Kansas State University and Topcon sign research agreement, start projects
Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018
MANHATTAN — Kansas State University and Topcon Agriculture are collaborating to develop tools and systems to advance precision agriculture and support farmers.
By working with the university, Topcon Agriculture aims to develop product concepts through gathering requirements, drafting specifications and conducting market research, as well as to test products in the lab, on the university farm and around the state using K-State Research and Extension and Agricultural Experiment Station facilities.
"The strategic advantage of using our combined resources for product development and testing is paramount as Topcon Agriculture is squarely focused on creating value for farmers, dealers and original equipment manufacturers. We encourage farmers to 'Grow without Limits,'" said Brian Sorbe, vice president of sales and marketing for Topcon Agriculture.
"Topcon is globally taking an increasing tactical interest in university partnerships, similar to this great step with K-State. We believe that the intersection between sensors, data and action are within our grasp, and progressive universities like K-State are in a unique position to help us achieve this," said Fabio Isaia, CEO of Topcon Agriculture. "For example, we see K-State as one of the most important partners of TAP, our ag platform, and we look forward to developing together value-added services for our customers."
"Our facilities and research strengths are an excellent fit for Topcon's business," said Ernie Minton, interim dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension.
Minton said researchers are interested in working with the company because of its broad, interdisciplinary approach and involvement in many areas that are highly relevant to Kansas producers.
"Partnership with Topcon Agriculture demonstrates our commitment to keeping Kansas producers up to date," Minton said. "Precision agriculture offers new tools that will help farmers prosper as they work to feed the world's growing population."
Kansas State University emphasizes industry collaboration and has seen an 80 percent increase in the number of industry-funded projects in the last five years. The university has successfully pursued master research and service agreements with a number of industry partners.
"Partnership with Topcon Agriculture aligns with our strategy to engage in collaborative research with industry," said Peter Dorhout, the university's vice president for research. "We are committed to strategic, enduring alliances to ensure that some of our applied research results in technology transfer and real-world applications boost the Kansas economy."
"The research collaborations established with Topcon are the beginning of a mutually beneficial partnership, and we look forward to expanding the relationship to advance innovation in precision agriculture in Kansas and beyond," said Rebecca Robinson, director of economic development at the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization.