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2024 GRDC GroundUp program

The GRDC GroundUp program aims to accelerate solutions for Australia's grains sector.

The cohort for our 2024 GRDC GroundUp program

From artificial intelligence for decision-making to grain grading transformation, the 2024 GRDC GroundUp program is set to fast-track some incredible solutions for the grains sector. 

Supported by Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), GroundUp is a 12-week program for founders committed to working with industry to take their solution to the next level.

This year, 10 innovators have been selected to take part from the large number of quality applications lodged across Australia and abroad.

Our innovators

Compelling alternative to traditional synthetic chemicals

Bio10 is combining natural ingredients with the latest nano technology to develop a new way of pest remediation and prevention with modes of action including suffocation, abrasion and an invisible armour like residue coating. 

A compelling alternative to synthetic pesticides, Bio10’s products will repel all pests large and small with a single-treatment solution including mealy bugs, fire ants, termites, spider mites, russet mites, aphids and caterpillars.

Bio10’s vision is to revolutionise the agricultural product landscape for a future devoid of harmful synthetic chemicals.

Integrated AI as an effective and permanent bird deterrent solution  

BirdSol’s Cherrp® technology is an AI-powered, bird-deterrent solution that recognises birds and communicates to them in their own language. 

More specifically, the technology uses machine vision to identify a particular targeted bird species, while advanced AI algorithms then select contextual bio-acoustic sounds which are played to the birds, in their own language, to either repel or attract them. 

The technology is focused on solving a huge issue across the grains industry and wider horticultural sector, with estimates showing birds can reduce crop yields by an average 30-40%. 

One-stop platform for managing farm operations, compliance, staff and assets  

FarmSimple platform is a whole farm management solution designed to eliminate unnecessary paperwork. 

FarmSimple delivers a concise picture of an entire farming business, including grain and stock levels; usage of fuel, chemical, fertiliser and water; equipment maintenance cycles; staff workflow and timesheets; payment terms on contracts; and data records for compliance and declarations. 

Available on all smart devices and already used by more than 100 Australian farming businesses, the platform has been designed to lighten the administrative load on grain growers, connecting to other systems so that growers should only have to enter data once.  

Advancing global agriculture through state-of-the-art agricultural AI  

InFarm’s Fallow Weed solution offers farmers precise guidance on pesticide application, showing them where and how much to spray.  Fallow Weed calculates the exact amount of spray needed, reducing overfilling and consequently cutting down herbicide costs. Its spot spraying approach also significantly reduces the frequency of tank refills, resulting in substantial time savings for farmers.  

By incorporating big data and AI technology, even in remote areas, it allows farmers to realise the benefits of the technology without an internet connection.  

Tailored biofertilisers and biofuels to help farmers thrive  

MADE offers locally produced biofertilisers and biofuels that reduce farmers’ reliance on synthetic fertilisers while improving yields and reducing costs through improved soil health.  

MADE Biohubs, Biofertilisers, biofuels and biomanufacturing reduce farmers costs, improve profitability, and increase yields and productivity for the long-term through improved soil health. As climate change increases the already substantial risks farmers face, MADE’s innovation will enhance farms future financial, sustainable viability and help regional communities to thrive in new ways. 

Its high-quality digestate-based biofertilisers are tailored to plant needs, soil and climate conditions, optimising nutrient management by rebalancing the soil microbiome to improve plant health and yields, build soil health and reduce disease pressures. Its biomethane substitutes 1:1 for diesel, providing a local, reliable, and more affordable supply of fuel for farm plant and operations. 

Nitrogen concentration estimation system delivering fertiliser savings

Messium’s satellite Nitrogen Estimator delivers valuable insights on nitrogen concentration levels in wheat, enabling farmers to make substantial savings in annual fertiliser costs.

The solution leverages cutting-edge hyperspectral satellite constellations to capture daily farm imagery. This allows at least one successful weekly image to be processed using state-of-the-art machine learning techniques; these are used to generate nitrogen dilution curves for each field. From this, farmers can determine whether crops are above or below the optimum nitrogen concentration.

The solution provides rate and timing recommendations for fertiliser application to bring the nitrogen concentration back in line with the optimum level, based on the critical nitrogen dilution curve.

