John Deere has added seven companies to its Startup Collaborator program for its 2022 intake. The program, first launched in 2019, allows Deere to enhance and deepen its interaction with startup companies whose technology could add value for customers. The collaborator is a year-long program providing flexibility for Deere and the startup companies to test innovative technologies with customers and dealers, without a formal business relationship. The startups also gain affiliation with and mentoring from Deere’s technology teams. John Deere director – emerging technology Julian Sanchez said the program helps to support and uncover new technological advancements with the aim of assisting customer operations. “The startup collaborator shows that part of our investment in technology is establishing a mechanism to help external ideas and knowledge collide with ours,” Sanchez said. “Agriculture is a domain ripe for technology pioneering, and the Startup Collaborator program is a way to travel that journey together with others.” A total of seven companies were added to this year’s program. Burro is a company providing people-scale robotic platforms to help farm labourers work more productively today, while laying the base for comprehensive automation of the most labour-intensive on-farm tasks of tomorrow. CropZone.com is the electrifying solution available to every grower looking for a sustainable and reliable solution to control weeds and desiccate crops without residue. Four Growers is a company providing robotic harvesting and analytics for high-value crops – starting with greenhouse tomatoes. SeeDevice is a company working to provide enhanced CMOS SWIR image sensing capabilities and performance, using quantum-based photodetector technology for smart devices in automotive, biomedical and machine vision applications. Ucropit is a company bringing together farmers and companies to create, aggregate and share Crop StoriesTM with verified sustainability traceability. ViewAR is a company with more than 10 years of experience in creating Augmented Reality (AR) business solutions which addresses many customer pain points and use cases, like indoor navigation and AR for service, and allows them to easily create their own high-quality AR apps and start their augmeneted reality journey. Yard Stick is a company developing low-cost, instant, in situ soil carbon measurement technologies to enable gigaton/year carbon removal via agriculture. John Deere business development manager Michele Kaiser said this year’s program intake was increased from previous years. “The expansion of this year’s collaborator program provides an opportunity for John Deere to work with this globally-diverse group across a broad area of technology spaces while continuing to unlock value for our customers across multiple production systems,” Kaiser said.