Monday, 25 March 2013 10:30

Funding boost for large herd trials

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A large-herd testing project for their world-first sensor-based wireless monitoring systems used to track health and fertility in cows has received a funding boost.

Callaghan Innovation will provide $1 million towards testing the biotelemetry-based rumen and fertility monitoring devices which measure temperature, pH levels and identify oestrus indicators in cows. The devices, developed by technology company Kahne Animal Health, track and transmit data to provide farmers with health alerts and reports to help with the early detection of health problems, effectiveness of nutrition management, disorders that could impact fertility, and accurate oestrus detection.


Kahne chief executive, Susanne Clay, says while there is a global market for the technology, the company has given priority to the local market to help Kiwi farmers solve livestock issues to drive efficiencies that impact their bottom lines.


"Kahne has two products under development – SentinelTM, a rumen monitoring system, and CatalystTM, a fertility monitoring system – both of which will deliver never-before available support to farmers and their advisors, helping improve the productivity, health and sustainability of ruminant livestock.


About 500 prototype units have been sold to researchers around the world, but with the co-funding received from Callaghan Innovation we are now able to complete development and validate the system at scale with commercial herds, says Clay.


Acting general manager of business R&D grants at Callaghan Innovation, Graham Smith, is pleased it is able to provide grants to support companies like Kahne that are involved in research and development.
"At Callaghan Innovation we aim to accelerate commercialisation of innovation in New Zealand firms, grants like these are just one of the ways we enable businesses to invest more in research, science, engineering and technology so they can be more successful," says Smith.


The grant from Callaghan Innovation follows a successful funding round late last year led by Wellington based venture fund Movac.

 

 

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