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Here’s why Microsoft just invested $1.5M in a North Dakota high-tech farm project

Microsoft is headed to the farm.

The Redmond, Wash. tech large at this time introduced a $1.5 million funding in Grand Farm, a project in North Dakota designed to spur innovation round farming and agriculture. Microsoft will present its know-how comparable to FarmBeats, in addition to its personal workers that can assist with Grand Farm initiatives.

Listed below are extra particulars from a Microsoft blog post:

Over the subsequent three years, the Grand Farm strives to supply employees with digital abilities to maximise their employability; create high-skilled jobs regionally and globally; assist start-up companies; act as a convenor to drive ag innovation and thought management; and convey new companies to the area via a world-class enterprise capital program

Our ambition is to associate Microsoft know-how, technologists, and knowledge scientists with North Dakota farmers and entrepreneurs to construct a world-class main ag innovation middle that showcases the “farm of the long run.”

Agriculture is a $5 trillion industry, however lower than 20 % of acreage is managed by digital know-how, in line with Accenture. There are a number of companies — together with Seattle startups Pollen Systems or Maka Autonomous Robots, and business giants comparable to John Deere — attempting to construct tech for farmers.

Microsoft President Brad Smith and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum appeared at Microsoft Fargo campus on Thursday to announce the corporate’s funding, which comes from TechSpark, a civic program it created in 2017 supposed to spice up financial alternatives in rural areas and small communities.

Earlier this 12 months Microsoft awarded a $100,000 TechSpark grant to assist Airtonomy, a startup that’s partnering with the College of North Dakota Aerospace Basis to blaze a path for drone purposes in North Dakota’s “Silidrone Valley.”

Different TechSpark initiatives embrace Microsoft’s work in Wisconsin, the place it’s partnering with the Inexperienced Bay Packers on an innovation hub known as TitletownTech, and in its house state of Washington, the place it’s aiming to spur financial alternative and job creating in rural counties.

Editor’s word: This story was up to date with information about Grand Farm initiatives and the announcement location.
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