Drone Ag is thrilled to announce the start of a new, two-year, Innovate UK grant-fundedproject. Drone Ag has been successful in receiving a grant of £610,000, which wasconditional on raising at least that amount from private investors. Bruce Colley, ProgramManager from Innovate UK said “I am delighted that our grant funding has helped toderisk Drone Ag’s ambitious technology plans sufficiently to encourage further privateinvestment.”
Funding from Innovate UK will enable Drone Ag to develop an innovative and automatedaerial drone-based system for the testing and validation of new agricultural products.This platform will be useful in the methodologies of both research and commercialtrials.
The investment is led by a consortia of partners including the Business InnovationCentre (BIC) together with Innovation SuperNetwork (Newcastle Angel Hub),NorthInvest, Fund Her North and the UKBAA.
Jordan Dargue, Head of Access to Finance at Innovation SuperNetwork said “We’vesupported Drone Ag from the start of their journey and are thrilled to help them receivethis grant from Innovate UK. The technology that Drone Ag are developing isground-breaking and the funding is going to help them achieve their goals of a fastermore efficient plot analysis automation. I’m looking forward to watching how this projectunfolds over the next two years.”
Currently, data gathering and analysis still relies on hand measurements with manyman-hours in the field. Ruth Mann, Head of Integrated Crop Technologies at Agrii added,“Trials programmes are in desperate need of innovation, As most monitoring is still donevisually, manually, and in person.” Drone Ag’s specialism in drone automation, artificialintelligence, and data pipelines means that its trial plot analysis automation will allowcompanies and research bodies to monitor and assess trials with a far greater level ofspeed, precision and repeatability than current methods.
Working with support from industry leaders such as Agrii, Eurofins AgroscienceServices, and UPL, we aim to provide fully automated drone flights from on-site basestations, as frequently as desired. Offering unparalleled analysis and integrationpowered by our proprietary artificial intelligence, allowing companies to monitor, assessand interrogate their trials with greater accuracy at a fraction of the cost in time.
Graham Poulton, Global Head of Agronomic Digital Innovation Team at UPL added, “UPLare excited to see DroneAg’s solutions being applied to Research & Development trials.We are very supportive as we see many benefits to our own operations, including staffwell-being. We hope in supporting this others will also come to benefit, which is alignedto UPLs OpenAg mission”.
Jack Wrangham founder of Drone Ag added, “Crop research and development is anextremely important factor in moving agriculture toward infinite sustainability. We arevery excited to receive Innovate UKs backing, and support from Agrii, UPL and Eurofinsto help develop a version of the Skippy Scout platform that will revolutionise crop trialsmonitoring and analysis.”