Digital Farming

Business Challenge

Farmers today are amidst a paradigm shift with the advancements of digital technology. They are forced to find new ways to produce more food with less land and to do so in a sustainable manner.


It is imperative that the agriculture productivity increases to ensure long term food supply. By embracing digital farming, these farmers can maximize output in the fields with minimal environmental impact. Through the integration of the Internet of Things, high accuracy GPS, big data analytics, geospatial solutions and AI, farmers can make data driven decisions to increase productivity and profitability. In this case study, we created a “Smart Farm” platform to drive data insights from a combination of digital technologies.

Lifescale Analytics Approach

Lifescale Analytics addresses this issue by developing a Smart Farm platform that bridges the gap between relational and spatial information. Our approach started with developing a web and mobile application to manage and visualize data within the grower’s farm.

Next, we developed a field boundary generator tool track and monitoring spatial locations of growing fields. This allows growers to see how environmental variables influence yield by and across sites and regions.

Then we developed pipelines for high resolution GPS data (i.e. precision seed placement), environmental conditions (i.e. topography, soil type, soil moisture, precipitation), digital phenotyping (i.e. vigor, uniformity, lodging, tasseling, stay green), and yield mapping (i.e. variability and harvest efficacy). This approach leverages the Internet of Things to collect digital data from smart devices/sensors such as (but not limited to) GPS planters, plant sensors, weather stations, and digital irrigation sensors.

Benefit to the Business

Increasing crop yield and reducing costs are the key issues that famers face. Almost every farmer can benefit from this type of digital platform. Farmers are empowered to gain powerful insights into their operations and the environment.

These data driven decisions ultimately lead to increasing yield and revenue while minimizing environmental impact and crop failure. Digital farming makes agriculture sustainable. This approach will help famers meet societies food and textile needs and allow future generations to meet their needs without compromise.

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A large part of NC's CSO industry is made up of contract research organizations (CRO) and companies that are focused on clinical trial management. The North Carolina CRO Collaborative was brought together to address and support the needs of the companies who operate in this subsector.

The immediate goals of the CRO Collaborative are to improve and expand clinical-based workforce development in North Carolina through curriculum enhancement and development as well as increase awareness of CRO industry trends and career opportunities throughout the state.

The committee is comprised of representatives from eight CROs, eight academic institutes (both clinical research training programs and university-affiliated clinical site programs), supporting institutions, and one hospital system. 

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