BOSCH Australia are continuing their feet first jump into agriculture with the announcement of a new partnership with Monash University.
A key outcome of the collaboration will be the establishment of a unique facility, focused on agricultural technology and innovation.
Monash University said the facility will occupy one hectare of the Bosch headquarters in Melbourne’s south-east.
Described as an “ag-tech launch-pad”, the facility will house a prototype “smart farm” and enable collaborative industry partnerships and research, Monash said.
“The vision is to innovate new smart farming techniques including automated harvesting, sensing networks and driverless vehicles in response to the growing challenges faced by the agriculture sector.”
Monash said the space will be used for cropping trials and early-stage prototype development.
“Enabling the use of artificial intelligence, automation, robotics and advanced sensor technology,” it said.
Monash University, deputy vice-chancellor and vice-president (enterprise), Ken Sloan, said the collaboration would lead to future advancement of agricultural technologies , which he said, was the next big growth industry for Australia.
“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,” he said.
“We need inventions to increase yields, nutrient quality and sustainability of our food production to cope with the world demand and climate.”
Mr Sloan said the facility adds to Monash’s food and agricultural investments, including the Food Innovation Centre, the Food Incubator and the Australia-China Dairy Manufacturing Centre.
Global technology and manufacturing company Bosch have made significant investments in agricultural technology over the last year.
Recent global announcements include a collaboration with Bayer on “smart spraying” technology.
Closer to home, Bosch Australia has partnered with SwarmFarm to provide engineering and manufacturing services for its autonomous agricultural robotic platform.