Plant water status tool to help with irrigation scheduling

Monday, 06 August, 2012

A grant worth almost $300,000 from Commercialisation Australia is set to help a South Australian company to commercialise an innovative technology to inform crop irrigation scheduling. The technology responds to the need for farmers to have sophisticated measurement tools to help them optimise their total water usage.

Developed with the help of a 2009 Climate Ready Grant, Measurement Engineering Australia’s Plant Water Status System is a cost-effective product that measures the water stress of an individual plant and then transmits that data wirelessly to a web interface. Its inventors believe it is far more accurate than existing technologies and is a world first. The technology distinguishes itself by collecting critical crop status data over the length and breadth of a property to inform irrigation scheduling.

A $290,149 Early Stage Commercialisation grant from Commercialisation Australia will help the company develop software and web integration, design and construct assembly plant, develop product housing for robust product design and to provide simplified data interpretation models.

Commercialisation Australia has announced $7.5 million in funding to 11 innovative businesses and researchers, and two existing participants, working to drive change in the Australian economy. That brings the total assistance provided since its inception to $120 million, to a total of 303 participants.

“Commercialisation Australia is helping our talented entrepreneurs and researchers convert their innovative research and intellectual property into successful marketable products,” said Commercialisation Australia CEO Doron Ben-Meir.

“We provide grants, on a competitive basis, from as little as $10,000 to as much as $2 million for a range of eligible activities carefully designed to match the needs of early stage business builders.

“Commercialisation Australia has a successful track record of helping entrepreneurs at the early stages, when it is typically very difficult to raise capital. Since money is a necessary but insufficient ingredient for success, we also give them access to a highly experienced case manager and a network of experienced volunteer business mentors. Such associations help participants build their business skills and make the kind of connections that lead to market success.”

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