Enhancing On-Farm Connectivity in Orchards

At Hort Innovation, everything we do is built on our vision to create a prosperous and sustainable Australian horticulture industry on innovation.

We invite innovators, problem solvers, and innovative organizations to join us in addressing a pressing challenge faced by Australian growers to enhance on-farm connectivity in orchards.

Application Deadline
June 1st, 2024
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Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australia's horticulture industry.

Our role is to advance Australia’s $16 billion horticulture industry by investing in research and development, marketing and trade to build a prosperous and sustainable future for growers.

We partner with Australian and international co-investors including government, leading science, technology, and consumer strategy experts to anticipate future challenges and opportunities. Our role is to capture value from the investments we make to benefit all levy payers.


We invite innovators, problem solvers, and innovative organizations to join us in addressing a pressing challenge faced by Australian growers to enhance on-farm connectivity in orchards. 

Despite the remarkable advancements in agricultural technology, many growers across Australia struggle with limited or unreliable connectivity on their farms. This lack of connectivity hinders the adoption of technologies crucial for optimizing operations and maximizing yields. This challenge seeks innovative solutions that can overcome these connectivity barriers, empowering growers to seamlessly integrate technology into their orchard management practices.

The primary goals of this challenge include:

  • Promote the development of affordable and scalable connectivity solutions that enable widespread adoption by growers of all scales.
  • Foster the adoption of automation technologies and precision agriculture practices through robust and reliable connectivity.
  • Enable seamless data transmission and communication between on-farm devices, sensors, autonomous tractors, and management systems, enhancing operational efficiency and productivity.

Participants are encouraged to develop innovative solutions, protocols, and technologies that enhance connectivity and enable seamless data transmission. Through their efforts, they will pave the way for a future where robust connectivity empowers the horticulture sector to embrace automation technologies fully. This advancement will drive productivity, sustainability, and innovation, ultimately fostering growth and prosperity in the sector.

 Key Success Criteria:

  • Scalability: The solution should be scalable to accommodate farms of varying sizes and geographical locations across Australia.
  • Reliability: It should provide reliable connectivity, even in remote or challenging terrains, ensuring uninterrupted access to data and services.
  • Affordability: The solution should be cost-effective, making it accessible to farmers of all scales and budgets.
  • Ease of Integration: The solution should seamlessly integrate with existing farm management systems and IoT devices, minimizing disruptions to operations.
  • Support and Maintenance: Adequate support and maintenance services should be provided to ensure continuous operation and address any issues promptly.
  •  Compatibility: The solution should be compatible with a wide range of devices and technologies commonly used in agricultural operations.
  • Data Security and Privacy: Robust security measures should be implemented to protect sensitive farm data and ensure compliance with privacy regulations.

Possible Approaches:

  • Development of innovative communication protocols and/or signal receivers tailored to the unique challenges of rural Australian landscapes and orchards.
  • Integration of existing connectivity technologies, such as mobile networks, satellite internet, and low-power radio networks, to create comprehensive solutions.

What we aren’t interested in:

  • Traditional wired infrastructure.
  • Expensive telecommunication towers.

What's in it for you?

This is a global challenge, and Hort Innovation is willing to collaborate with innovative companies, researchers, universities, and technical solution providers. A successful collaboration could mean funding for the solution through the Hort-Frontier co-investment mechanism. It is important to mention that although the implemented solution must be available in Australia, the implementation can be carried out anywhere in the world.