Automated sustainable agriculture vehicle 100% powered by solar
The agriculture industry is currently bearing witness to a significant transformation. Innovative new technologies and automated processes can optimise crop production and minimise human effort.
Salih Kocamer and Mustafa Efe Toslak, both graduates from the University of Gaziantep in the agricultural region of southern Türkiye, founded TARGETEK. The startup has developed an uncrewed agricultural vehicle capable of distinguishing between harmful weeds, providing efficient organic crop yields. The vehicle also reduces labour costs, environmental impact and reliance on fossil fuels as it is 100% powered by solar energy. This seamless automation integration ensures a more efficient ecosystem, enabling continuous operations, 24/7.
When Mustafa Efe Toslak was a second-year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Gaziantep, he was introduced to the future TARGETEK team through a professor. From 2019, Mustafa and his team began to participate in agricultural business competitions. Their first uncrewed automated prototype caught the attention of judges at the Teknofest Agricultural Uncrewed Ground Vehicle Competition in 2021 and received first place.
Propelled by their achievements, they continued to participate in competitions, consistently winning awards and receiving attention for their innovative technology.
Despite their growing recognition and successes, the team remained humble and focused on continuous research and development to improve the prototypes. Eager to have a more significant impact, Mustafa and his team established Targetek Tarım Limited Şirketi, following the motto: ‘Agriculture Embracing Technology: Take a Step Towards the Future with TARGETEK’. He explains: “We embark on a journey of new endeavours, aiming to enhance agricultural technology and uplift countries to greater heights.”
Along their journey, TARGETEK has been supported by SPARK’s Economic Resilience programme, financed by the Qatar Fund for Development, in partnership with Gaziantep Technopark, which supports innovative entrepreneurial ventures. Through this programme, TARGETEK benefited from access to finance, consultancy and machinery equipment. The team also took part in various training programmes. Mustafa says: “The training programmes, such as incubation, marketing, advertising, etc. provided in crucial areas to develop the company, made SPARK a great supporter of ours.”
Business development boosts earthquake-affected region
Gaziantep Teknopark, established in 2017, is home to 187 companies and provides services mainly to those in software development, electronics, food and chemistry sectors. Despite the devastating earthquakes that severely impacted the Teknopark’s work and the entrepreneurs and businesses being supported, 20 new entrepreneurial companies have been established through the programme.
Kazım Bey, Manager of Gaziantep Teknopark, says: “During a period when many people were leaving the city due to the earthquake on February 6, our project with SPARK was still ongoing. We had to regroup and revitalise the project. We individually reached out to people and, with the municipality’s cooperation, arranged offices within Teknopark where entrepreneurs could continue their work. As a result, the entrepreneurs returned to Gaziantep Teknopark and presented their projects.”
TARGETEK: Advancing Türkiye’s agricultural sustainability
TARGETEK’s Co-founder, Salih Kocamer, hopes to further develop and refine their current prototypes to boost their efficiency and complexity. He says: “We have reached this position with the support of Gaziantep University, the opportunities provided by Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, and the assistance from Gaziantep Technopark, SPARK and Enhancer.”
Looking to the future, the TARGETEK team are promoting organic, sustainable farming practices. Their team aims to contribute to the broader development of the agricultural industry, not only within the earthquake-affected region of Türkiye, but to advance the industry’s sustainable development around the world.