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Microbial Soil Activity Assessment (Padova University): International Patent Portfolio

Farmers no longer just plant a crop and hope for the best. Agriculture has evolved to be a highly scientific undertaking, and a critical factor for farmers is the level of microbial activity in the soil in which they will be planting a crop. Knowing if it is the optimal crop for that soil, determining what fertilizers or other treatments may be needed to ensure the success of the crop, and understanding what irrigation, if any, might be needed are all critical factors to bringing in a profitable harvest.

Living microorganisms in nature are the actual mediators of the organic matter mineralization that results in the nutrient turnover that benefits cultivated plants. Soil fertility strictly depends on the promptness at which soil microbes can process organic matter thus liberating the soluble nutrients that will be absorbed by plant roots. Using buried “bait” filaments made of cotton or silk, and recording the change in their tensile strength after an appropriate period of time in the soil, this patented technology can produce accurate data on the state of the soil and possible deficiencies of key nutrients.

Microbial Soil Activity Assessment Portfolio

This portfolio will enable any supplier of agricultural analysis and testing devices to introduce the first kit that gives farmers and other growers the critical data they need to make smart crop-growing decisions.

Leaf Sensor Monitor: U.S. Patent No. 7,660,698

A key element in the growing of crops of any kind – vegetables, fruits, grains, flowers, and others – is proper irrigation. Lack of water is just as harmful to a crop as too much water. Knowing when a crop needs water, so the proper amount of irrigation is supplied, is a key element in maximum crop production. And knowing when to turn off the irrigation is just as important! Also, irrigation is expensive, so precise and accurate irrigation increases crop yield and reduces irrigation costs for the grower.

This patent addresses that critical need by creating a device that clips onto the leaf of a plant. By determining to a very fine measurement the leaf’s density, the device creates an electrical voltage level that corresponds to the leaf’s density. That voltage level is then transmitted to a PC, PDA, cell phone, or other device that reports the leaf density. From the data supplied by the leaf sensor, the crop manager can determine exactly when it is time to irrigate the crop. As the leaf density increases from increased water content in the leaf, the leaf sensor reports that back to the crop manager so he or she knows when to turn off the irrigation. Just one leaf sensor can be used for smaller crops, or several leaf sensors can be disbursed among larger crops.

U.S. Patent No. 7,660,698 for “Phytometric intelligence sensors” would enable a supplier of irrigation equipment, provider of farming and nursery products, environmental instrumentation manufacturer, or cloud agricultural IoT vendor to offer a critical, new product for its customer base. The design and engineering work for a product based on this patent has been done and working product is available, so the acquirer of the patent can go to market with a product very quickly!

Smart HomeNext-Generation Smart Greenhouse (Gupta): International Patent Portfolio

The greenhouse is a marvelous invention that enables us to grow vegetables, fruits, and flowers year-round regardless of the local climate. Most greenhouses are nothing more than a glass structure. Some have heating systems that go on and off via a thermostat. The latest generation of greenhouses have sensors that report the heat, humidity, CO2 levels, and other data to the greenhouse manager.

Just as the Smart Home and Smart Office have come of age, it is time for the Smart Greenhouse to come of age, and that is exactly what this patent portfolio does. It creates a greenhouse that uses modules, sensors, a capture blower and capture manifold, a compressor, dehumidifying tanks, a release blower and release manifold, and an earth tube heat exchanger that maintains circulated greenhouse air at 15 to 25̊ C (59 to 77̊ F) while reducing use of fossil fuels for heating and electricity for cooling the greenhouse. The Smart Greenhouse created by this portfolio keeps the inside air at a set relative humidity, harnesses bio-thermal energy, and reduces global warming by preventing greenhouse carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. The technology covered by this portfolio actually captures CO2, enabling the operator of the greenhouse to sell carbon credits!

Patent Portfolio

This portfolio would be a critical acquisition for any greenhouse manufacturer or supplier of greenhouse equipment that is prepared to leapfrog the technology of all its competitors!

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