Corvus Drones from Ede is developing a fully automatic flying drone that can monitor crops and collect data in the greenhouse horticulture sector. To further develop this technology, Corvus Drones will receive funding from the Innovation Fund ION +, an innovation fund for SMEs in Gelderland. With this financing, Corvus Drones can make its technology applicable for any cultivation at home and abroad.
“The purpose of our innovative drone is to support greenhouse horticulturists in seedling counting, growth monitoring, yield prediction and the prevention and control of diseases and pests," explains Frans-Peter Dechering, co-founder of Corvus Drones. “There is a great demand for data in greenhouses. As a grower it is almost impossible to count and analyze seedlings on a daily basis. This is now often done on a random sampling basis. A drone flying through the greenhouses can easily collect data from above."
Sustainable food production
Corvus Drones uses its technology to create social returns through sustainable production of healthy food. The drone flies through the greenhouse independently and takes pictures of the sprouting or young plants with a special camera. Dechering explains: “In less than half an hour, the drone can monitor a 5,000m2 greenhouse with plants. The images are analyzed by artificial intelligence. In this way, the drone delivers very accurate measurements in a short period of time.”
That means more information about the (seedling) plants and therefore a more efficient (growth) process at lower costs. A relevant innovation, says Dechering: “We would like to contribute to making food production more sustainable, but that transition requires a lot of labour. While the need for food is growing worldwide. Robotisation is essential to be able to produce food efficiently and sustainably. With our drone we have an instrument for this. ”
Financing for innovation
Funding for Corvus Drones is provided from ION +. ION + is an innovation fund for SMEs in Gelderland and is financed by a contribution from the European subsidy program OP-Oost and co-financing from the province of Gelderland. Oost NL is a fund manager and provides financing to SMEs in Gelderland that are in the most risky innovation phase. Corvus Drones uses the financing from ION + to further improve its technology. “We want to make our technology widely applicable, so it can be used on any crop, at home and abroad. Money is needed for that. The financial boost from ION + helps us with this. This completes our pre-seed round, an important milestone,” said Dechering.
Lise van den Bosch, investment manager of Food at Oost NL: “Producing enough food for a growing world population is a major social challenge. With its innovative technology, Corvus Drones has a solution. The demand for this solution is high, which makes the product commercially interesting. It is great that we can contribute to this with ION +.”
For more information:
+31 (0) 624-431639