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A young German SME is looking for partners for the technological development and international commercialisation of their digital AI-based counting solution for animal farming

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ABSTRACT

The German SME is specialised in developing innovative solutions for the digitalisation of animal farming processes. They developed an embedded system which detects, tracks and counts objects in a transparent way. Currently, the technology is used in the livestock sector to count large groups of pigs during the selling and rehousing process. However, the technology can also be applied to different animals and objects. The SME is looking for technological and commercial partnerships.

 

FULL DESCRIPTION

The German company consists of a young and interdisciplinary team working on automation and digital solutions in the agritech industry. Their goal is to meet the needs of the livestock industry, helping farmers and employees fully automate the documentation in animal breeding and farming.

The company developed an embedded system, based on artificial intelligence (AI), computer vision and image processing. This technology allows the automatic counting of animals, thus facilitating the work of farmers and strengthening their efficiency and competitiveness.

Currently, the technology is used in the farming sector to count large groups of pigs during different processes. The technology consists of an innovative camera system that automatically registers the number of animals during activities such as buying, selling or the restocking and relocation of pigs. This automated pig counting avoids errors by 100%. The camera system automatically generates the counts on video, which can also be used to automate the documentation and ensure a comprehensive tracking. Furthermore, the system is also capable of including an option for automatic reporting to the corresponding national authorities.

The technology is based on a tracking algorithm which uses object detection and is connected with the hardware and the user interface. The technology is based on AI and uses innovative alghorithms for object detection. These algorithms are updated regularly. By using different labels, the technology can be applied to several animals and objects. Additionally, the technology is able to detect different classes of objects only in one picture. Depending on the use cases, different neuronal networks and algorithms like Faster R-CNN (object detection) or Mask R-CNN (instance segmentation) can be applied.
After detecting the objects, they need to be tracked in the videos. Therefore, a highly stable and accurate tracking algorithm has been developed. Accurate counting is only possible through the combination of detecting and tracking.
The front-end of the system is user friendly and can be accessed via App or PC. Remote access to the collected data is also possible.

The hardware is developed for mobile use and is accessible offline without any internet connection. Moreover, the hardware is CE-certified. It consists of a camera, a steering unit and a computing unit.

The SME is looking for suitable partners for the further technological development and commercialisation of the technology. A technological cooperation could be realised under a technical cooperation agreement for the development and improvement of the device. Furthermore the company is willing to sign commercial agreements to introduce the technology to various international markets and promote the technology on an international level. Distribution partnerships could also be considered in this context.


Partner expertise sought:

- Specific area of activity of the partner: Generally, the SME is open for various kinds of collaborations. On the one hand, they are interested in finding partners for the technological development of the existing technology. On the other hand, the SME is willing to find partners for the international commercialisation of the technology. Interested organisations are welcome to make additional suggestions for partnerships.

TECHNICAL COOPERATION AGREEMENT

Possible partnerships include a collaboration regarding the further development of the existing technological solution based on predefined terms. In this context, the company is keen to collaborate with potential industrial or research partners who are willing to improve the device within a common project. One potential technological collaboration could be a common project focussing on the application of the device in other fields and industries. The potential partner should be familiar with AI-based technologies and have expertise in image processing. Suitable partners could be an experienced company or a research institution (e.g. from the agritech, agrofood or ICT industries).

COMMERCIAL AGREEMENT UNDER TECH. ASSISTANCE

The company is also interested in finding suitable business partners abroad who are capable of promoting and commercialising the technology on an international level.


Advantages & innovations:

INNOVATION:

The technology is a real "problem solver" for the animal farming sector. Currently, animals are usually counted manually without any video based counting solution. In the past, manual counting did lead to various issues, such as counting errors, financial loss and time loss. So far, there is no appropriate solution in the market that enables the farmer to fully automate the counting and monitoring process of animals.

ADVANTAGES:

PROFIT INCREASE
The technology enables the user to reach an animal counting accuracy of 100 %. This allows correct invoicing and will result in a profit increase equivalent to the sale of up to 2 animals for every 200 animals sold.

VERIFIED COUNTS
The technology delivers an exact and very accurate method to count pigs and other animals in a user friendly way. This ensures that the number of pigs during selling, relocation and restocking processes are transparently monitored. After each count, the video footage is always available, which makes it possible to validate the numbers (in front of customers).

CONTROL OF DESEASES AND ANIMAL CONDITION
Through the years, it has become necessary for farms to carry out individual analysis and send out regular documentation regarding animal health conditions to authorities. These duties use up a lot of resources. The developed technology can help its users to get a wide overview about the general condition of the animals.

TIME SAVINGS
The offered technology enables farmers to use their time more efficiently. The technology allows the farmer to spend more time with the animals and focus on valuable tasks at the stables.


Development Stage:

Already on the market


IPR:

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KEY INFORMATION

Country of origin
GERMANY
Date created
25/02/2021
Date updated
26/02/2021
Deadline
27/02/2022

PARTNERSHIP(S) SOUGHT

Commercial agreement with technical assistance Technical cooperation agreement

CLASSIFICATIONS

INDUSTRY SECTORS
Life Sciences \ Agriculture \ Food and Drink
TECHNOLOGY KEYWORDS
AGRICULTURE AND MARINE RESOURCES / Agriculture / Animal Production / Husbandry / AGROFOOD INDUSTRY / Technologies for the food industry / Food Technology / AGROFOOD INDUSTRY / Food quality and safety / Detection and Analysis methods
COMMERCIAL KEYWORDS
Raising of swine/pigs / Mixed farming
MARKET KEYWORDS
COMPUTER RELATED / Computer Software / Integrated software / COMPUTER RELATED / Computer Software / Artificial intelligence related software / INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS / Industrial Automation / Other industrial automation / OTHER / Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Animal Husbandry & Related Products
A2020