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Frontier IP Group - Bonduelle collaboration with Fieldwork Robotics

RNS Number : 4994Z
Frontier IP Group plc
21 September 2020
 

Reach

AIM: FIPP

21 September 2020

 

Frontier IP Group plc

("Frontier IP" or the "Group")

 

 

Portfolio news - Bonduelle Group signs collaboration agreement with Fieldwork Robotics to develop  cauliflower harvesting robot

 

Frontier IP, a specialist in commercialising intellectual property, today announces that portfolio company Fieldwork Robotics ("Fieldwork" or the "Company"), is to develop a cauliflower harvesting robot in collaboration with the Bonduelle Group ("Bonduelle"), one of the world's leading vegetable producers.

 

It is the second application of Fieldwork's flexible and patented agricultural robot technology to gain  food industry backing. The Company has already made strong progress with a raspberry-harvesting robot in collaboration with Hall Hunter Partnership, one of the UK's biggest soft fruit producers, and is now working with Bosch to optimise the software and design of the robotic arms. 

 

Bonduelle operates in more than 100 countries and generated annual revenue of c.€2.8 billion for the year to 30 June 2020. The collaboration is initially expected to last for three years, at the end of which there is expected to be a prototype ready for commercial manufacture. 

 

Fieldwork, a spin out from the University of Plymouth, will initially work on the detection and soft robotics technology with a view to creating an early-stage prototype during the second year of the collaboration. Bonduelle will provide access to fields and its expertise in vegetables and knowledge of different growing and harvesting conditions. Frontier IP holds a 26.7 per cent equity stake in the Company.

 

Significant progress has already been made on the cauliflower technology. Company co-founder Dr Martin Stoelen, lecturer in robotics at the University of Plymouth and Associate Professor at the Western Norway University of Applied Science, initially started developing a cauliflower harvesting robot system in a project funded by Agri-Tech Cornwall, an initiative part funded by the  European Regional Development Fund with match-funding from Cornwall Council. He has also worked on a tomato harvesting project.

 

Fieldwork has raised £318,000 so far this year to accelerate development and scale up of the technology. It has also been supported by a £547,250 Innovate UK grant as part of a £671,484 project to develop a multi-armed robot prototype. Other partners in the project included the University of Plymouth and the National Physical Laboratory. Innovate UK recently provided further support through a £84,000 continuity grant.  

 

Claudine Lambert, Group Agronomy Director Bonduelle Prospective & Development, said: "Bonduelle has a strong commitment to sustainable and diversified agriculture in all of the territories where we operate globally. New technologies can play an important part in meeting that commitment, so we are delighted to be collaborating with Fieldwork Robotics and excited by the potential of its agricultural robots."

 

Rui Andres, Fieldwork Robotics Chief Executive Officer, said: "We have already enjoyed significant progress through our collaboration with Hall Hunter Partnership on the raspberry-harvesting version of the technology. The agreement with Bonduelle to collaborate on developing a second iteration of Fieldwork's agricultural robots is a strong validation of the technology. We are very much looking forward to working with them to develop an effective system to harvest cauliflowers."

 

Neil Crabb, Frontier IP Chief Executive Officer, said: "Industrial validation is at the heart of what we do at Frontier IP, and so we are delighted with this announcement. It is Fieldwork's third industrial collaboration, following the recent announcement of its partnership with Bosch and the longer-term relationship with Hall Hunter."

 

 

 

ENQUIRIES

 

Frontier IP Group Plc

T: 020 7332 2338

Neil Crabb, Chief Executive

Andrew Johnson, Communications & Investor Relations

Company website: www.frontierip.co.uk

[email protected]frontierip.co.uk

M: 07464 546 025

Allenby Capital Limited (Nominated Adviser)

T: 0203 328 5656

Nick Athanas / James Hornigold

 

 


 

 

 

 

ABout frontier IP

Frontier IP unites science and commerce by identifying strong intellectual property and accelerating its development through a range of commercialisation services. A critical part of the Group's work is involving relevant industry partners at an early stage of development to ensure technology meets real world demands and needs.

The Group looks to build and grow a portfolio of equity stakes and licence income by taking an active involvement in spin-out companies, including support for fund raising and collaboration with relevant industry partners at an early stage of development.

Frontier IP is the commercialisation partner for the University of Plymouth.

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF PLYMOUTH

 

The University of Plymouth is renowned for high quality, internationally-leading education, research and innovation.

 

With a mission to Advance Knowledge and Transform Lives, Plymouth is a *top 50 research university with clusters of world class research across a wide range of disciplines including marine science and engineering, medicine, cybersecurity and psychology. A three-time winner of the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education, most recently in 2020 in respect of its pioneering research on microplastics pollution in the oceans and its impact on the environment and changing behaviour, the University continues to grow in stature and reputation.

 

It has a strong track record for teaching and learning excellence, and has one of the highest numbers of National Teaching Fellows of any UK university. With over 19,000 students, and a further 9,500 studying for a Plymouth degree at partner institutions in the UK and around the world, and over 135,000 alumni pursuing their chosen careers globally, it has a growing global presence.

http://www.plymouth.ac.uk

* Research Fortnight Research Power League Table 2014.

 

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