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“We want to grow more food for the world in a smaller parcel of land. Then, as a by-product, we get the biomass to create renewable energy and fuels, which are more efficient than fossil… It’s growing food, green energy, and lower emissions for climate change – all powered by data and AI”.
AgBioEn is investing AU$2 billion in a ‘farm to fuel’ initiative that aims to turn agricultural crop waste with large amounts of biomass into renewable energy and fuels. This unprecedented initiative is Australia’s first fully integrated, carbon negative, renewable energy and fuels project.
For AgBioEn to flourish as a biofuel producer, it needs to have exceptional yields on its crops and at the same time, show a low carbon footprint. Higher yields are crucial to producing greater biomass (i.e., stalks and waste), which is processed to generate green energy and fuel.
Collaborating with La Trobe University agronomists, AgBioEn needed a market leading technology provider with strong cloud expertise to provide an advanced IoT solution to capture all the information needed above and below ground to maximise crop yield and optimise management for future land health.
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Our fearless approach
With no suitable ready-made, cost-effective technologies available on the market, LAB3 designed and implemented ground-breaking technology to revolutionise the crop production process by harnessing the power of the cloud.
The technology used to capture the data, in real-time above and below ground included:
Gaining insight from Data for informed decision making
In the cloud, raw information is managed securely with Azure Sphere and instantly aggregated into a central data lake.
LAB3’s specialised data science techniques are then applied to allow the reams of complex and intricate data to be presented in an easy to read and digestible format for both the university agronomists and by AgBioEn as the land manager.
Having access to accurate and comprehensive data strengthens the ability of researchers’ to conduct experiments and provide better crop management strategies to AgBioEn.
LAB3’s IoT technologies and data-driven insights empowered AgBioEn and the university research team to make well-informed, real-time decisions to maximise crop yield.
Within six months, AgBioEn saw an increase in crop yields, higher levels of carbon captured in the soil (i.e., less carbon emission) and higher levels of biomass (greater agricultural mass).
“We have leveraged the broad Azure ecosystem and a range of advanced IoT and cognitive services to build a platform that will grow with AgBioEn as it expands into fuel production and explores exciting national and international opportunities” – Alain Blanchette Director of Data, IoT and AI, LAB3
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