Well Cow Ltd has demonstrated as part of its “Smart Farm” concept, the world's first automated continuous long term measurement of rumen pH in dairy herds using its unique wireless telemetry bolus system.
The “Smart Farm” concept consists of:
- veterinary diagnostics and field sample preparation and detection
- smart sensors
- wireless communication technology
The origins of the company go back to the Silsoe Research Institute in Bedfordshire. They were asked to look at pH telemetry boluses to monitor acidity in cow’s stomach. This lead to the company being formed and a collaboration set up with Monsanto, who worked closely with the company for a number of years. The company has been involved in developing its pH/temperature bolus both in the UK and overseas and was able to start undertaking field trials in January 2011. Since August 2011 the bolus has been available for sale and the company has been slowly gearing up to supply it to customers throughout the world.
The main shareholders are the Roslin Foundation, the Technology Partnership and the Genomia Fund.
Well Cow has worked closely with its key partners:
- The Technology Partnership is a leading technology development company with expertise in communication and sensor capability. The Technology Partnership was founded in 1987 and is now Europe’s leading independent technology development and licensing company. Its primary objective is to create new business based on advances in technology. As well as acting as a consultancy, TTP acts as a hands-on implementer of new business strategy with a strong focus on technology and product development. It has its own extensive laboratory and pre-production manufacturing facilities near Cambridge. TTP provided Well Cow with substantial resources during the pH bolus development process and has extensive experience of managing the transition from prototype to volume manufacture in the Far East which will be essential when we look to mass production of the sensor.
- i4 Product Design is a Scottish based product development consultancy located within the Edinburgh Science Triangle. The company delivers product design solutions for a range of UK and international clients and has built a strong reputation in helping take products to market in a number of industry sectors including medical, industrial, consumer and renewable.
- Bioparametrics are an Edinburgh based company who specialise in ruminant nutrition management; using their Biopara-Milk software programme they can predict the impact of diet mixes on animal growth and performance.
- Ziconix is a wireless technology company that specialises in connecting equipment such as sensors and actuators to mobile devices through the provision of custom hardware/firmware and mobile apps. In addition Well Cow has established close links with a number of product and service providers, the most notably with the Centre for Dairy Research (CEDAR) at the University of Reading who have provided access to fistulated cows for testing the performance of prototype devices.