Helping growers reduce nitrogen inputs

Agriculture is under increasing pressure to remain highly productive relying on chemical inputs such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Nitrogen fertiliser is agriculture’s largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to river pollution, whilst world phosphorus reserves are declining, and phosphorus efficiency is exceedingly low.

Metagen’s product, DIGESTOR, proudly supported by our commercial soil DNA lab, reduces reliance on these inputs by significantly improving the efficiency of resources already present in the soil. DIGESTOR specifically stimulates indigenous soil biology, increasing the activity of microbes responsible for nitrogen fixation, cycling and phosphorus solubilisation.

These changes in soil health also benefit the plants in many other ways, such as increases in disease suppression and water-use efficiency. It is possible to supply your crop with adequate nitrogen by leveraging your soil’s resources.

Supporting growers to become fuel self-sufficient

Seed 2 Diesel is establishing a technology that enables oilseed growers to become fuel self-efficient through their own crops. The platform offers a service to oilseed growers within 150km of a Seed 2 Diesel facility, where it picks up oilseed, and extracts and cleans the oil which is then processed into biodiesel.

This biodiesel is then returned to the grower for use in their agricultural equipment. An oilseed press generates high protein oilseed meal, which can be fed to livestock and used as a behaviour modifier. The oilseeds that can be used include sunflower, safflower, soybean, canola, peanut, flax, mustard, cotton sesame, hemp.

Seed 2 Diesel says its economic model delivers many benefits, including fuel with a lower logistics Co2 footprint, increased fuel security and pressure on local fuel pricing through increased competition. Carbon accountants consider that for every 1000L of biodiesel used, CO2 emissions are reduced by 2.6 tonnes.

Taking the guesswork out of paddock planning

SKAN Farming Logistics has developed an AI-powered platform that automatically generates the best paddock paths for growers.

PaddockPlan – Live analyses paddock shapes and obstacles to instruct operators on the most efficient way to work their paddock.

The platform has been designed to suit all growers, regardless of the brand or age of machinery they use.

By using this tech to optimise paddock paths, farmers can reduce the amount of time spent on machinery, resulting in significant cost savings for those with big operations. Reduced machine hours also mean lower carbon emissions.

AI-powered tech transforming grain grading

Walco Seed Cleaning is on a mission to harness the power of AI and machine learning technologies to revolutionise grain grading.

Its AI for Grain Grading solution aims to optimise grain quality assessment for farmers while also streamlining the grading process.

Utilising the validated platforms of industry leaders GoMicro and PB Agrifood, Walco Seed Cleaning is making key advancements in grain grading methods with a new device known as “The Grain Detective”. This includes transitioning from static photos to dynamic video-based analysis, enabling faster and more comprehensive grain assessments. This evolution not only expedites the evaluation process but also enhances accuracy and reliability, empowering farmers with swift and precise insights into their grain quality.

The Grain Detective is transforming how grain is graded and giving growers unprecedented insights, giving them the confidence in knowing that their produce is at the highest standard, securing them maximum return at the point of delivery.  The Grain Detective will also, consistently, repeatedly and accurately assess samples during seed grading, ensuring the grower has everything in hand when it comes to sowing their next season’s crop.

Why groundup
  • Access to the industry and supply chain network of the Agtech and Logistics Hub and AgriBusiness Connect
  • Participation in field demonstrations to learn from growers and hear about their challenges
  • Tailored support in industry validation and deployment
  • Access to the Agtech and Logistics Hub, including co-working spaces
  • Access to an industry-specific mentor network
  • Investment readiness support and investment facilitation
  • Opportunities for profile and promotion locally and nationally, including at a ‘Demo Day’ event
  • Hybrid-model accelerator delivered weekly
  • Online mentoring sessions available weekly with real-world knowledge and experiences
showcase Day

Attend our 2024 GRDC GroundUp Demo Day on August 29, which will see innovators involved in the accelerator program showcase their solutions for the grains sector to potential investors and end-users.

GROWING INNOVATION

Powered by AgriBusiness Connect, Agtech and Logistics Hub is Australia’s home of digital agriculture and premier agribusiness innovation hub, working with innovators to fast-track the development of solutions in the agrifood sector.

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GRDC GroundUp Showcase Day

Discover some of Australia’s most innovative solutions for the grains sector at our 2024 GRDC GroundUp Showcase Day.