Roots secures Australian patent for ‘smart pipe’ to make farming more energy efficient and cost-effective
Special Report: Roots’ innovative technology just got smarter and is set to save farmers valuable money and resources.
The agtech player (ASX:ROO) announced today it has secured an Australian patent for a ‘smart pipe’ to improve its unique Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) technology.
The RZTO system heats or cools crop roots as needed, optimising plant physiology for increased growth, health, productivity and quality.
The tech also mitigates against the impact of daily and seasonal temperature changes, helping farmers grow more effectively throughout the year and has been used to improve a variety of crops, from lettuce and basil to cannabis.
The pipe diffuses heat and/or cold directly at a plant’s root zone level, rather than between plants, where pipe system segments are insulated.
At alternating pressures, it can also act as an emitter of fluids (water or fertigation) at root zone level.
The company says making these features available in a single pipe system will save farmers considerable expenditure as it negates the need for separate root zone heating and cooling pipes and drip irrigation pipes.
Seeds for global growth
The Australian patent runs until April 2035 and provides a precedent for other countries such as Israel, China, United States, South Korea and Spain where Roots has also filed patents as part of local operations.
Roots has been busy demonstrating how its technology can be used across different countries.
Recently, it signed its first commercial order in South Korea, as well as its first deal servicing the budding medical cannabis sector in Israel.
Roots CEO Dr Sharon Devir called the patent ‘significant’ for the company’s leadership in root zone temperature management.
“We have proved through successful pilots on several crops in different countries that our unique RZTO technology can substantially increase crop quality and yield, mitigate extreme heat or cold stress and improve farm efficiency through quicker crop rotations while using less energy than other irrigation systems and making optimal use of available water.”
“This patent also ensures Roots’ competitors who may wish to emulate this disruptive technology with an additional barrier for entry, delaying and obstructing their plans to enter the root zone heating and cooling sector.”
The smart pipe is developed and manufactured exclusively through a joint venture arrangement between Roots and WFI, a leading Israeli plastic extrusion manufacturer that specialises in advanced technology applications in the construction industry.
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