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Unite and Ignite - Tech Meets Ag

JULY 2019

Contact: Tina Hunt


Farmers, investors and developers came together last week at “AgTech Together” an event that was designed to unite and ignite all those interested in the Agricultural Technology space. “The goal of the event was to develop partnerships and build a focused Agriculture Technology (AgTech) ecosystem by engaging with AgTech vendors, third-party application providers, device manufacturers, developers, government representatives, university students and educators, advocates and investors” said Kevin Bloch, CTO, of Cisco ANZ. The event brought people together to learn about and discuss xDP, a platform that has recently been created through the collaboration of Cisco and Titan Class. xDP is an on-farm IoT platform which supports decision making and it is designed to bring all those working in the AgTech space together in one place. Speaking at the event were Kevin Bloch, CTO, Cisco ANZ, Christopher Hunt, CEO Titan Class, Justin Nhan, UNSW student and Mark Ritchie, Livestock Farmer, Delatite Station. The event was well attended by a diverse cross-section of people who are interested in AgTech. The audience were highly engaged in the presentations and these were followed by a Q&A session in which many interesting questions were asked and some robust discussions took place. “AgTech Together certainly highlighted the interest and appetite for a platform player“ said Christopher Hunt from Titan Class.

For almost two years Titan Class have been working with Cisco to develop an IoT solution for farmers, now known as xDP (x Decision Platform). xDP is assisting Australian farmers by furnishing them with the data and insights they need to make decisions, thereby enhancing the farmer’s productivity. This will also accelerate efficiencies across the sector by digitising a critical part of the supply chain - the farm itself. xDP is a hardware/software platform that can be hosted on the farm and which uses internet connectivity opportunistically so it works on farms that have little or no internet connectivity. This is a distinguishing feature of xDP as many Australian farms have poor connectivity.

The AgTech space is currently thriving in Australia and the developments in this area are proving to be helpful to farmers. Cisco’s xDP provides an environment where third-party application and sensor developers are able to deploy and integrate their applications and sensors so that their data can be collected and shared with consent. The farmer benefits from this because now they are able to visualise their farm operation holistically and to potentially obtain insights from multiple measurement sources and types that were not previously available or possible. The farmer is able to see all their information on one dashboard rather than alternating between different applications. Bringing all the data together in this way makes life easier for the farmer as well as enabling the farmer to make better decisions.

Part of the development of xDP included a partnership with Innovation Central Sydney (ICS). Through the ICS, Titan Class worked with UNSW engineering and computer science students to expedite the process of connecting third-party applications to xDP. One of the students, Justin Nhan, spoke at the event about how much he enjoyed this project, how much he learnt and the ease with which he and the other students were able to integrate third party applications with xDP.

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