News article

SBRI competition: Digital detection of grazing animals

15 August 2019

Can you develop a new technology or a solution to help identify and monitor grazing cattle and sheep remotely?

The Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is inviting innovative companies to apply for Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) contracts to develop innovative solutions for digital detection of grazing animals.

DAERA is responsible for animal health and welfare and administration of farm subsidies, and holds detailed data (including mapping data) on land use classification and registers of cattle and sheep herd keepers.

Under this SBRI competition, DAERA now wishes to encourage and support research and development to deliver innovative technology-enabled approaches to improve the frequency and accuracy of its data on animal locations and movements and habitat change at a small-area level within Northern Ireland.

Innovative solutions should permit the department to leverage more accurate and up-to-date data, for example, to assess policy compliance more easily and to manage disease outbreak more rapidly and effectively.

To qualify as innovative, solutions must develop functionality that does not presently exist in the market.

DAERA will consider all innovative solutions that meet its needs, but is particularly keen to explore the potential to use the following technologies (alone or in combination):

  • high resolution satellite and/or aerial imagery
  • sensor technologies
  • machine learning/artificial intelligence

The solutions should be able to:

  • identify grazing cattle and sheep remotely (and potentially to monitor habitat change)
  • derive appropriate, reliable and timely business intelligence from the analysis of such data

Funding is currently in place for Phase 1 of the competition. DAERA reserves the right at its sole discretion to extend from Phase 1 with successful bidders as part of this procurement, and extend the competition to a third phase to allow for further testing of potential solutions.

The competition is open and the deadline is 15:00 on 30 August 2019.

Find out more the DAERA competition and apply.