Reliable and Accurate Real Time Leaf Testing for Nutrient and Disease Analysis

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

Hort Innovation are looking for technologies that can enable real-time leaf analysis to facilitate proactive and early-stage diagnosis of issues that may affect the crop.

Application Deadline
December 25th, 2023
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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.


In horticulture, the ability to conduct reliable and accurate real-time leaf tissue testing for nutrient and disease can represent a paramount step for maximizing crop health, yield, and quality while minimizing resource waste and environmental impact.

Traditional methods of leaf testing are often time-consuming and labour-intensive, making it challenging to detect and address issues promptly.

Essentially, this challenge aims to find technologies that can enable real-time leaf analysis to facilitate proactive and early-stage diagnosis of issues that may affect the crop, such as nutritional deficiencies, toxicities, imbalances, or certain types of diseases.

Key Success Criteria:

  • Real-time analysis: The solution should provide immediate results for leaf testing.
  • Scalability: It should be adaptable for use in both small-scale and large-scale horticultural operations.
  • Cost-effective: The solution should offer efficiency gains without exorbitant costs.
  • User-friendly: Users should find it intuitive and straightforward to operate.
  • Compatibility: It should work with various plant types and environmental conditions.
  • High accuracy: The analysis results should be precise and reliable.
Possible Approaches:

  • AI / Computer Vision
  • Drones or Robotic systems for automated and large-scale data collection
  • Integration of real-time data processing into existing agricultural equipment
  • Incorporation of weather monitoring and historical data for contextual analysis

What we aren’t interested in:

  • Laboratory-based leaf testing
  • Too much manual data entry

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.