A technology company that has helped Australian farmers remain profitable, even in the harsh environment of the outback, is opening an office in Cambridge to become part of the Agri-Tech Cluster and to collaborate with UK manufacturers, farmers and technologists.
Callum Chalmers is Business Development Manager for Farmscan AG, providers of electronics that can be used to steer, map, monitor and control spraying, spreading, planting and harvesting machinery.
He says: “Due to the greater efficiencies that our technology can deliver, farmers are able to turn ‘break even’ farming into a profitable enterprise. We are now looking to bring that advantage to farmers in the UK and Europe by working closely with manufacturers in both areas.”
Farmscan AG’s precision control software is compatible with most types of equipment and aims to provide software solutions that are tailored for manufacturer’s needs.
The company’s flagship product is the user friendly software platform The 7000 Series, which has been designed in a modular fashion. It allows farmers to accurately manage multiple bins or tanks with individual rates. With a customizable front screen displaying user selected information, the software can be configured for a range of applications.
Open up for integration
Farmscan AG is to become one of the first agri-tech companies to provide an application programming interface (API) for its software, which will open up its product for integration by other manufacturers.
Chalmers says: “We hope by providing an API, we can empower other agri-tech businesses and software developers to integrate the advanced functionality associated with our accurate mapping and precision control systems into their own products.”
An API is a set of routines, protocols and tools for building software applications that will specify how software components should interact. A good API makes it easier to develop a program by providing all the building blocks ready for use.
Chalmers continues: “By allowing our software to run in conjunction with other applications, companies will be able to create their own technical solutions to problems, building on our investment in high quality precision control systems.”
The decision to begin trading in the UK came after the company gained an enthusiastic global response to their new product range.
Chalmers says: “After attending major trade shows around the world with growing international success, the European office became the next logical step. The UK has always had close links with Australia, with its similar business culture and proximity to Europe, and Cambridge became an attractive choice.
“Farmscan AG’s background in research and development for agri-tech makes our core business practice suitable for the UK’s economic plan, with its growing investment into the agri-tech industry and support for new technology companies.”
Dr. Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-Tech East, is excited to welcome Farmscan AG as members: “It is great to have Callum and Farmscan AG on board. Its innovative software platform and open approach to product development will be a benefit to other members and the UK farming community in general.”