Ubiqutek seeking angel investors to develop electric weedkiller for farming

Electric shock weedkilling technology maker Ubiqutek is raising capital through equity investors, after winning an EU Horizon 2020 grant to help develop the machinery for agricultural use.

Potato crops. Image: Pixabay
Potato crops. Image: Pixabay

The technology is currently hand-held and designed for amenity weed control, but Ubiqutek aims to adapt it for the arable market, cutting the need for pesticide use on crops. The technology would be tractor-driven, with electrode "fingers" which rake between crop rows, destroying weeds.

In November Ubiqutek won stage one funding for a feasibility study into adopting the technology for agriculture from Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation grant programme.

The programme offers two-stage funding towards projects that could answer key EU challenges such as increasing agricultural yield without the use of chemicals.

The big concerns with alternative technology are cost and time, Ubiqutek executive director Andrew Diprose said. But he believes energy requirements will be fairly low, as the agricultural weeder will be driven from the tractor's power takeoff shaft, or through a separate generator, and sad it should take a similar amount of time as current chemical methods.

Diprose said company testing had shown that when consumables are taken into account, "it will not cost significantly more than the equipment that is out there already."

Ubiqutek is now raising capital to carry out the second phase through online platform Syndicate Room, allowing those who could benefit from the technology coming to market to invest in it directly.

The company aims to raise £150,000 in the next 9 - 12months - enough to deliver its first order, complete trials and start shifting the first batch of product, as well as moving on to the second phase of EU grant funding.

More than £20,000 of investors' money has been raised since the fund was launched last week.

Further information is on the website, including a video of the technology, an investment summary and Q&A document, as well as a provision for asking directors questions directly.

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