Ag-tech facility to make Melbourne smart faming hub

£2.5m initiative to explore post-Brexit agri-food sector
Credit: Nolanberg11

Spurred on by a vision to create innovative new smart farming tech in Australia, a first-of-its-kind ag-tech facility will be established Melbourne’s southeast.

A partnership between Monash University and Bosch Australia, the ag-tech launch pad facility and accompanying development centre that will occupy one hectare at Bosch’s headquarters in Clayton.

The facility will house a prototypical ‘smart farm’ and will enable collaborative industry partnerships and research.

The space will include cropping trials and early-stage prototype development, enabling the use of AI, automation, robotics and advanced sensor technology.

The development comes at a crucial time for Australia with efforts to boost agricultural and food productivity in what is to become the biggest industrial sector by 2050, overtaking minerals and mining.

It will add to the thriving billion dollar investment hub known as the Clayton Innovation Precinct.

“We need inventions to increase yields, nutrient quality and sustainability of our food production to cope with the world demand and climate,” said Monash Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Enterprise), Ken Sloan.

“This 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 facility will become a key component of food and agricultural innovation at Monash which already includes the Food Innovation Centre, the Food Incubator, and the Australia-China Dairy Manufacturing Centre.