will facilitate cropping trials and early-stage prototype development, enabling the use of artificial intelligence, automation, robotics and advanced sensor technology, a joint statement said.

“Increasingly we see that there is no better place than Australia for ag-tech innovation,” Bosch Australia president Gavin Smith said. “The establishment of the launch pad by Monash at our facility in Clayton will present a myriad of opportunities for collaboration.”