• Chris King

Scottish Agriculture, Tech & Innovation: Internet of Things Network

Updated: Aug 2, 2019

At A Glance

- Announced in August of 2018, Scotland will be receiving a £6 million Internet of Things network, with investment from the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, and Boston Networks.

- CENSIS, Scottish (Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems), forecasts that there will be over 25 Billion connected IoT devices by 2025, with the vast majority operating without the need for WiFi or 3/4G networks. (2018, Holyrood)

- Long Range Wide Area Networks ( LoRaWAN ) provide an opportunity to bring the benefits of IoT connectivity to Scotland's rural and agricultural industries.

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT), simply put, is a network of computing devices on/in any item or object, used to send or receive data via the internet. The IoT devices provide a link to monitor, connect or control the item or object they are connected with. Although this offers great potential, as someone living or working in areas with little to no WiFi or 3/4G signal, how can you use IoT devices and enjoy some of the benefits the technology has to offer?

Enter LoRaWAN - or Long Range Wide Area Networks. LoRaWAN provides users the ability to utilise IoT devices in remote locations, as it works across radio networks rather than WiFi or 3/4G networks. LoRaWAN networks are surprisingly inexpensive to set up (compared to WiFi or 3/4G networks), as are the compatible IoT devices which capture the data. The IoT devices can be used to measure load weight, tensile strength, temperature, moisture, location, remote operation / monitoring, among many other applications.

How this could impact Scottish Agriculture?

The IoT devices can share information with businesses over an IoT network and allow for real-time data analysis. The immediacy of this data can help businesses minimise risks & potential losses in crop yield, livestock, and equipment. Early detection of problems or inefficiencies helps to reduce costs and increase productivity. Moisture sensors placed in a grain shed could detect and relay, in real-time, an increase in moisture above acceptable levels, allowing the farmer to take immediate action to prevent further loss. Manual periodic inspections would detect this problem too late, after significant damage has already been done.

Livestock monitoring sensors could be used to track the health and location of all animals, immediately notifying the farmer of potentially dangerous health risks to the animal or if they have escaped their enclosure. This not only allows for early detection and treatment of diseases, but also provides additional controls to prevent further outbreaks or losses of animals and avoiding revenue losses. The immediacy of information provided by internet connected devices is a great advantage for farms and businesses seeking to increase efficiency and productivity.

If this article has interested you in the possibilities of a real-time monitored & connected business utilising IoT devices, contact us for a free consultation to develop an innovation strategy that can help your business grow.

Strathearn Strategic Consulting


+44 (0) 7913 413 699