FarmSense, an agtech startup, has recently announced its selection as one of the top three finalists in Bayer’s 2023 Grants4Tech Pest Monitor Challenge. This global competition aims to identify innovative technologies that can detect and identify pests in crops at an early stage, allowing for optimized crop protection solutions. FarmSense has been invited to the finalist event, which will take place in Germany from September 4th to 8th, 2023, where they will showcase their groundbreaking FlightSensor™ technology.
The goal of Bayer’s Grants4Tech Pest Monitor Challenge is to revolutionize pest management in the agriculture industry by finding novel approaches to detect and combat pests. By identifying pests at an early infestation stage, farmers can apply targeted crop protection solutions and minimize the need for broad-spectrum pesticide use, thereby reducing costs and environmental impact. The challenge provides a platform for startups like FarmSense to showcase their innovative solutions and contribute to sustainable agriculture practices.
Dr. Leslie Hickle, co-founder, and CEO of FarmSense, expressed the team’s excitement at being named a top three finalist. Dr. Hickle believes that the FlightSensor™ has the potential to transform the agriculture industry, and they are eager to demonstrate its capabilities to the competition participants. FarmSense’s selection as a finalist validates its dedication to revolutionizing pest management and highlights the potential impact of its technology.
During the four-day finalist event, FarmSense and the other two finalists will have the opportunity to present their technology to Bayer leadership, representatives from industry leaders, startups, research institutions, and multiple media outlets. This event serves as a platform to showcase the capabilities of the FlightSensor™ and gain exposure in the agricultural community. The winner of the competition will be announced on the final day of the event, with a secondary monetary prize awarded to finalists who meet additional stringent criteria set by Bayer’s review panel. Moreover, Bayer will consider finalists with promising and convincing solutions for potential collaboration and implementation.
FarmSense’s FlightSensor™ stands out as an award-winning technology that integrates patented technology, computational entomology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and real-time analytics to enhance insect monitoring and crop management efforts. The FlightSensor™ represents a significant advancement in pest management, as it saves farmers valuable time, labor, and money while reducing the reliance on pesticides and improving crop yields. By providing real-time insect counts and classifications, the FlightSensor™ equips farmers with critical information for making timely decisions on crop and pest control.
The recognition and success of FarmSense extend beyond the Grants4Tech Pest Monitor Challenge. Founded in 2016, FarmSense has already received over $2 million in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding in 2021. This funding supports the development of biosecurity measures against both native and invasive pests. The company’s strong commitment to innovation and excellence has garnered attention from prominent entities such as Microsoft, Google, the US Department of Defense, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Agriculture, the National Institutes of Health, and many others.
FarmSense’s journey from an incubator business at the University of California Riverside to a top finalist in Bayer’s prestigious competition showcases its dedication to simplifying pest management and providing farmers with the tools they need to make informed decisions. The company’s FlightSensor™ technology represents a significant breakthrough in the agriculture industry, and its potential impact on sustainable farming practices cannot be overstated.
Image provided by FarmSense