Periodic Reporting for period 1 - StemSense (A precise irrigation sensor system to provide an accurate indication of water status in crops and deliver increased yields to farmers)
Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2016-05-31
There is an increasing global pressure on water resources and ensuring there is a sufficient supply in the face of climate change. This is of particular prevalence within the agriculture industry where irrigation is becoming increasingly important. Farmers typically overwater plants by 20% due to insufficient knowledge of plant water status resulting in significant waste water and lowering plant yields. Saturas have developed StemSense, a unique sensor device that measures Stem Water Potential (SWP). SWP is scientifically proven to provide the most accurate data on plant water status. The overall objectives of this development project are to design and engineer a miniaturised sensor that can be deployed in a wide variety of plants; to scale-up production of StemSense with a contract manufacturer; and to demonstrate and validate the technology in in-field trials with farmers across Europe. The overall objective is to reach full commercialisation of StemSense as a reliable innovation validated by the relevant end-users, farmers.
Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far
Saturas undertook a full analysis of both the technical and business potential of the StemSense sensor device establishing early on the potential ways to commercialise the device through Europe and calculating five year financial projections based on these sale channels. Saturas thoroughly analysed its current level of development and reviewed the results of their alpha trials to understand necessary technical improvements. Saturas adjusted their overall project objectives according to what had been completed and the technical activities that remain to achieve commercialisation. During the PH1 project Saturas established both engineering and industrialisation plans. Within the business feasibility, Saturas addressed its value chain identifying early on strategic partnerships with suppliers, manufacturer and clients that will be fundamental to both the successful completion of the development phase and through commercialisation.
Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)
The expected outcome of the project is to start full commercialisation of Saturas’ SWP sensor device at the end of the development phase as a reliable innovation validated by the relevant end users. The StemSense solution will offer a highly disruptive solution to the agricultural industry whilst offering end users both water resource savings and higher crops yields. Saturas will also create jobs and boost economic growth for European SMEs and the overall agricultural industry.