IRRIOT - the future of irrigation begins now!
Author: Johan Wendt
With a (fastly growing) global population of 7.7 billion people the global food system will need to produce more food in the next 50 years than it did in the past 10,000 years combined. At the same time over 33% of us are facing water scarcity today and by the year 2025 that figure may rise to 67%.
These numbers don't add up. Change is needed. Few people realize that 70% of global water withdrawals are done by farmers and this is where we find the greatest water wastage.
Actually, approximately 60% of the water used for irrigation is wasted due to evapotranspiration (the sum of evaporation and plant transpiration), land runoff or primitive irrigation techniques.
That is why IRRIOT is implementing the next generation of commercial irrigation solutions. By using our hardware (based on the latest long range radio technology LoRa), our cloud software, weather data and sensor data we not only decrease the water usage by 50% but increase the crop yield up to 30%.
We do this by optimizing soil conditions and intelligently dimensioning the water supply to the intended zone.
An irrigation system controls electrically operated valves from the central computer, known as the Irrigation Controller. The key difference of IRRIOT Wireless Irrigation Controller from the classical controller is the use of wireless two-way communication to the valves/sensors. In practice it means IRRIOT introduces a wireless valve that could be situated at any remote location (*1-5km from Irrigation Controller).
The solution consists of several parts – Wireless Irrigation Controller (Base Unit), Wireless Valve Control Station (Remote Node), Cloud Based Control and Monitoring.
In order to fastly scale up operations and sales we are aiming to raise more funds. That is why we are proud and excited to have been selected as one of the 10 startups to participate in the EIT FAN Accelerator program. Through EIT FAN we are connected to impact investors in the agtech arena, a perfect fit for our next round that will be opened shortly.
The network (e.g. - Academia, various partners in the industry) that has been provided to us through the accelerator is fantastic. We are constantly looking for partnership whether it is for research collaboration, pilot installations or joint operations with the big players in the food tech arena.
Learning by doing is great but what is even greater is learning from the ones that have done it before. The range of lectures that we are offered is fantastic - IP strategy, sales and marketing workshops, EU-funding. The knowledge offered to us is fantastic.
All and all we are offered a tool kit giving us a chance for fast-track growth and to transition our startup to a global player solving the food and water scarcity for generations to come.
For more information on the EIT FAN program please check out https://www.eitfan.eu/helsinki
This article has been written by Johan Wendt and posted on his behalf by Vivian Leung