Queensland agriculture robotics firm SwarmFarm is looking to open a purpose-built office facility that will serve as the startup’s headquarters after being awarded a AU$250,000 grant, as part of the Queensland government’s AU$10 million Rural Economic Development (RED) grants program. The new head office, expected to be completed by April 2020, will be located at Gindie, on the farm owned by SwarmFarm co-founders Andrew and Jocie Bates. It will replace the startup’s existing headquarters that was setup using temporary demountable buildings. “We’re proud to be based on-farm because it keeps the technology real. It means that our engineers has to get out in the paddock to make the technology work. A big part of scaling up our business is so we can have facilities in which we can work from properly,” Jocie Bates told ZDNet. The facility will also serve as a space to host different agricultural groups, farmers, and tour groups. “When it’s technology, farmers want to check it out. They want to feel it, see it, and understand how to use it. We expect to have a lot of people come through our facility, who we’ll be able to host,” Bates said. SwarmFarm was established in 2012. According to Bates, the idea was spurred by problems the couple faced on their own farm. See also: Glossary: Smart farming (TechRepublic) “The trend for many years in agriculture has been to get the biggest machine as possible — it’s almost a bit of an ego race — and we thought… [Read full story]
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