Tech start-up wins innovation funding for its bio-acoustic listening device

York-based insect pollination and biodiversity innovator AgriSound has secured funding from Tesco and WWF to pilot its agro-tech listening equipment in the supermarket supply chain.

This aims to reduce the environmental impact of the average basket and to build resilience and sustainability in the UK food system.

AgriSound has secured funding under ‘Innovation Connections’, a new accelerator program created as part of a collaboration between the international supermarket and the global environmental charity.

The program matches pioneering start-ups with Tesco suppliers to accelerate supply chain innovation.

The business has been associated with AM Fresh, one of Tesco’s fruit suppliers, based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

AgriSound deploys its bio-acoustic listening devices, called PollyMTthrough AM Fresh’s orchards to listen and identify the sounds of pollinating insects, to identify areas where there are too few of them, so that corrective action can be taken, naturally increasing crop yield and thereby reducing costs .

Founder and CEO Casey Woodward said: “At a time when biodiversity, including pollinating bee populations, are rapidly declining and the cost of food production is skyrocketing, securing this funding from Tesco and WWF is a great achievement for our young company.

“It’s exciting to be able to introduce our technology into Tesco’s fruit supply chain to help growers encourage pollinators in the right areas at the right time, increasing yields, without the need for fertilizer or additional pesticides.

“We look forward to showcasing the technology to Tesco’s entire supplier base and helping agricultural businesses streamline biodiversity monitoring and promote nature-friendly farming practices.”

He explained that the Polly device works similar to a smart speaker.

It is equipped with a microphone and environmental sensors, measuring temperature, light and humidity. Each is fully solar powered.

“Polly listens 24/7 for insect sounds and uses advanced sound analysis to translate the data into activity scores,” he said.

“These are automatically sent back to the cloud, where the farmer or food producer can view them through an app or web application.

“This information, available in real time, can be used to target the introduction of pollinator protection measures to areas that need it most, and also determine actions such as planting wildflowers or creating new ones. habitats.”

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