The visit was part of the Embassy’s mission to keep Australian businesses informed about opportunities developing in Ireland around AgriTech
The Australian Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Richard Andrews and Mrs. Saovanee Andrews, have visited WIT’s Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) as part of a trade mission to explore business opportunities and areas for collaboration between Australia and Ireland, particularly in the area of agriculture-technology (AgriTech).
Speaking during his visit, Mr. Andrews said that he was delighted to make his second visit to Waterford as Australia’s Ambassador to Ireland in order to further improve the agri-tech industry in both countries. “Agri-tech is an area in which both Australia and Ireland have strong expertise, and one where we’d expect the Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement currently under negotiation to open up new opportunities.”
“This is the second time we have welcomed the Australian Ambassador to WIT”, Kevin Doolin, Director of Innovation at TSSG said. “Visits such as these are important to remind Australian businesses of the opportunities available to them in Ireland, particularly in the area of Agri-Tech.” he continued.
Access to ICT and Agri-Tech experience at TSSG.
The Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) research centre is growing its expertise in the application of ICT to the Agriculture industry. It has multiple ICT/Agri initiatives underway including SmartAgriHubs, a €20 million Pan-European project to digitalise the Agri-food sector in the EU, and Cybele, with the help of Super Computers will help vineyards globally improve grape quality and yields.
Over the last number of years TSSG has applied their expertise to Internet of Things technologies for Dairy Farming (PrecisionDairy) and milk production forecasting with some of Ireland’s largest dairy processors (Glanbia and Dairygold).
The recently launched SFI Research Centre called VistaMilk is a €40m National Research Centre for Agri-Tech programme funded by both SFI and The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. This project sees TSSG partner with TEAGASC (national agricultural research and advisory service), Tyndall (research in sensor manufacturing) and Insight (data analytics research centre) to investigate and build technologies to advance precision agriculture in the dairy sector. In particular, the project will focus on improving the condition and efficiencies in the areas of pasture management, animal health, animal well-being and food production.
PhD research underway in TSSG includes work on sensor networks for FOG computing/agri – compressed learning of smart datasets in smart agri-tech to identify early lameness detection with on-cow sensor networks. TSSG is also a partner in the SFI Research Centre, CONNECT and hosts its IoT Testbed, Pervasive Nation (https://connectcentre.ie/pervasive-nation/), with an internal infrastructure team available to build testbeds for any future agri-tech projects. TSSG is located on a site of 175 acres, with pasture land, access to water ways, forestry and other natural habitats, adding to the richness of work that can be done by both the applied and basis researchers.
L-R: Mr. Kevin Doolin, Mr. Richard Andrews, Dr. Richard Hayes, Mr. Brian Foley, Dr. Tony Woodcock, Ms. Anne Dunphy, Ms. Hazel Williams. Netlabs, TSSG, WIT West Campus Carriganore. Photo: George Goulding
Smart Agri Hubs – TSSG Leads the Way.
Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) Research Centre TSSG, is playing a central role as Regional Cluster Leader, in the digital transformation of the agri-food sector in Europe.
SmartAgriHubs, a €20 million project, aims to build a pan-European network of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) and Centres of Competence in all 28 European Member States co-ordinated through nine regional clusters. The SmartAgriHubs project is a new way for farmers, advisors and agri-tech SME’s to engage with research centres and research-active higher education institutions. As part of the project 80 new solutions will be introduced into the market.
As the co-ordinator for the UK and Ireland regional cluster WIT, which has developed smart agri expertise through its Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) research centre, will be the central point of contact for farmers, advisors, agri-tech and agri-food companies who want to apply technology solutions from across Europe to farming and business problems.
The Australian Ambassador’s visit came ahead of the first official meeting of the SmartAgriHubs consortium due to take place in Prague next week.
The three-day conference will gather representatives from Digital Innovation Hubs, Innovation Experiments and Competence Centres from all over Europe. Over 164 Partners will have the opportunity to network, share their knowledge and common challenges for the first time in an interactive and dynamic event, which will also serve as an introduction to the structure and purpose of SmartAgriHubs
The Australian Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Richard Andrews said “I’m very keen to explore new areas for cooperation. Countries like Australia and Ireland will have an important role to play in solving the problem of feeding a growing global population sustainably, and it will be important for our farmers and our agri-tech sectors to work closely together.”