CSIRO Entrepreneurship Award winner

July 8th, 2020

The eShepherd Virtual Fencing Team in partnership with Agersens has won the CSIRO Entrepreneurship award.
This award recognises the application of an entrepreneurial approach under conditions of ambiguity and uncertainty. It celebrates those who use passion, persistence and resourcefulness to turn an opportunity into reality.

eShepherd™ is a world-first cloud-based, solar-powered, GPS-enabled virtual fencing system for cattle that lets farmers improve pasture utilisation, livestock management and protection of environmentally sensitive areas.

The team drew on expertise in animal behaviour, learning and welfare principles to design a system that ensured livestock recognised and stayed within virtual boundaries.

The technology itself, a device that livestock wear around their necks, operates from GPS, wireless communications and a series of cues and controls, operated by computer or smartphone.

Through a strategic commercial partnership with agribusiness, Agersens, key innovation hurdles including science and technical challenges, animal behaviour and welfare considerations, user preferences and market requirements were overcome. The technology has potential application across all livestock grazing systems globally.

[Music Plays]

Over ten years of research and a commercial partnership with Agersens has led to the successful commercialisation of eShepherd; a world-first virtual fencing system to manage livestock movements.

[A herd of cows stand across a grid field as the CSIRO and Agersens logos appear. The word eShepherd appears as we slowly zoom out, revealing a satellite in the sky.]

The technology uses a solar-powered GPS-enabled collar, remotely controlled by computer or smartphone, to manage livestock movements.

[A cow wears a blue collar. The solar-powered GPS system is placed on the collar, on the back of the cow’s neck as the icon for a computer and smart phone appear beside it.]

Animals are given an audio warning if they approach the perimeter and feel an electric pulse if they continue – one that’s far milder than an electric fence.

[A few cows stand in a grid field surrounded by a line of dots that represent the field perimeter. A cow approaches the perimeter and the icon for sound appears. As the cow gets closer, a red warning icon appears and the cow turns away from the perimeter.]

The breakthrough is optimising grazing, labour efficiencies and enabling the protection of environmentally sensitive areas without the expense and inflexibility of physical fences. This has potential application across all livestock grazing systems globally.

[A herd of cows stand in the grid field as three icons appear, each show a cow grazing, a person building a fence and a leaf. We zoom out from the field to show a world map, each continent contains a series of dots that depict areas where livestock are commonly raised]

Congratulations CSIRO eShepherd team and Agersens for achieving outstanding impact with world-class science, innovation and industry collaboration

[We travel across the grid field, showing the herd of cows and the satellite as the logos for CSIRO and Agersens appear alongside the word ‘Congratulations.]

[The CSIRO logo appears on screen with the phrase ‘Australia’s Innovation Catalyst’ underneath.]

Transcript available from: https://www.csiro.au/About/Videos/Vimeo/Awards/2019/eShepherd/video-transcript