Opxflo, Ripe Robotics, Anderson Horticulture and Pairtree Intelligence receive grants

Melody Labinsky
By Melody Labinsky
January 19 2022 - 11:30am
Ripe Robotics has developed an autonomous robot to harvest apples, oranges and stone fruit and has received a grant from the federal government. Picture: Shaun Paterson

The federal government is committing $12.2 million in funding to entrepreneurs around the country, including some in the agtech industry.

Four agtech businesses developing innovative products for the broadacre cropping and horticultural sectors have received a share of the funding, as have businesses from the health, mining and renewables sectors.

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Victorian business Opxflo has received $860,000 in funding to accelerate the commercialisation of its seed coating and drying module.

Based on the company's intellectual property, it has developed the C. 1-S seed coating and drying module, which is set to create efficiencies for seed companies and farmers.

The Hawthorn-based company is in a trial project partnership with Barenburg.

Fellow Victorian company Ripe Robotics has developed an autonomous robot to harvest apples, oranges and stone fruit.

It has received $571,567 to help commercialise the machine.

In time it is hoped the robots can reach commercial scale autonomous harvesting and, in turn, lower production costs and increase the competitiveness of Australian fruit exports.

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Domestic and international avocado growers will benefit from Anderson Horticulture's micropropagated avocado trees.

The company is working to improve resource use efficiency, eliminate disease and increase accessibility to trees and fruit across the globe.

A $403,558 grant has been given to the business based at Duranbah, NSW.

Once commercialised, this technology can be used for the subsequent development of micropropagation techniques in other tree crops.

Pairtree Intelligence has received $170,000 for the development of its data integration service, Farm Junction Point.

The company, based at Orange, NSW, will use the funding to help complete three commercial proof of concept trials with Syngenta ANZ.

FJB will integrate Internet of Things, satellite, app and software data to create decision support tools for agronomists and farmers.

The platform is aimed at improving crop health and assisting in better chemical selection thanks to data being stored in one place.

Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the grants will help home-grown companies grow, commercialise their products and gain further investments to enter new domestic and international markets.

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"We are proud to support Australian companies take their innovative technologies and products to the next level through the commercialisation process," Mr Taylor said.

"These latest projects are all great examples of Australian innovations - many across high-skilled manufacturing priorities - which have remarkable potential to improve the quality of our lives, create new jobs and support our economic recovery."

Twenty-two projects received accelerating commercialisation grants in the latest round of the Australian government's entrepreneurs' program.

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Melody Labinsky

Melody Labinsky

National machinery and agtech writer

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