FarmSense, a Riverside, CA-based pest management AgTech startup, obtained $2.2 Million in SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) funding. The latest funds will be specifically used for biosecurity research and to understand the impact of Japanese Beetles and Gypsy Moths as invasive species.
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The startup used a technology that senses insects on a crop (via FlightSensor™), classifies insect types, sends data to the FarmSense cloud via wireless, aggregates data from all the traps deployed in crop fields, and provides actionable intelligence about insect prevalence.
“The growing consensus is that early detection and rapid response is the best solution to the pest issues facing us. However, early detection has been a challenge due to lack of robust automatic surveillance systems,”Dr. Shailendra Singh, FarmSense co-founder and CTO.
Purpose of Funding
The SBIR funds will help FarmSense advance its pest-monitoring technology, especially to:
- Investigate how the FlightSensor can improve invasive pest control for rural communities in California
- Test new classification models and algorithms that can detect multiple commercially significant species
- Explore ways to reduce power requirements and improve battery life for FlightSensors
Awards and Grants Won by FarmSense
FarmSense has won several innovation awards and grants, including:
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Award
- Vodafone Wireless Innovation Award
- National Science Foundation Award
Setting Up Insect Detection Traps
Why FarmSense has attracted funding and press coverage is interesting. The technology it has come up with essentially detects insect densities–and the plagues that come with them. It does so by detecting the ‘insect buzz.’
Startempire Wire also reported about StarNav, a startup that obtained SBIR contracts from the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force. “The startup develops special navigation receivers to provide positioning without GPS. Its target customer is the Department of Defense (DoD). This is especially useful when facing GPS jamming and spoofing.”
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