Bayer and FaunaPhotonics form research collaboration to develop sensor technology for monitoring of insect pests
Bayer and FaunaPhotonics form research collaboration to develop sensor technology for improved monitoring of insect pests
Bayer and FaunaPhotonics, Copenhagen, Denmark, have entered into a three-year research cooperation to develop new sensor solutions for improved monitoring of agricultural insect pests as well as non-target insects including beneficials. Efficient pest control which at the same time spares beneficials and pollinators is one of the biggest challenges facing farmers worldwide. The ability to systematically and efficiently detect and identify insect populations is key to improved integrated pest management (IPM), which relies on the accuracy of pest population monitoring techniques.
“New sensor solutions can deliver data directly to our Digital Farming tools and will enable farmers to make faster and better decisions, in particular in terms of a more targeted application of crop protections products,” said Ole Peters, Digital Farming Technology Lead at Crop Science, a division of Bayer. “Knowing what is going on in the field makes a farmer’s life easier, secures harvests, boosts yields and protects pollinators.”
“The collaboration with Bayer will allow FaunaPhotonics to move forward important sensor technology in the insect monitoring area,” added Frederik Taarnhøj, CEO and Co-Founder of FaunaPhotonics. “The new technology is expected to fill gaps in our knowledge of insect populations, leading to improvements in insect control and more sustainable food production.”
Insect pests directly damage crops causing significant losses, and pest control has always been considered the most difficult challenge to overcome. The main reason is that the dynamics of the pest population density in the field cannot be accurately monitored. Until now, monitoring methods have been based on manual techniques that do not lend themselves well to automation and digital software solutions. Furthermore, at farm level, regular monitoring of fields is a labour-intensive, time-consuming and costly activity, in particular for large farm operations.
Bayer and FaunaPhotonics strongly believe that the joint development of an affordable sensor-based digital solution which allows precise, accurate and efficient insect monitoring including forecasting will be greatly advantageous for growers worldwide. The research and development collaboration is titled “Agronomic pest mitigation & non-target effects mitigation strategies using in-field light detection and ranging (LIDAR) based aerial-fauna detection.”
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2015, the Group employed around 117000 people and had sales of EUR 46.3 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.3 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015.
FaunaPhotonics ApS, located at the Copenhagen Bio Science Park, is a university spin-off building on many years of studies and PhD projects at Lund University Laser Center. The company was founded in 2014 and funded by Christian Nielsen’s Fond, Innovation Fund Denmark, The Market Development Fund and private investors. The team develops cutting-edge optical remote sensing tools, which will set new standards for monitoring of insects. The innovative technology platform automates manual processes optimizing crop scouting processes in agriculture. FaunaPhotonics combines optical, laser and data processing technologies to detect biological objects creating tools that provide new insights. The aim is to offer data integration between in-field sensors and customer software platforms.