ICT International has been providing solutions for soil, plant and environmental monitoring since 1982.
In 2006 ICT International launched an innovation program which produced the company’s first outstanding signature products; the SFM1 Sap Flow Meter and the PSY1 Stem Psychrometer. The SFM1 Sap Flow Meter determines how much water a plant is using and features digital point of measurement data processing to log data. The PSY1 Stem Psychrometer measures the plant’s ability to access water and features the same digital point of measurement data processing, to log changes in the plant water status. ICT International’s instruments are manufactured in Armidale, NSW, and designed and tested in the field. They have been installed to measure plant water use (sap flow), the effects of weather and environmental change in regions across the world including: the Amazon rainforests, California’s ‘tallest trees in the world’, mine sites in Australia and Peru, agricultural land in Dubai and trees growing on the permafrost in Northern Canada. ICT International now exports their precision instruments to more than 50 countries with their customers including environmental and forestry researchers and managers; mine site rehabilitation officers; agricultural, horticultural and glasshouse businesses; governments; scientific agencies; and universities throughout North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, India and Asia.
Through its commitment to innovative research, collaboration, and the manufacture and export of their precision monitoring instrumentation, ICT International is proud to provide world class scientific solutions enabling a greater understanding and improved management of water, soil, vegetation and the environment.
Listen to our CEO Susan Cull speak at a radio interview following ICT International winning an award at the NSW Premiers Export Awards. (14mb)
World’s best monitoring solutions focused on plant water use,
plant water potential and soil moisture management.
Scientific instrumentation developed for scientists by scientists.
The ICT International products are specifically designed to be deployed in rugged field environments, use low-power, have wireless and internet connection and firmware and software for detailed and sophisticated measurement and data processing in the field. In this regard they are totally ground-breaking, state of the art and unique.
There are no other products on the market today with the same functionality or application.
This unique family of digital sensors and data loggers grew out of an R&D innovation program which ICT International commenced in 2006. By committing a large percentage of its annual turnover to the innovation program which involved product research and design, cutting edge engineering design and active engagement and collaboration with the leading scientists in Australia and Internationally. ICT International has produced new scientific instrumentation needed by scientists to better understand how plants respond to the ever increasing problem of water shortage in our natural environment. The practical outcome being the accurate measurement of key plant and soil parameters for the advancement of plant and soils research to address plant physiology limitations to water availability, climate change, evaluation of plant genetics/breeding programs or fundamental understanding of plant function.
An environmentally sealed, low-power data logging platform forms the basis of ICT International’s technology for environmental monitoring and control applications.
The products of ICT International that have all been developed with the data logging platform.
SFM1 Sap Flow Meter for continuous monitoring of plant water use.
PSY1 Stem Psychrometer for continuous monitoring of plant water potential and leaf water potential.
HFD Heat Field Deformation Sap Flow Meter for measurement of radial sap flow profiles, hydraulic redistribution and hydraulic lift in response to plant water potential gradients.
SFT Sap Flow Tool specialist software for processing and displaying plant water use and hydraulic redistribution.
SMM Soil Moisture Meter for measuring Volumetric Soil Water (%).
STM Soil Tension Meter for measuring Soil Water Potential.
SOM Soil Oxygen Meter for measuring Soil Oxygen Content (%).
AML Advanced Multifunction Logger and the AWS Automatic Weather Station.
See www.ictinternational.com for case studies where instruments utilising this logging platform are being deployed from the Arctic permafrost to the Amazon and the deserts of the Middle East.
A thorough and detailed understanding of plant response to water and the environment was developed from years working as a scientist and cotton consultant by Dr Peter Cull. Subsequent interaction with scientists around the world further developed this understanding.
This field experience and the appreciation of its scientific and commercial value have been transferred into instrumentation by engaging with the leading scientists in this field in Australia and internationally and experienced Australian engineers to develop the products.
The applications knowledge and experience of ICT International combined with scientific collaboration builds solutions that are recognised as world’s best and hence sought after by leading scientists worldwide.
What makes this unique product line innovative?
The innovation behind the family of ICT International products is the underlying data logging platform, software and firmware protocols to interface an extensive sensor library both in terms of measurement parameter and output protocol. The wireless communications protocols to transmit data locally or internationally across any communications network. This technologically advanced data logging platform has been proven to function in environmental extremes using low-power.
The need to measure sensors within a range of both relative and absolute terms, depending upon the fundamental physical property of measurement, is paramount for high accuracy, repeatability and precision. In order to achieve satisfactory levels of resolution from µV to nanovolt resolution, solutions range from involving complex signal processing algorithms that can be included in onboard sensor microchips and require sophisticated output protocols to transmit the data to dedicated all in one logging solutions. The data logging solutions eliminate analogue signal noise caused by cable resistance and provide onboard signal conditioning and noise filtering to achieve the highly stable thermal noise conditions under which a measurement requiring nanovolt resolution can be resolved under ambient field conditions.
