EvokeAG: VetChip announces partnership with AgriPark to help advance world first animal health microchip

Olivia FordCountryman
VetChip founder Dr Garnett Hall,  Keith the kelpie and AgriPark executive director Nick Pagett.
Camera IconVetChip founder Dr Garnett Hall, Keith the kelpie and AgriPark executive director Nick Pagett. Credit: Olivia Ford

An award-winning biotech startup has announced a partnership with AgriPark, Charles Sturt University, to advance research trials and testing for a world-first microchip aimed at helping animal health and welfare.

VetChip, a Perth-based group founded in 2019 by a team of engineers and veterinarians, has used AI software to develop a bio-sensing microchip that can monitor the temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen levels and activity levels of pets and livestock.

With the microchip, animal information is uploaded to the cloud, and from there, trainers and owners can be informed if their animals are happy or stressed as well as if they are suffering from certain diseases.

Now, in an announcement made during this year’s evokeAg event, VetChip said it has partnered with AgriPark to further equine research, collect data, and identify commercialisation activities for the microchip.

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VetChip founder Garnett Hall said he was excited for the partnership and the progress that will come out of it.

“I’m thrilled we’ve now got a partnership arrangement with Charles Sturt University and their AgriPark,” he said.

“AgriPark is all about designing the farm of the future and connecting animal health to databases and intelligent algorithms.

“I’m excited for the future of animal health. This technology has never existed before, and it’s all been developed here in WA by our team.”

Dr Hall said VetChip’s research will be important for the future of agriculture by creating an easy way for farmers to look after their animals.

“If you have a smart farm, it’s easy to imagine how you might track where a tractor is, or what’s happening at a water point, but there aren’t any great solutions for monitoring animal health,” he said.

“We bring them that missing puzzle piece and we can monitor the health of cattle, the health of sheep, pigs and horses. We can connect all of that information into a system that can help someone run and manage their farm.”

VetChip founders Dr Garnett Hall and
 Zyrus Khambatta with Keith the kelpie.
Camera IconVetChip founders Dr Garnett Hall and Zyrus Khambatta with Keith the kelpie. Credit: Olivia Ford

AgriPark executive director Nick Pagett said he was also thrilled about the partnership and looked forward to the two groups “championing the advancement and widespread adoption for cutting-edge technology across Australia”.

“It’s amazing technology. Remote monitoring for health in animals is a huge priority,” he said.

“We’re arguably one of the largest vet education institutions in Australia, so when we saw the opportunity to partner with VetChip and introduce its technology into our equine facility, we saw it as a great opportunity to test and validate the science behind the technology.”

On top of the announcement, VetChip also showcased its most recent developments and research at evokeAg with the help of Keith, ex-military dog and the world’s first cloud-connected kelpie.

“The sort of animals we have using our technology at the moment are working military dogs and thoroughbred horses, and we’re very much here at evokeAg because of our research and development efforts with thoroughbred horses, Dr Hall said.

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