Proveye secures €225,000 in funding from the European Space Agency – TechCentral.ie

Assist in the commercialization of AgTech’s rangeland management platform

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Jerome O’Connell, Proveye. Image: Nick Bradshaw, Fotonic

Proveye, an Irish AgTech company pioneering the use of digital image data for both agriculture and environmental protection, has received €225,000 in funding from the European Space Agency (ESA) through the ARTES 4.0 Downstream Applications Demonstration Fund.

The funding will support the company’s commercialization of its pasture management platform, which Proveye plans to bring to market in 2023.

Proveye integrates unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), satellites and artificial intelligence (AI) technology into a single platform that represents a new generation (or higher level) of accuracy and clarity in grassland mapping for agricultural advisors, seed suppliers, suppliers of agricultural resources, commodity brokers and government agencies.

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The funding builds on the success of Proveye’s previous work with the ESA on automated satellite image processing and UAV image analysis of grassy grasslands.

Grass is the world’s most important agricultural crop, occupying about 70% of agricultural land and supporting an industry worth about US$1 trillion. Pasture management currently lacks the precision available with cereals, with a farmer typically only running 5% of the farm area before making management decisions. With fertilizer prices increasing by 150% in the last year and pressure on farmers and food processors to produce food in a more sustainable way, rangeland advisors need digital services to effectively manage large areas of land.

The Proveye turf management platform integrates satellite and UAV imagery using AI methods to map turf yield and quality. Real-time yield information is critical to grazing management, grass forage, fertilization and turf growing.

University College Dublin (UCD), based at NovaUCD in Dublin, Proveye is also validating the platform in Ireland, Europe and New Zealand by engaging with pioneering customers through pilot field trials.

“We are delighted to receive this funding from the European Space Agency to further advance the commercialization of our grass management platform,” said Jerome O’Connell, CEO and co-founder of Proveye. “Through our platform, agro-consultants and resource providers will for the first time be able to provide the farmer with a complete near-100% accurate picture of their pastures in near real-time. This will enable the farmer to see 100% of the farm area down to plant-by-plant detail, which will be a game-changer in terms of the productivity and sustainability of grass-based agriculture.”

Professor Nick Holden, UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering, co-founder of Proveye, said: “Our technology has the potential to revolutionize grass management not only for the dairy and beef sector, but also for industries such as renewable energy production and based of grass biorefining.”

Proveye is an Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start-up company (HPSU).

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