Sense-T Alpha Trial Underway with Thousands of Sensors

Media Release


10 July 2014

Joint release with:

Hon. Stephen Parry

President of the Senate
Senator for Tasmania

Eric Hutchinson

Federal Member for Lyons

Sense-T, the innovative technology program based at the University of Tasmania, has hit an exciting milestone with large-scale trials rolling out at 20 farms across the state to test new sensing technology and smart phone apps.

Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs visited Houston's Farm at Richmond to officially launch the Alpha Trial.

“The Sense-T technology program has developed significantly since it first started and it's important to get this work out of the lab and into the hands of farmers,” Mr Briggs said.

“Connecting sensor technology, real-time data and software solutions will help farmers make quicker and better decisions about how to interact with the environment to boost agricultural productivity.

“The Australian Government is committed to driving economic growth and creating new jobs through targeted investments in productive infrastructure and innovative technologies that will help the Tasmanian agricultural sector be the most competitive, efficient and sustainable in the world”, Mr Briggs said.

The Alpha Trial is one part of Sense-T Stage 2, which received $13 million from the Australian Governments Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Plan to transform agriculture and create hundreds of high-tech, highly-skilled jobs.

Working with project partners Serve-Ag, nSynergy, Grey Innovation and Sirca, Sense-T is installing thousands of sensors covering a wide variety of agricultural businesses.

The trial is also testing smart phone apps and online tools that give farmers access to the data they want and software systems that manage the flow of data to Sense-T and back to farmers.

Senator for Tasmania Stephen Parry said the new technology had been designed to deliver farmers affordable, high-density sensing, with real-time data accessible in easy-to-use formats.

“The exciting thing about Sense-T is that the data is not just available to the farmers, but also to researchers and scientists. They can use the information to help solve some of agriculture's most pressing problems and help create new solutions that can then be made available to farmers through Sense-T apps.”

Federal Member for Lyons Eric Hutchinson MP said the trial will deliver significant value to a number of project participants across Tasmania.

“The commencement of the trial is great outcome for participating producers in rural Tasmania. Currently several vineyards are researching botrytis risk and frost alerts in order to capture real time data that helps drive improvements in their day-to-day operations and increases their productive capacity to better compete on domestic and global markets”.

The Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Plan is a $106 million package of measures aimed at building a stronger Tasmanian economy by supporting jobs and growth.

Stage 2 of Sense-T involves the Alpha Trial, sensor manufacturing and business development, as well as expanded research into areas such as agriculture, freight and logistics, eHealth, tourism and financial markets

Sense-T is creating the world's first economy-wide intelligent sensor network that integrates up to date, real time information so that business, governments and communities can make better decisions.