The Consortium has a strong focus on Research and Development (R&D), with several innovations currently in the works. These includes projects like fridge magnets that will show the current water level in your rain tank, a stock theft project that tracks animal and vehicle movements on farms in real time and alerts the farmers the moment the animal’s movements indicates distress, as well as a project to track hikers in remote mountain hiking trails.
CITI (Cape IT Initiative) is putting her full support behind the formation of a new R&D Lab in the Garden Route, which will help accelerate these R&D ventures. The Western Cape Agriculture department has also been tasked to get involved in some of these projects. DTI and other government funding for R&D spending will be applied for to cover the lab setup and initial phases of some of these projects. Talks with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) on how it can assist the consortium in its R&D and marketing initiatives is ongoing.
As part of the R&D venture a state of the art wireless network is being set up. This network will eventually cover the entire Garden Route but is currently being rolled out in the George area. The network uses the latest wireless technology which promises much faster speed than traditional networks.
The network will be non-commercial and completely free to join. The network will not supply internet access but rather will be a backbone for R&D projects and educational programs. Through wireless technology business can monitor activities through CCTV camera link-ups and WEBCAMs. Regional weather and water consumption monitoring can be done for instance through wireless technology. The potential of the new network is limitless. With remote monitors farmers can even check-up on where their cattle is grazing, or see what vehicles are accessing their farms.