The ICT International data logging platform has been designed to accommodate all levels of sensor design, complexity and measurement principle by integrating all input variables from simple analogue millivolt inputs through to complex measurement principles requiring standalone, point of measurement data processing and logging instruments; that can seamlessly synthesise all of them into a single CSV file or MySQL database using a low power, unlicensed wireless protocol and GSM mobile telemetry solution.
The competitive innovative advantage of the encapsulated field experience, scientific knowledge and engineering detail has resulted in instruments which are sought by plant scientists worldwide. In fact, the continuous monitoring of plant water potential and leaf water potential, as measured by the PSY1 digital stem psychrometer has been sought by the plant science community for more than 40 years. The ability to measure low flow and reverse flow by the SFM1 digital sap flow meter is a world first and is enabling new discoveries of plant adaption to the environment.
Typical research topics include; hydraulic redistribution of water in trees in the Czech Republic, to measuring sap flow to determine water use of the different tree species in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest; to investigating tree recovery from drought in the USA.
Listen to our CEO Susan Cull speak at a radio interview following ICT International winning an award at the NSW Premiers Export Awards. (14mb)
Why we do the things we do!
ICT International has been in business since 1982 providing the world’s best monitoring solutions, focusing on plant water use and soil moisture monitoring. In 2006 ICT International embarked on an innovation program to research and design new plant sensors, new soil moisture sensors and new data logging platforms. We are passionate about researching new instruments, which scientists can use worldwide, to solve the ever-increasing problem of our limited water resources and the effects of water shortage in our natural environment.
In 2013 ICT International was awarded three NSW State Awards for innovation and excellence in export achievement. These awards recognised our commitment, resilience and determination in the innovation of a unique new family of digital data logging sensors. The recognition was fantastic and signified we had achieved what we set out to do.
ICT International’s CEO, Susan Cull recounted in a radio interview.
“We know we’re on the right track because we’re exporting these new sensors – this new family of instruments – our Sap Flow sensor, our Stem Psychrometer to scientists in over 50 countries on an annual basis.
These awards gave ICT International confirmation and acknowledgement of all the hard work, all our passion, our commitment and our focus in getting these digital data logging sensors developed. We understand the market – we’ve been in the market for thirty-five years – we understand the application knowledge, we know what scientists are trying to achieve and the value of their research. A precise, rugged instrument that can be left in the Tundra, or the trees in Brazil or the desert in Australia or Dubai, is invaluable.
Our products are now are contributing to new scientific knowledge worldwide. This knowledge, in plant science, soil science, and environmental science is adding to the scientific data that will carry the planet forward in managing an increasing volatile climate. For the scientist’s working on research programs around the world, utilising the new unique family of digital data logging sensors, is pivotal in helping them effect better research outcomes.
The fundamental connection to our scientific customer base is ‘science 101’.
ICT International is a science based company with PHD scientists on staff. When you dialogue with a scientist in Brazil, or the Middle East, or Africa – it doesn’t matter where the scientist is, you’re talking the same language – it’s Science 101. We send our scientists – our staff, our PhD salespeople – we send them to the Tundra, we send them to Brazil. They’re out there in the field with fellow scientists. No other company in the world does this, no other company has the focus, the commitment and the vision to say, this is what scientists are doing now, they’re solving these problems as to how plants are responding in the changing environment.
This is our focus and commitment to our scientific customers and what inspires us to innovate new data logging Sap Flow sensors (SFM1), Stem Psychrometer sensors (PSY1) and other data logging sensors.”
|Listen to our CEO Susan Cull speak at a radio interview following ICT International winning an award at the NSW Premiers Export Awards. (14mb)|
ICT International wins in Premier’s Export Awards
One of the great things about Australian exporters is their resilience and sense of determination. Armidale’s ICT International has exhibited those two admirable traits in being awarded a Highly Commended in the category of Agribusiness in the 2013 NSW Premier’s Export Awards.
“We are thrilled to receive this recognition”, said ICT International’s CEO, Mrs Susan Cull. “We recognised the need to innovate to produce new scientific instruments needed by scientists to better understand how plants respond to the environment. For the last 8 years ICT International dedicated 20% of annual turnover to an innovation program involving product research and design, cutting edge engineering design and the development of manufacturing and assembly capability. In the last four years ICT International has gone from being a net importer of soil and plant science instrumentation to a net exporter of its own ICT International product – Australian IP and Australian engineering- whilst located regionally in Armidale, NSW. Over 60% of total sales are generated by export income as we export annually to over 45 countries worldwide.”
