South Australian grape growers and wine producers are set to benefit with UK-based Agritech company, Deep Planet, choosing Adelaide to establish their Australian head office and bringing their VineSignal platform to Australia.
With support of the South Australian Landing Pad program, the business will be able to grow their presence in the market to drive the capability and competitiveness of the sector.
Deep Planet specialises in monitoring vineyards at scale to predict vine health, irrigation, yields and maturity with plans to further develop tools including automated disease, nutrition and carbon baselining over the coming growing season.
Combining their expertise in satellite imagery, computer vision and machine learning, they can deliver real value to growers and winemakers by presenting data in a practical way. This can result in improved efficiency, higher grape quality and ultimately drives a more profitable industry.
“We commercially launched our VineSignal platform in Australia last season and we saw an exceptional level of uptake of our technology. This has given us the confidence to make this investment into South Australia,” Deep Planet CEO Sushma Shankar said.
This attraction of Deep Planet further adds to South Australia’s space and agtech ecosystems, allowing the creation of jobs and expertise.
“The South Australian government clearly demonstrated to us the relevant skills and knowledge across the space, machine learning and wine sectors that we can leverage, making it a natural fit for us,” Shankar said.
The VineSignal technology already has attracted the attention of numerous customers including global wine producer, Pernod Ricard Winemakers. As an early adopter, they conducted a project across 1,000ha in South Australia during the 2021 season.
After the initial project, Pernod Ricard Winemakers national viticulturist, Philip Deverell, remains enthusiastic about the technology.
“Deep Planet has demonstrated some exciting capability in helping us to better predict yields, manage maturity and variability in our blocks,” Deverell said.
“With all of our grower and estate vineyards to monitor and plan intake for, against a backdrop of ever-changing climatic conditions, it’s definitely the way our industry needs to go to ensure we remain globally competitive.”
The South Australian government has provided Deep Planet with South Australian Landing Pad funding to assist their establishment in the state.
“Our state has a reputation for attracting some of the world’s leading innovation companies, and Deep Planet’s expertise aligns with the state government’s priorities of growing our key sectors such as food, wine, agribusiness, space and hi-tech,” SA minister for Trade and Investment Stephen Patterson said.
“With South Australia’s worldwide reputation for wine, Deep Planet’s innovative technology will provide much needed capability and improve global competitiveness to the industry that relies heavily on exports.”
The South Australian Landing Pad assists companies to build a presence in the state to not only create jobs locally, but also to forge connections with local vendors, partners, customers and collaborators.