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Irish farm software company Farmflo has launched a new R&D centre in Glasgow, where it will explore emerging opportunities around the Internet of Things (IoT).

Cows in a field

Set up by two Irish brothers, Jason and Gareth Devenney, Farmflo’s system allows farmers to record and use real-time data on such things as fertiliser stocks, crop storage and herd treatments and movements. The company’s highly sophisticated system integrates data from multiple sources, allowing farmers to then view it on their smartphone or tablet device.

Farmflo’s data system has been designed to reduce risk of error and simplify the complex task farmers can often have when reporting, releasing more time for direct farm activity and improving overall farm productivity.

Gareth Devenney, Farmflo co-founder, on an iPad with a tractor in the background
Gareth Devenney, Farmflo co-founder

At the Glasgow site based at the Whisky Bond in Port Dundas, the system will be fully developed and refined based on feedback from farmers on the pilot. It will also look at emerging opportunities around IoT, with sensor network data outputs enriching farmer data to help inform management decisions. This work is aimed at targeting international markets, such as Europe and North America, together with the current UK focus for the ambitious young company.

The right skills in the right place

Skills availability was a key factor in Farmflo’s decision to come to Scotland.

Dan O’Donoghue, Farmflo CEO, said, “The establishment of our dedicated software development centre in Scotland is an exciting venture that allows Farmflo to tap into an excellent resource of locally-based talent. Jason Devenney, our head of innovation, is currently recruiting additional staff to fill the new Farmflo positions as they come on stream.”

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How we helped

Farmflo’s investment was supported by a Regional Selective Assistance grant of £350,000 from Scottish Enterprise, our economic development agency.

Companies that operate within assisted areas in Scotland can apply for RSA grants if they plan to create or safeguard jobs. Farmflo will create 29 jobs at its first new UK base.

The RSA investment has ensured that Farmflo is able to locate its development site in Scotland and tap into the skills available here, rather than outsource the development activity to an overseas operation.

A top location for R&D 

The recent EY Global Attractiveness Survey ranked Scotland as the top location for R&D investment in the UK and showed a 170% increase in foreign investment in the software sector in Scotland on the previous year.

Paul Lewis, managing director Scottish Development International, said: “This investment by Farmflo is further evidence of Scotland’s position as the leading location in the UK for R&D investment, as illustrated in the recent EY Attractiveness Survey, and we look forward to working with the company as it grows its business from Scotland.”

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