The unique signature ICT International products resulting from the innovation program are the Digital Sap Flow Meter, The Digital Stem Psychrometer and an environmentally sealed, low-power data logging platform. This family of new scientific instruments is being used by scientists worldwide to solve the ever increasing problem of limited water resource and the effects of water shortage in our natural environment. Examples include monitoring Boreal forests as the permafrost melts in the Arctic Circle, measuring sap flow in trees to select more drought tolerant species in Peru, measuring soil moisture to increase citrus production in the Middle East, and measuring the effects of climate change on forests in Latvia.
Ian Murray, Executive Chairman of the Export Council of Australia said: “Last night in Sydney the state’s best of the best exporters were rewarded for excellence at the NSW Premier’s NSW Export Awards. The Premier’s NSW Export Awards showcased the state’s best of the best exporters, in front of an audience of over six hundred guests and Guest of Honour the Hon Andrew Stoner, Deputy Premier of NSW. This year’s awards showcased some truly innovative companies, particularly in all export sectors and we congratulate ICT International on their success.”
A thorough and detailed understanding of plant response to water and the environment was developed by Dr Peter Cull, Managing Director of ICT International, from years working as a scientist and cotton consultant. This field experience and the appreciation of its scientific and commercial value has been transferred into instrumentation by engaging with the leading scientists in this field, in Australia and internationally, and with experienced Australian engineers to develop the products.
The applications knowledge and experience of ICT International, combined with scientific collaboration, builds solutions that are recognised as the world’s best and hence sought after by leading scientists worldwide.
Contact: Susan Cull ph: 02 6772 6770 firstname.lastname@example.org
ICT International wins Region’s Innovation Awards
The 6th Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Innovation gala awards dinner was held at Wests Leagues Club in Tamworth on Friday night (8/11/13). The overall Innovation of the Year Award went to Armidale-based ICT International, which included a $15,000 scholarship from The Sharemarket College.
“It is important that we recognise and promote how we are being innovative and what sets us apart. This fantastic awards program attracted 49 top quality entries from every major centre in the region and almost 140 people attended the awards night to hear their success stories,” Chair of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI), Mal Peters said.
ICT International is essentially scientists creating precision equipment for fellow scientists; technological solutions for soil, plant, water and environmental monitoring. Up to 20 percent of annual turnover over the past eight years has gone into research and design. ICT’s innovations have transformed the business from an importer of soil and plant instrumentation to an exporter of its own. What has been developed by ICT is unique and demand is global, with exports to 45 countries each year. Staffing levels have grown from 6 to 21 in the past four years.
ICT International’s environmentally sealed, low-power consuming data logging units come in varied models for specific purposes, with internet connectivity and software for complex measuring and processing in the field, and can be found in Australian and Amazon mangroves, deserts in the Middle East and the Arctic permafrost. Remote data logging or transmission solutions are what truly set ICT’s scientific devices apart. Managing Director, Dr Peter Cull said that the recognition means a great deal to his team. “This accolade is important for our business, particularly as they add credibility and a point of difference when starting a new overseas business relationship,” he said.
The innovators recognised at the awards night ranged from Bindaree Beef to UNE, ITC Agriculture in Narrabri to local government (Tamworth Regional Council, Liverpool and Moree Plains Shire Councils). Local produce was presented to sponsors and MC Jennifer Ingall (ABC radio New England North West Regional Content Manager). There was a presentation by the inspiring BackTrack Youthworks lads and a pair of working dogs in training. Guest Speakers were business coach, Greg Alder and 2012 Innovation of the Year recipient, Graham East from educational software developer, EdAlive.
RDA Northern Inland Executive Officer, Nathan Axelsson, described it as a significant night for the region’s development, which highlighted the secrets of numerous high-achieving businesses and organisations throughout the region. “Whether we’re talking about overcoming the tyranny of distance, creating a competitive edge or finding new markets, we need to incorporate innovation into everyday practice and get our positive stories out there.”
ICT International is an innovative Armidale company making a significant impact on domestic and global markets. Established in 1982, the agribusiness has undertaken dedicated research and development of innovative digital sensors and data loggers to measure soil and plant water use.
ICT International’s instruments are used by environmental scientists and farmers to measure and solve the ever-increasing problems of limited water resources.
The company has developed two unique world-class scientific instruments, manufactured in Armidale, which are now being regularly exported to commercial enterprises, science agencies and leading universities in over 50 countries. ICT International was awarded three NSW State Awards for innovation and export excellence in 2013.
ICT International is collaborating with the University of New England at its test site for new technologies, known as the SMART farm. It provides access to the latest data streaming technology from a range of field, animal and machinery sensors.